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City joins national campaign against lynch mob attacks

A citizen initiative in the city will see people coming together on July 1, to raise their voices against violence by cow vigilantes and lack of action from the government in dealing with the perpetrators of violence. This is the latest in a series of such public initiatives happening around the country.

City joins national campaign against lynch mob attacks
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Chennai

While many cities, on June 28, organised #notinmyname campaign, speaking out against the vigilante violence, Chennai, too, will do the same on July 1. Two events will be conducted in the city: one titled ‘Break the Silence,’ which will take place at Valluvar Kottam from 11 am onwards, while the #notinmyname will happen at Gandhi Statue near Marina Beach from 4 pm onwards. 

Prema Revathi, one of the members of the collective who has organised the ‘Break the Silence’ gathering, said that many people decided to come together and create a forum, where the public can break the silence around the increasing occurrences of mob violence against people suspected of possessing beef or for being different. 

“The reason we decided to choose ‘Break the Silence’ because we are all a part of this. These deaths are happening in front of everyone, including us. We feel that it is time we raised our voices. In addition, the government is silent on these incidents. They are expected to act by the rule of law. But no action is taken, enabling the mob mentality,” she said. 

The #notinmyname organisers wrote on the official page, “A lynching is the ultimate act of cowardice carried out with full strength. It is what makes cold blooded murder look like an honorable thing to do. Our only strength is numbers. Right now, we are hilariously, hopelessly outnumbered.” 

For poet Kavitha Muralidharan, there was an urgent need for a strong public response. “The time we are living in is dangerous. Nobody is speaking about the incident. The civil society hasn’t raised its voice. The silence is disturbing, which is why such instances keep recurring. This mob violence has become a new normal and there is something terribly wrong about that,” she said. 

Environmentalist Nityanand Jayaraman said the lack of outcry from the civil society will only embolden the self-appointed cow vigilantes. “With each passing incident left unchallenged, the vigilantes gain ground. That will move us towards an uncomfortable, authoritarian, majoritarian rule, which will negate the diversity that India is,” he concluded.

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