Ram Navami Clashes

The pattern of Ram Navami processions becoming occasions for display of Islamophobic bigotry, followed by anti-Muslim violence, is being witnessed in atleast nine states; including Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, New Delhi, Goa, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Karnataka, West Bengal, Maharashtra and Bihar.

“Jai Shree Ram” slogans were chanted in front of mosques by sword wielding crowds waving saffron flags. The processions taken out in Muslim neighbourhoods were embellished with songs played on loudspeakers, the lyrics to which called for violence towards the Muslim community. All these provocations let to vandalisation of mosques and Muslim owned shops and buildings. In a seprate but connected incident, ABVP goons attacked students and hostel staff in the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) for protesting against ABVP’s demand that non vegetarian food not be served in the hostel.

These incidents are a testament to the politically engineered social hatred of right wing organizations like RSS and Bajrang Dal, reproduced to inflict violence on Muslims. The Bharatiya Janata Party leader, Kapil Mishra, who was central in inciting the pogrom at North East Delhi, was also present in the Ram Navami procession in Khargone, Madhya Pradesh, where shops were demolished and at least 10 houses were burnt down. The complicity of the police has been a constant theme, where they have chosen to let the violence play out and actively targeted Muslim youth with arrests, while the perpetrators are free.

In Khargone, houses of families of those who were falsely accused were demolished in Chandni Chowk and Khaskhaswadi Mohalla, acting out an archaic idea of collective punishment.

As many have pointed out, the Ram Navami processions and the following violence, had the same modus operandi across states. A yatra “celebrating” Ram Navami is carried out through areas with a significant Muslim population. The crowd then stops outside a mosque to raise communal slogans, while the DJ plays music with provocative lyrics calling for violence against Muslims, destruction of mosques and religious wars. Amidst all this, a stone pelting incident is reported, the perpetrators of which are always unidentified people. This orchestrated aggravation is enough for the mob to “turn violent”, attacking and vandalising mosques, as well as Muslim owned shops and houses with weapons and torches, as the police personnel look on. One can’t help but question why the crowd was armed with weapons and swords, and how the police failed to take notice of both the  actions of the crowd and the patterned as well as planned nature of the violence.

These processions are not isolated instances that took place in a vacuum. These series of events on the day of the Ram Navami violence were preceded by attacks on Muslim vendors in Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh, students wearing hijab being denied the right to sit in classrooms and appear for exams, saffron flags being hoisted upon mosques in Uttar Pradesh, calls given for boycott of halal meat, Muslim vendors being excluded from participating in temple fairs in Karnataka, the supposed ‘meat ban’ being enacted in south Delhi which severely affected Muslim meat sellers, and religious leaders like Bajrang Muni Udasin publicly putting out calls for sexual violence against Muslim women.

These incidents need to be looked at within a wider pattern of concerted attempts to erase, demolish, attack and transform visible symbols and practices of religious coexistence. The Hindu nationalist suspicion towards Muslims as true citizens and patriots, a narrative which came up constantly during the anti-CAA-NRC movement, has devolved into a cultural assertion against the very existence of Muslims. Every aspect of the life of Indian Muslims is being undone and attempted to be destroyed by majoritarian violence.

The idea of ‘Hindus in danger’ has become the mobilising cry for anti-Muslim violence. Cultural moments are defined by their potential to instill and invoke majoritarian violence and hatred. Given that we as Indian Muslims are facing economic boycotts, being publicly lynched, having our houses and shops burned down, witnessing the criminalisation of our existence, and facing persecution on multiple fronts; are Hindus really in danger?

Signatories:

Individuals:

Manisha Gupte

Roop Rekha Verma

Geeta Seshu (Journalist)

Teesta Setalvad (Activist and Journalist)

Maitree Muzumdar (Artist)

Frazer Mascarenhas (Academic Administrator)

Akanksha (Queer Feminist Ambedkarite Researcher and Activist)

Maimoona Mollah (women’s rights activist)

John Dayal

Dr. Anjali Monteiro (Filmmaker and academic)

Ketki Ranade/ KP

Cedric Prakash (Human Rights Activist/writer)

Pratiksha Baxi (academic)

Dr Sylvia Karpagam (Public Health Doctor)

Yashodhara

Noorahmad

Arzu Sarfaraz (Journalist)

Feroz Khan

Yakub Mohammed

Ranjana Padhi

Jeh Chinoy

Rafi Veettil

Shivani Kumari

Nidhi K

Jennifer Ahmed

Apeksha Vora

Persis Ginwalla

Aastha

Freny Manecksha (Independent Journalist)

Anupriya

Anju

Alam Nawaz

Shubham Kothari

Devesh Mundepi (Social Activist)

Abhinav C.

Kaneez Fathima (Civil Rights Activist)

Alima Fatima

Paroma Chakravarty

Kunal Chattopadhyay

Aparna

Uttam

Devika Saheli

Dr Aftab khan

Pawan

Shaina Anand (Artist)

Hamza Shaikh (Student)

Mansoor

Iqra

Vikas Nikumbh

Valenie Lopez

Hiren Gandhi.

