Mumbai: Thousands of Mumbaikars marched here to protest the series of hate crimes and incidents of lynching across India in the past three years, an organizer said here on Monday. The rally started from Kotwal Gardens to Chaityabhoomi at Dadar with the participation of Prakash Ambedkar, Vishwas Utagi, leaders of trade unions, Left parties, NGOs, social and cultural groups and prominent people from different walks of life.
“The rise of the Bharatiya Janata Party and RSS to power in 2014 has been marked by lynchings and killings of Muslims, Dalits and rationalists with nauseating regularity. The rally has evoked tremendous response among the masses,” said Utagi. In a statement, the organisers said Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks out only when public protests reach a critical mass and then lapses into silence until the next uproar.
It all started in 2014 when a techie, Moshin Shaikh, was beaten to death in Pune for his ‘Muslim-like’ appearance. The organisers pointed out that the killers of rationalists like Pune’s Narendra Dabholkar roam freely and struck twice more to kill Communist leader Govind Pansare in Kolhapur and M.M. Kalburgi in Karnataka.
Expressing concern, they said the brutalization of the country was creating a generation that does not think violence against the weak and helpless was wrong and everywhere the minorities were under threat. “What is physically dangerous for the minority is mentally dangerous for the majority. This is not the future we want. We are Hindus, Muslims, Christians and people of all denominations, castes and creeds including some who have no religion,” the statement said. “We do not believe the present regime will stop the destruction of the secular, democratic India promised to us by our Constitution. So this is not an appeal. It is a wake-up call to the conscience of the country,” the organisers said.