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​Indian Americans organize #NotInMyName protests in three US cities

By Kaleem Kawaja

The protest took inspiration from the nationwide movement in India called “Not In My Name”.

Protesting against the mob ruling in India, the Alliance for Justice and Accountability on Sunday held protests in three cities – Washington, DC, San Diego and San Jose, and a third one took place in New York on July 23.

The protests saw many members of the Indian American community walking the street to mark their unhappiness over the recent spike in atrocities against minorities, which they allege is the outcome of policies adopted by the government of India.

The protest took inspiration from the nationwide movement in India called “Not In My Name” #NotInMyName.

The protests in San Jose were jointly organized with the Multifaith Voices for Peace and Justice. The South Asia Solidarity Initiative (SASI) was part of the protests in New York City on July 23rd.

“These killings have been orchestrated by Hindu supremacist groups ideologically aligned with the BJP-led federal government and drawing inspiration from the beef ban imposed by the governments in various States. The increasing hostility towards minorities displayed by even central ministers in the form of incendiary rhetoric has only added fuel to the fire,” AJA said in a press statement.

The protestors also took the opportunity to condemn the killing of pilgrims by militants in Jammu and Kashmir and also the murder of a Hindu man in Bashirhaat in West Bengal in a communal incident.

“Hindus, Muslims, Christians and all people of all faiths have lived together for centuries in India. Most Hindus in India do not approve of this violence. Prime Minister Modi has said this must not happen, but government of India and state governments are not taking sufficient action,” said Kaleem Khawaja, executive director of Association of Indian Muslims in America, who led the protest in Dupont Circle in the American capital. “India is a land of law. If this mob violence continues unchecked, it will become an anarchy instead of a world power.”

The protestors also passed a resolution in Washington that read, “watched with much anguish the incidents of senseless lynching and murderous public violence in the name of religion that have occurred in the last one year and are continuing to occur in various parts of India.”

Amnesty International India had recently released a statement expressing deep worry over the “pattern of hate crimes committed against Muslims with seeming impunity – many of them in states where the Bharatiya Janata Party is in power.”

[Kaleem Kawaja is a scientist with NASA and is based in Washington DC. He is the Executive Director of the Association of Indian Muslims of America. He can be reached at [email protected]

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