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In pics I Not In My Name protests resurface in Delhi after Gauri Lankesh murder

Among the prominent people who attended the event were filmmaker Saba Dewan, actor Zeeshan Ayyub and JNU student leader Umar Khalid. The members of Not In My Name campaign will now organise 100-odd small events on September 10.

delhi Updated: Sep 08, 2017 16:33 IST
Ritam Halder
Ritam Halder
Hindustan Times
Delhi news,Not in my name,Gauri Lankesh
Scores of people, including editors, social activists, poets, and teachers, today paid tributes to slain journalist Gauri Lankesh at a protest at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi. (Ravi Choudhary/HT PHOTO)

The Not In My Name protests were back at Jantar Mantar on Thursday, this time against the killing of journalist and activist Gauri Lankesh.

“This is a reminder of how dangerous India has become if you stand against the politics of hatred. As citizens, we are shocked at the impunity with which murders and assassinations are being deployed to settle ideological scores. The murder of Gauri Lankesh is part of the cycle that witnessed the recent killing of Govind Pansare, MM Kalburgi and Narendra Dabholkar,” said filmmaker Saba Dewan, whose Facebook post in June condemning the lynching of a 16-year-old Muslim boy in Ballabgarh triggered protests in 26 Indian cities and abroad under the banner of Not In My Name.

The two-hour protest gathering, which started at 4pm, saw many journalists, activists and students participating. Actor Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub also attended the agitation. There were poems and speeches by veteran journalists, academics and individuals associated with Lankesh.

Under the banner of ‘Not in My Name’, the gathering at Jantar Mantar here also resolved not to be buckled under threats of violence by “fascist elements” . ( Ravi Choudhary/HT PHOTO )

JNU student leader Umar Khalid, who described the Bengaluru-based journalist as a friend and a mother figure, said these are tough times but people should walk with heads held high.

“There is a list. My name is also there. Shehla Rashid, Kanhaiya Kumar, Kavita Krishnan, Arundhuti Roy, all these names are on that hit list. We are not afraid. We will continue fighting. We will have to remember how she lived,” he said.

JNU student Umar Khalid at the protest on Thursday. ( Ravi Choudhary/HT PHOTO )

Amid the crowd of seasoned protesters at Jantar Mantar, few newbies had also turned up.

Kamla Nehru College final year economics students Vibhuti Upadhyaya, Shruti Gupta and Naina Arora came to Jantar Mantar before the protest began. “It is time students speak up and participate. A journalist and activist is gunned down and the government is answerable,” Upadhyaya said.

Bollywood actor Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub addresses the gathering at the protest. ( Ravi Choudhary/HT PHOTO )

Their friend from the journalism department, Shruti Mishra, 20, said it was an experience to cherish.

“This is the first protest I have ever attended. I have seen the agitations on TV, have had class discussions but never been to one. Now, it is high time to get involved,” she said.

Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit also attended the protest at Jantar Mantar. ( Ravi Choudhary/HT PHOTO )

The Not In My Name campaign now will organise 100-odd small events on September 10 (Sunday) “across residential areas, on streets and important intersections, everywhere where people want to join in and say — Nafrat Ke Khilaf Dilli Ki Awaaz”.

Filmmaker Sanjay Kak, one of the organisers of the platform, said these kind of events give a voice to dissent.

“Silence is not an option. Gauri also said that. Not In My Name says the same thing. It is a plea to normal people to come out and hit the streets. Sunday we have organised small 100-odd events. But slowly we have to widen our focus. Gone are the days when a small group just speaks out. Hopefully after this Saturday, Sunday and Monday, 1,000 events will be organised,” Kak said.

First Published: Sep 08, 2017 16:32 IST