Sana

Vani Subramanian

Dorothy Fernandes (Activist)

Sr. Justine Gitanjali Senapati (Human Rights Activist)

Sayantan Datta (Science Journalist)

Vihaan

Shehroz Zia

T Q. Contractor

Latha V

Dev Desai

Abdul Rehman Rangrej

Humaira

ShoonyaKhare

Meghna Nair

Mridul (Technology Professional)

Umer Saleem (Student)

Nikhat Fatima (civil rights activist)

Shals Mahajan (writer)

Manisha Chaudhry

Smriti Nevatia

Enakshi Bhattacharya

Prajval Shastri

Radha Khedkar (Entrepreneur)

Sumita Bertho (queer feminist activist)

Koel Chatterji (Social Activist)

Prajval Shastri (astrophysicist)

Lisa Pires

Vinit Vichare

Bhargav Oza (Independent researcher)

Khalida Parveen

Arjumand Nazia

dyuti

Neelam (PhD scholar)

Marya

Anu Samanvaya

Saima Anam Shaikh

Ummu

Charu Khanna

Misba Sayyad

Sangeeta Rege (Health rights)

sarah shaikh

Mehvish (activist and lawyer)

Sunil Tamminaina

Sharda Ugra (journalist)

Nisha Biswas

Padmalatha Ravi

Mini Mathew (Lawyer)

Ammu Joseph (Writer)

Rashmi

Jasveen Jairath (independent activist)

Muhib Khan

Parag

ChhayaBasu (retired teacher)

Marjorie Rodrigues

Mir Mudassir Ali

Amod Shah (PhD Researcher)

MohorChatterje (student)

Drishti Chawla (Independent Artist)

Dr. Mohan Rao (Independent researcher)

Saba khan s

Shloka

Azra khan

Sarthak Shukla (student)

Sumathi Rao

Jaafar ali

Ibrar (Student)

Eulalia Pereira

Nandini Rao

Deepti

Maisha Khan

Minha Khan

Revathi Narayanan

Shubham Kaushal (lawyer and independent researcher)

Misbah Ansari

Prashant Olalekar

Mileena Saju

Ikramah

Raj P. (journalist)

TanushreeGangopadhyay

Rema Kandaramath

Aparna Sundar (Independent Scholar)

Neha Nikam

Madiharakhangi

Amy Elangbam (M.A. MODM CHS)

Swatija Manorama

Swapna Liddle (Independent scholar)

Astha Sachan

Rishab Somani

Elizabeth Abraham, Kottayam, Kerala

Valenie

Khushboo Rohra

Rossi D’Souza

Rohan J

Rubeenakhatoon

Ankush Singh

Gajsujen

Shaibani Azam

Mumtaz (student)

Md Salman Haider

Kaveri

Anisha

Anwesha Das

Komal Saigal

Khairunnisha

Habib

Shadab

Piyushichhajer

Mohd Zia

Nihar

Eldred Tellis

kalpana banhatti

Reena Mohan

Chirodeep Chaudhuri

Lucas

Mubshira khan

Rakesh Gupa

Antara Dev Sen

Salah Iqbal

Sheeba Aslam

Manoj Kumar Jha

Syed Saifullah (Advocate)

Dr Nayeem Khatib

Jashodhara Dasgupta

Mamta Singh (Social worker)

Atul Gurtu (Retired scientis)

Syed Shujath Mehdi (Advocate)

Muneer Ahmed

Pamela Philiposr (Journalist)

Mudabbir shaikh

Nivi Menon

Tariq Hasib

Niharika Banerjea

Anirban Das Blah

Debi K (writer and performer)

Aruna Burte

Roopashri Sinha (Freelance Researcher)

Heena Sinha (Ngo sector)

Pallavi Belkhede (NGO sector)

Shweta Mahajan

Kirti Kumar

Nishtha Jain

Nisha Biswas

Shubhangi Sahebrao Gaikwad

Zubair (Student)

Dr Padma Deosthali

Armin

Amit Kumar

Vineeta Bal

Sunita S.

Seema Baquer (Cross Disability Consultant)

Ashiq Ahamed Chemmalasseri

Aman Irshad

Mariam

Souban Faridi

Ms. Sabreen Aslam Modak

Selina Sen (author and scriptwriter)

SadiyaBilgrami

Rita Puthenkalam

Ali Safeer Farooqi (lawyer)

Pavithra

Asha Sharma

Fióna Bolger (poet)

Asif Khan

Arshad Naseem

Akhileshwari Ramagoud (Journalist and Academic)

Shahin

Akif

Hal

Palakkalkabeer

Sheema

P Das

Anita Rao

Ashu

Shagufta Hakeem (Independent Scholar)

Shain

Noor Nisar

NikatFarooque

Bernadine Joseph

Sadhna Arya

Yaser

Arman

Gulshad

Usman

Shazeb

Sudha Bharadwaj

Ashish Kajla (Independent Researcher)

Amjad H Khan

Cherian Philip

 

 

Groups:

