“Live without Fear, Live with Dignity”: Popular Front Campaign against hate crimes

The Central Secretariat meeting of Popular Front of India announced the launch of the nationwide campaign with the slogan, “Live without Fear, Live with Dignity” highlighting the need of collective efforts for providing security to the lives of minorities and weaker sections vulnerable to ongoing Hindutva mob attacks and hate crimes in the country.

The meeting pointed out that immediately after the election results, the Prime Minister promised that there would be new steps for removing fear from minorities and winning their trust; ‘Sabka Sath Sabka Vishwas’ as he himself called it. However, it soon became clear that either his assurances were mere rhetorics or even his own BJP workers or RSS cadres did not bother to care his words. From parliament to streets, they are enforcing ‘Jai Shri Ram’ chant on others. What BJP MPs had done in parliament, discrediting the name of Shri Ram, has become a motivation for Hindutva goons to repeat it even in remote town and villages. Countless incidents of attacks against Muslims and Dalits have been reported across the country since the Modi Government took over. It is now a daily occurrence where any Muslim or Dalit can be brutally lynched anywhere, citing one flimsy reason or other. Even children and elderly people are not spared by the communally and racially frenzied mobs.

The right to life is a birthright. It is a fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution. One of the primary duties of the government is to provide protection to the lives and properties of the citizens. And when a government fails to perform the duty, the provision of IPC Section 96 to 106 gives citizens permission to use necessary force to defend their own body and property. Not much has been done on the Supreme Court directives on mob lynching to the Central and state governments in 2018 including the consideration of new legislation.

These atrocities can be prevented only when the victim communities decide to leave fear and refuse to succumb to pressures. Sense of dignity gives value to human existence. Social security is a collective responsibility. Communities should come forward to safeguard their localities and keep it secure and peaceful. In this respect, Village Panchayats and Resident Associations, Mohalla Committees etc. are all duty-bound to ensure the security of people under their jurisdiction.

The ongoing campaign is aimed at creating awareness at all these possible levels.

The nation-wide campaign will last till Aug 31. The poster campaign, handbill distribution, local get together meets and seminars will be held as part of the campaign all over the country. Popular Front members and functionaries will meet community leaders and political leaders to convince their role in ensuring social security. Building liaison with local administration and police personnel for the purpose is also part of the campaign. The meeting appealed to the people of the country to extend their earnest support to the campaign.

Chairman E. Abubacker presided over the meeting. General Secretary M Mohammed Ai Jinnah, E M Abdul Rahiman, O M A Salam, Abdul Wahid Sait, KM Shareef attended the meeting.