Christians across India have joined in protests against mob violence fueled by extreme Hindu nationalism. The #NotInMyName campaign was started by moderate Hindus speaking out against attacks on religious minorities by radical Hindu nationalists. The campaign took off after several Muslim youths were attacked by a mob after being accused of consuming beef. Attacks on Christians and other religious minorities in India has dramatically increased since the BJP-led government took power in 2014. Adhering to a Hindu nationalist platform, the BJP-led government has done little to confront the activities of Hindu radical groups. The impunity enjoyed by these groups has been a major factor in the explosion of religiously motivated violence in India. Will the government finally take action against Hindu radical groups?
07/13/2017 India (Baptist Press) – Christians have joined thousands in protests across India against mob violence fueled by religious beliefs in the mostly Hindu nation.
The protests, which continue today (July 12), followed the lynching two weeks ago of Junaid Khan, a teenage Muslim boy stabbed to death by men who reportedly accused him of eating beef. The men also attacked Khan’s three brothers, throwing all of them off a train as they returned from a shopping trip during the annual Eid celebration marking the end of Ramadan.
Most Indian states ban consumption of cows, worshipped by Hindus but a cheap source of protein for others, including Christians, Muslims, Sikhs and Jains.
Under the rallying cry “Not In My Name,” protesters gathered in at least eight cities June 28 through early July, proclaiming the religious liberty guaranteed in India’s constitution but considered unenforced. The killings, conducted in the name of Hinduism and patriotism including “cow devotion,” were “not in my name,” protesters proclaimed.
Christians, only 2.8 percent of India’s 1.3 billion people, were among banner bearers, United Christian Forum president Michael Williams told the Union of Catholic Asian News (UCANEWS).
“A small group in India believe that every Indian should follow a particular culture and lifestyle dictated by them,” UNANEWS quoted Williams June 30. “It cannot exist. Not in my name and not in my constitution. … You are not protecting the constitution by killing innocents.”
Police arrested four men for Khan’s murder and identified the chief suspect in the killing, UNANEWS reported. Two of the suspects were local government employees, according to news reports.