'Attempt to Erase Every Aspect of Life of Indian Muslims': Bebaak Collective on Communal Riots

The Mumbai-based organisation has questioned the 'complicity of the police' in the communal clashes reported recently.

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New Delhi: Mumbai-based Bebaak Collective has described the recent surge in hate towards Muslims and the consequent attacks against them in different parts of the country as an attempt by the Hindu nationalists to erase and undo every aspect of the life of Indian Muslims.

A press statement issued by the Collective and signed by several activists, journalists, academics, filmmakers and civil society organisations has condemned recent anti-Muslim violence reported during Ram Navami celebrations in various parts of the country.

“These incidents need to be looked at within a wider pattern of concerted attempts to erase, demolish, attack and transform visible symbols and practices of religious coexistence,” the statement observed, adding that the recent string of communal riots was a testament to the “politically engineered social hatred of the right wing organisations like RSS and Bajrang Dal”.

Stating that the idea of “Hindus in danger” has become a mobilising cry for anti-Muslim violence, the signatories said, “The Hindu nationalist suspicion towards Muslims as true citizens and patriots, a narrative which came up constantly during the anti-CAA-NRC movement, has devolved into a cultural assertion against the very existence of Muslims.”

The statement has also questioned the “complicity of the police” during recent instances of communal violence. “…[T]hey have chosen to let the violence play out and actively targeted Muslim youth with arrests, while the perpetrators are free,” the statement alleged.

Reproduced below are the full statement and the list of signatories:


Hindu Religious Festivals: An Excuse to Unleash Social Terror Upon the Muslim Community

The pattern of Ram Navami processions becoming occasions for display of Islamophobic bigotry, followed by anti-Muslim violence, is being witnessed in at least nine states; including Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, New Delhi, Goa, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Karnataka, West Bengal, Maharashtra and Bihar.

“Jai Shree Ram” slogans were chanted in front of mosques by sword wielding crowds waving saffron flags. The processions taken out in Muslim neighbourhoods were embellished with songs played on loudspeakers, the lyrics to which called for violence towards the Muslim community. All these provocations let to vandalisation of mosques and Muslim owned shops and buildings. In a separate but connected incident, ABVP goons attacked students and hostel staff in the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) for protesting against ABVP’s demand that non vegetarian food not be served in the hostel.

These incidents are a testament to the politically engineered social hatred of right wing organizations like RSS and Bajrang Dal, reproduced to inflict violence on Muslims. The Bharatiya Janata Party leader, Kapil Mishra, who was central in inciting the pogrom at North East Delhi, was also present in the Ram Navami procession in Khargone, Madhya Pradesh, where shops were demolished and at least 10 houses were burnt down. The complicity of the police has been a constant theme, where they have chosen to let the violence play out and actively targeted Muslim youth with arrests, while the perpetrators are free.

In Khargone, houses of families of those who were falsely accused were demolished in Chandni Chowk and Khaskhaswadi Mohalla, acting out an archaic idea of collective punishment.

As many have pointed out, the Ram Navami processions and the following violence, had the same modus operandi across states. A yatra “celebrating” Ram Navami is carried out through areas with a significant Muslim population. The crowd then stops outside a mosque to raise communal slogans, while the DJ plays music with provocative lyrics calling for violence against Muslims, destruction of mosques and religious wars. Amidst all this, a stone pelting incident is reported, the perpetrators of which are always unidentified people. This orchestrated aggravation is enough for the mob to “turn violent”, attacking and vandalising mosques, as well as Muslim owned shops and houses with weapons and torches, as the police personnel look on. One can’t help but question why the crowd was armed with weapons and swords, and how the police failed to take notice of both the  actions of the crowd and the patterned as well as planned nature of the violence.

These processions are not isolated instances that took place in a vacuum. These series of events on the day of the Ram Navami violence were preceded by attacks on Muslim vendors in Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh, students wearing hijab being denied the right to sit in classrooms and appear for exams, saffron flags being hoisted upon mosques in Uttar Pradesh, calls given for boycott of halal meat, Muslim vendors being excluded from participating in temple fairs in Karnataka, the supposed ‘meat ban’ being enacted in south Delhi which severely affected Muslim meat sellers, and religious leaders like Bajrang Muni Udasin publicly putting out calls for sexual violence against Muslim women.

These incidents need to be looked at within a wider pattern of concerted attempts to erase, demolish, attack and transform visible symbols and practices of religious coexistence. The Hindu nationalist suspicion towards Muslims as true citizens and patriots, a narrative which came up constantly during the anti-CAA-NRC movement, has devolved into a cultural assertion against the very existence of Muslims. Every aspect of the life of Indian Muslims is being undone and attempted to be destroyed by majoritarian violence.

The idea of ‘Hindus in danger’ has become the mobilising cry for anti-Muslim violence. Cultural moments are defined by their potential to instill and invoke majoritarian violence and hatred. Given that we as Indian Muslims are facing economic boycotts, being publicly lynched, having our houses and shops burned down, witnessing the criminalisation of our existence, and facing persecution on multiple fronts; are Hindus really in danger?