  • Bebaak Collective
  • Modern Youth Association
  • Justice Coalition of Religious-West India
  • Jan Swasthya Mumbai- West India
  • Global Concerns India
  • Saheli Women’s Resource Centre, New Delhi
  • Hindus for Human Rights (nikhil@hindusforhumanrights.org)
  • Forum Against Oppression of Women

sandhyagokhale

Chayanika Shah

Ammu Abraham

Meena

  • All India Progressive Women’s Association – Kavita Krishnan
  • MD International Society for Peace & Justice

Rehan Khan

  • Indian Christian Women’s Movement

Ms. V Saldanha

Raynah Braganza Passanha

Marcia D’Cunha

Hazel

Aruna Gnanadason

  • Bharat Bachao Aandolan

Afaque Azad

  • National Council for Women Leaders

Shewli Kumar

  • Edible Archives

Shalini Krishan

  • Parcham

Sabah Khan

  • Vidrohi

Avinash Kadam

  • Samajwadi Janparishad

Pyoli

  • Friends of India Texas
  1. S.
  • Feminists in Resistance

Koel Chatterjee

  • AIMC

ManzoorA.S

  • Samvidhan Bachao Desh Bachao Abhiyan, Uttar Pradesh

Ramesh Dixit

  • Anhad

Shabnam Hashmi

  • Jamia Hamdard

Dr Khursheed Ahmad Ansari

  • Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF)

Wilfred Dcosta

  • NCHRO Goa.

Lumina da Costa Almeida

  • The Daily Eye

Vinata Nanda

  • org

Rukmini Sen

  • Mavelinadu

HritikLalan

  • Alternatives International

Feroz Mehdi, general secretary

  • WhereAreTheWomen

Varsha Bhargavi

  • DYFI

R S Lakshman

Dhruv Golani

  • Right to Food Campaign

Swati Narayan

  • Partition Studies Quarterly Journal

Amrita Gupta

  • Sriniketan

Vishwa Bharati

  • Bharat Bachao Andolan

Feroze Mithiborwala

  • South Asia Solidarity Group, UK

Kalpana Wilson

  • All India Queer Association.

Panchali Kar

  • National Federation of Indian Women, Maharashtra

Lata BhiseSonawane

  • CUNY

Ankita Aggarwal

  • CSIR

Amitabha Basu

  • com

Bhuvi Gupta

  • Aam Aadmi Party, Mumbai, Maharashtra

Prabha Pandey

  • High Court of Bombay

Afreen Khan

  • MKSS

Saba

  • AISA

AishikSaha

  • Women and Transgender Organizations
  1. Suneetha
  • WSS

Ritash (aka Pushpa)

  • SJC

Jessin

  • Saheli

Sadhna Arya

Ashima Roy Chowdhury

Anuradha Banerji

  • Bharat Jan Vigyan Jatha

Soumya Dutta

  • OpenSpace

Anita Cheria

  • OBR global network

Abha bhaiya

  • Pinjratod

Ankita Dhar

  • Badayl, India

Ranjan Solomon

  • Muslim Students’ Federation

Imthinan M

  • Guftagu

Sadaf vidha

  • National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM)

Arundhati Dhuru

Meera Sanghamitra

  • Platform For Social Justice

Shweta Daamle

  • AICC

Noumaan

 

  • Jawaharlal Nehru University

Simran Singh

Arya

Maya

Kaushiki

Saya

Nidhi Singh

Isha P

Navmee

Ananya

Ruby Yadav

Maitreyi

Taniya Gupta

Shahwaz Malik

Pallavi Tirkey

Shah alam

Niranjan manjhi

Manikandan A

Abhinav

ShaheenKauser

Adreeta Chakraborty

Supriya Kumar

Meghna

Nanditha IR

Siddharth

Maria

  • SNDT University

Ms. Prerana S. Mohite

Dhammpalichavan

Sakina Hakim Cutlerywala

DhanshreeDusane

Pooja Petkar

Putul Sathe

Smriti Parhi

Dhwani

  • Tata Institute of Social Sciences

BrinelleD’souza

Mohamed Rameez

Saima S Hussain

ChhayaDatar

  • University of Delhi

AchinVanaik

Shamayita Sen

  • Dublin City University

Priyanka Borpujari

Anindita Bhattacharya

Vidushi Kaushik

  • University of Ottawa

Priyanka Pareek

  • Jamia Hamdard University, Delhi

Aqsa Shaikh

  • Ambedkar University, Delhi

Ritu Sinha

  • Jamia Millia Islamia

Almas Saeed

  • Emory University

Roshni Chattopadhyay

  • Northwestern University

Megha Pappachen

  • St Andrew’s mumbai

Chaynika Tewari

  • IIT Delhi

Rituparna Sengupta

  • University of Cambridge

Rounak Ghosh

  • St Stephen’s College

Karen Gabriel

Nandita Narain

  • University of Chicago

Sudeeti Geeta Mantraraj

  • Aligarh Muslim University

Shadab Bano

  • University of Amsterdam

Anushka

  • IQ City Medical College

Biswaroop Chatterjee

  • University of Massachusetts

Svati Shah

 


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