My experience of traveling with Karwan E Mohabbat team to meet families of mob lynching and other hate crime victims are now included as independent chapters in two recently published books.
- Reconciliation by Westland Books
- Battling For India by Speaking Tiger Books
Untold stories of women
In the Karwan book, Reconciliation my essay narrates unheard stories of women and the questions they raise as I visited each victim family. Available on Amazon. Published by Westland Books.
How violence against minorities are being normalized
The second book in which my chapter is published is titled ‘Battling for India A Citizen’s Reader’. In my chapter I narrate how with each case of mob lynching and hate crimes, violence against minorities are being normalized. Available on Amazon, published by Speaking Tiger Books.
About Karwan e Mohabbat
It is an informal group of artists, writers, journalists, photographers, civil society members led by Social Activist Harsh Mander. We embarked upon a journey of love, atonement, solidarity and support. The objective was to visit the homes of survivors of the victims of mob lynching, and tell them that the nation is sorry, that what happened to them should not have happened in a truly democratic society and that they are not alone, there are still many in India who are with them.
About my chapters
In the book ‘Reconciliation’, I wrote about the unheard stories of women which are often trapped inside the private sphere of every household. As we traveled and came across stories of hate, violence, marginalization police apathy, sometimes police’s collusion with the perpetrators, I also heard the stories of women in each family, the mother, daughter, widow – untold stories even as they remained hidden in the ‘andar mahals’ and only the male members of the family met us, well mostly. Usually, when civil society or media intervention happen in one issue, be it hate crimes or farmers suicide, the coverage or story telling doesn’t include stories of those who are in the Jenana quarters because it is presumed that women issues are secondary to the main issue. This is a challenge women’s movement across the world have faced for long. People’s movements through history have not been free from patriarchy. Mainstream activists fighting on poverty, economic inequalities and development were mostly male, and they thought women issues are secondary, something to be brought on the table only after the “more important problems” are addressed. When the French did their ‘Revolution’ and wrote their ‘Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen’, it really was the rights of ‘man’ and not all humans. It wasn’t till 1945 that French women got the right to vote. Indian women marched shoulder to shoulder with men during the independence movement, they faced the bullets and sticks together, but once independence was achieved, they were asked to go right back to their kitchens.
The second book, Battling For India, is a collection of essays documenting how we are losing democracy, each essay is a war cry to save the nation. And if we cannot save it, at least such books should be in the library and be part of the history how fascism came to India. With that thought, in my chapter I have narrated how bit by bit one case at a time the violence against religious minorities in India are being normalized, and how it breaks the soul of the Muslim community to such an extent that they do not even feel like fighting back.