By Prakash Pecheti
Hyderabad: 'Not In My Name', a peace march organised at Tank Bund here in the city protesting against the recent incidents of lynching of Muslims and Dalits, received considerable traction and response from citizens on Wednesday. Several social activists, NGO representatives and social media netizens gathered to participate in the silent protest.
"What is happening now in India is unfortunate. The drumbeat of religious fanatics is thudding into our hearts every time political thugs attack others. They are destroying the foundation of the Indian Constitution. And the core Indian civilisational ethos are also being destroyed," said Pramod Reddy, a lawyer by profession, who took part in the protest march.
This is part of a nation-wide citizens' protest being organised in cities like Delhi, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Thiruvananthapuram and Hyderabad.
It all began with an online post by independent filmmaker Saba Dewan on June 24.
"Shouldn't there be protests against the lynchings especially after the murder of a 16-year-old boy on Tuesday in Delhi NCR by a mob? If not now then when? Why wait for political formations to organize a demonstration ? Why can't all of us as citizens repulsed by the violence get together in protest at the earliest next week at Jantar Mantar under the banner - Not in my Name," a facebook post of Saba Dewan read.
Director of the Council for Social Development Prof Kalpana Kannabiran, former Osmania University faculty Prof Rama Melkote, former director of ASCI Kinnera Murthy, Prof PL Visweshwar Rao, foremr Journalism head in OU Padmaja Shah were among those who joined the protest.
Entrepreneur Deepak Johl, who got to know about the protest march through Facebook post, said he came to raise his voice against the recent atrocities like the lynching of teenager Junaid Khan and cattle rearer Pehlu Khan in Alwar district of Rajasthan in April. "The atmosphere is very disturbing in the country, you can't kill people based on religion," he remarked.
Meanwhile, the police tried to scuttle the programme citing that there was no permission for the programme. They also tore down 'Not in My Name' posters. "Is permission required for peace march? What kind of democratic country we're living in?" questioned Prof Padmaja Shaw.