The mass ‘Not in My Name’ protest was held across various cities and managed to mobilise thousands of people and to a certain extent also helped raise awareness about the recent lynching incidents across the country. The organisers claim that Junaid’s lynching was the one that prompted them to organise this protest and the idea was to show that enough is enough when it comes to such acts.
While I actually appreciate what the protest is trying to achieve the fact that certain incidents were left out gave it a political undertone which was quite disappointing. The biggest one being DSP Mohd Ayub Pandith in Kashmir. A number of incidents in Kerala and a couple of them from Pondicherry and Karnataka. Was this only a protest against Beef related lynching incidents?
What us, the civil society must realise that we all must be very careful while dealing with such serious issues. Selective outrage over lynching is a gross injustice to the actual issue itself. What comes across is that the movement is purely an anti-govt or anti-BJP protest when it shouldn’t be. Of course, the govt of the day bears the responsibility of the law and order of the country and they must be held accountable but why is a police officer’s lynching any lesser than a regular citizen? Are police officers who help keep us safe not Indian citizens? Why was there no mention of lynching incidents and deaths in Kerala? Just because they were BJP workers doesn’t make it ok!
The ‘Not in My Name’ movement must reorganise and communicate better to tell the nation that this isn’t politically motivated and there is no party’s involvement or influence whatsoever. The fact that several spokespersons of opposition political parties were present at the protest doesn’t help that cause because they all have their own agendas to push and unfortunately their statements get more media coverage than the ordinary citizen.
Until the protest is truly and genuinely against lynching, no matter whom, what or where the person is from it will be short lived and perceived as politically motivated. To sustain such a movement and actually force change the core issue must be kept above all else. It’s not about Beef, it’s not about religion, and it’s not about politics. It’s about Law and Order in our country which must be upheld at all costs.
(The author is a senior journalist the views expressed are personal)