Ghazanfar Abbas | Caravan Daily
NEW DELHI — Thousands of professionals, activists, journalists and academics from the Muslim community are going to mark October 13th as the “Day of Resistance” against continuing lynching of Muslims in the name of cow, fake encounters in the name of law and order and systemic discrimination and injustice. The open event will be observed across the country – from villages to towns to cities to metros and state capitals.
“Every Indian citizen deserves equal compensation and dignity. Every Indian citizen deserves equal access to legal justice,” say the organisers who are demanding the fellow countrymen to “Respect our right to Economic Activity; Respect our right to; Education; and Respect our right to Life.”
As part of the event, the organisers have appealed to all to organise or join peaceful street protests, post pictures on social media using the hashtag #EqualCitizens, create a Facebook event for a protest in their neighbourhood, wear black armbands to workplace, change their Facebook profile picture to black with #EqualCitizens and change WhatsApp status to #EqualCitizens.
Talking to Caravan Daily about the event, the Mumbai-based eminent social activist and the brain behind the 13th October event, Aamir Edresy says: “We have decided to hold this event as a mark of protest against the continuous injustice and bias against Muslims. Our purpose is that we want to highlight that Muslims are equal citizens of this country and any attempt to made them second class citizens must be opposed.”
“We are going to hold this event in various cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Gaya and also at universities like Jamia Millia Islamia, JNU and Aligarh Muslim University, says Edresy who last week created a WhatsApp group ‘Vote Hamara – Baat Hamari’ to spread the message about the event.
Talking about the trigger of the 13th October event, he said: “If you look at the incidents in the last four and half years, you will see killing of innocent Muslims in mob lynching. Fake encounters are being conducted. People are being arrested illegally. Those activists who talk about Muslims are being hunted. Those activists and journalists who are trying to right truth are also being disturbed.”
The Mumbai-based eminent social activist Aamir Edresy talks to Caravan Daily about 13th Oct event.
“Recently in Uttar Pradesh, two Muslim youths – Naushad and Mustaqeem – were killed in an ‘encounter’. It was not an encounter at all. It was a cold-blooded murder. But no one is ready to talk about them. But then Apple executive Vivek Tiwari was killed by police in Lucknow. Entire media raise voice over his killing. Chief Minister meets his family and announces compensation. But there is no one raise voice for Naushad and Mustaqeem. So-called secular parties are also silent. How long will this go on? Muslims are equal citizens of this country and they are entitled to all rights like any other citizen. And you will have to talk about them also,” stressed Aamir.
Aamir has similar concerns for other marginalized communities. And at the 13th October event, protesters will voice for their rights also.
In the last four and half years, several dozen people, mostly Muslims, have been lynched by brutal mobs of cow vigilantes in the name of cow slaughter, beef consumption and cattle theft. Almost all the incidents took place in BJP-ruled states like Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Assam.
In over 1200 encounters in UP since Yogi Adityanath became chief minister in March 2017, around 70 alleged criminals were gunned down by the police. Around half of them were Muslims.
“Remember, we are not asking for anything that is not our right. Our demand is straight forward: We refuse to be treated as secondary citizens.”