New Delhi: Against the backdrop of a string of lynching incidents, a group of about 100 bikers took out an impressive bike rally in Delhi on Sunday morning to spread the message of communal harmony and raise voice against hatred-driven violence.
Organised under the banner of #UnitedAgainstHate, the bike rally was flagged off in presence of a few politicians, activists and scholars, included Father M D Thomas, Swami Agnivesh, Shehla Rashid, Apoorvanand Jha, Bhai Paramjeet Singh, Harsh Mandar, Nivedita Menon, Ali Anwar, Manoj Jha, Gauhar Raza, Aditya Nigam, Yogendra Yadav, Anil Chamadia and Mohit Panday who said, “silence over violence” would only encourage the perpetrators.
Wearing white T-shirts with #UnitedAgainstHate printed on them, the activists took out the bike rally from Mandi House roundabout to Nuh in Haryana.
“Lynching incidents were used for polarising the people,” Agnivesh
Asked why Mewat was chosen, the organiser said many victims of lynching incidents hailed from the region.
Addressing the youth before the flagging off the rally, Swami Agnivesh also urged people to rise above political lines and warned that “lynching incidents were used for polarising the people”.
“I saw it during the Muzaffarnagar riots how violence was used to polarise people and communal sentiments were whipped up for political gains. People of all faiths sacrificed their lives for our freedom and now minorities are being harassed or killed.
“We must stand together in this hour and this rally after the #NotInMyName protest is a good step to building peace and harmony, more so when the youth are leading this,” he said.
Yogendra Yadav said people must not allow the secular fabric of the country to be to destroyed for the political benefit of the few.
“Someone is minority religion-wise or caste-wise. A Bihari migrant is a minority in Mumbai, a north Indian becomes a minority in Bengaluru. So, we must think of equal rights for all. These lynchings or violent acts are being meted to people to silence them,” he said.
“To be silent and take up arms in retaliation is to side with the perpetrators. We must speak out and raise our voices against any such acts in a peaceful manner as this rally would do,” Yadav said.
Lamenting the killing of 17-year-old Junaid near Delhi in June, Mander said, “We allowed Junaid to die. We as a society allowed it. The biggest enemy is not outside but inside us, among our own people. We need to change our attitude and begin to react against wrongdoings instead of being mere spectators.”
Junaid was stabbed to death and his brothers were attacked by a mob in a moving train and thrown off it, a day ahead of Eid.
Pehlu Khan (55) was brutally beaten up after being intercepted by self-styled gau rakshaks in Alwar on April 1 while he and his two sons, Irshad and Arif, were travelling in a pick-up car, carrying cattle from Jaipur.
Mohd Allimuddin, a resident of Hazaribagh district in Jharkhand, was recently lynched by cow vigilantes in Jharkhand on the suspicion of carrying beef in his vehicle.
Four people named Shaik Naeem, Shaik Khali, Shaik Farzu and Raju were lynched in Seraikela-Kharsawa district of Jharkhand on suspicion of being child lifter.