4 November 2016 | 9:30 PM: Around 150 students gathered at Sabarmati Dhaba yesterday to join #MuslimLivesMatter protest called by Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students’ Association (BAPSA), Students Islamic Organization (SIO) and Youth Forum for Discussions and Welfare Activities (YFDA) against the “brutal state killings of Muslims in Bhopal.”
Heba Ahmed, YFDA started the meeting by expressing her grief and exhorted the students to rise against the state-perpetrated violence on minorities and Dalits. She said: “We judge a democracy by how much importance its minorities are given.”Drawing lines between the attack on Najeeb and the “killings” in Bhopal, she pointed out the rising Hindutva fundamentalism, which is “clearly being backed by the State.”
The speaker of the event was Ms. Manisha Sethi, Assistant Professor at Centre for Comparative Religions and Civilization, Jamia Millia Islamia.
Abdul Matin, while introducing the speaker, spoke at length about YFDA and the emergence of Dalit-Muslim unity. “The formation of YFDA in this campus is a product of the failure of Left politics here. We are here to raise our voice and create a space where the voice of minorities is given due importance.”
“Minority simply does not meet a numerical minority, it is about [the state of] powerlessness.”
Manisha Sethi, who spoke next began with a verse of Ghalib and remarked how it was misconstrued by the State backed intelligence agencies to harass Muslims. She went on to remind the students how time and again Muslims in India have constantly faced brutality by the hands of the police and the Hindutva groups.
“It is not a matter of a day, extrajudicial killings have been going on for a long time now…ridiculous evidence and silly points like possession of banned literature are used to threaten the poor.”
Students at the public meetings held posters which read “We are Muslims, Shoot Us at Point Blank” and “Stop Police Terror End State Violence.”
The public meeting concluded at 11 o’clock, with Uday from BAPSA condemning the “police brutality” and talking about the “casual casteism in the spaces around us.”
“We must accept that as a University we are casteist.”
Anjali Maurya is a BA student at CRS, SL and works for The Informer.
Picture Credit: BAPSA Facebook Page