Manisha Gupte
Roop Rekha Verma
Geeta Seshu (Journalist)
Teesta Setalvad (Activist and Journalist)
Maitree Muzumdar (Artist)
Frazer Mascarenhas (Academic Administrator)
Akanksha (Queer Feminist Ambedkarite Researcher and Activist)
Maimoona Mollah (women’s rights activist)
John Dayal
Dr. Anjali Monteiro (Filmmaker and academic)
Ketki Ranade/ KP
Cedric Prakash (Human Rights Activist/writer)
Pratiksha Baxi (academic)
Dr Sylvia Karpagam (Public Health Doctor)
Arzu Sarfaraz (Journalist)
Feroz Khan
Yakub Mohammed
Ranjana Padhi
Jeh Chinoy
Rafi Veettil
Shivani Kumari
Nidhi K
Jennifer Ahmed
Apeksha Vora
Persis Ginwalla
Freny Manecksha (Independent Journalist)
Alam Nawaz
Shubham Kothari
Devesh Mundepi (Social Activist)
Abhinav C.
Kaneez Fathima (Civil Rights Activist)
Alima Fatima
Paroma Chakravarty
Kunal Chattopadhyay
Devika Saheli
Dr Aftab Khan
Shaina Anand (Artist)
Hamza Shaikh (Student)
Vikas Nikumbh
Valenie Lopez
Hiren Gandhi
Vani Subramanian
Dorothy Fernandes (Activist)
Sr. Justine Gitanjali Senapati (Human Rights Activist)
Sayantan Datta (Science Journalist)
Shehroz Zia
T Q. Contractor
Latha V
Dev Desai
Abdul Rehman Rangrej
Meghna Nair
Mridul (Technology Professional)
Umer Saleem (Student)
Nikhat Fatima (civil rights activist)
Shals Mahajan (writer)
Manisha Chaudhry
Smriti Nevatia
Enakshi Bhattacharya
Prajval Shastri
Radha Khedkar (Entrepreneur)
Sumita Bertho (queer feminist activist)
Koel Chatterji (Social Activist)
Prajval Shastri (astrophysicist)
Lisa Pires
Vinit Vichare
Bhargav Oza (Independent researcher)
Khalida Parveen
Arjumand Nazia
Neelam (PhD scholar)
Anu Samanvaya
Saima Anam Shaikh
Charu Khanna
Misba Sayyad
Sangeeta Rege (Health rights)
Sarah Shaikh
Mehvish (activist and lawyer)
Sunil Tamminaina
Sharda Ugra (journalist)
Nisha Biswas
Padmalatha Ravi
Mini Mathew (Lawyer)
Ammu Joseph (Writer)
Jasveen Jairath (independent activist)
Muhib Khan
ChhayaBasu (retired teacher)
Marjorie Rodrigues
Mir Mudassir Ali
Amod Shah (PhD Researcher)
MohorChatterje (Student)
Drishti Chawla (Independent Artist)
Dr. Mohan Rao (Independent researcher)
Saba Khan S
Azra khan
Sarthak Shukla (Student)
Sumathi Rao
Jaafar Ali
Ibrar (Student)
Eulalia Pereira
Nandini Rao
Maisha Khan
Minha Khan
Revathi Narayanan
Shubham Kaushal (lawyer and independent researcher)
Misbah Ansari
Prashant Olalekar
Mileena Saju
Raj P. (journalist)
Tanushree Gangopadhyay
Rema Kandaramath
Aparna Sundar (Independent Scholar)
Neha Nikam
Amy Elangbam (M.A. MODM CHS)
Swatija Manorama
Swapna Liddle (Independent scholar)
Astha Sachan
Rishab Somani
Elizabeth Abraham, Kottayam, Kerala
Khushboo Rohra
Rossi D’Souza
Rohan J
Ankush Singh
Shaibani Azam
Mumtaz (Student)
Md Salman Haider
Anwesha Das
Komal Saigal
Mohd Zia
Eldred Tellis
Kalpana Banhatti
Reena Mohan
Chirodeep Chaudhuri
Mubshira Khan
Rakesh Gupta
Antara Dev Sen
Salah Iqbal
Sheeba Aslam
Manoj Kumar Jha
Syed Saifullah (Advocate)
Dr Nayeem Khatib
Jashodhara Dasgupta
Mamta Singh (Social worker)
Atul Gurtu (Retired scientist)
Syed Shujath Mehdi (Advocate)
Muneer Ahmed
Pamela Philipose (Journalist)
Mudabbir Shaikh
Nivi Menon
Tariq Hasib
Niharika Banerjea
Anirban Das Blah
Debi K (writer and performer)
Aruna Burte
Roopashri Sinha (Freelance Researcher)
Heena Sinha (Ngo sector)
Pallavi Belkhede (NGO sector)
Shweta Mahajan
Kirti Kumar
Nishtha Jain
Nisha Biswas
Shubhangi Sahebrao Gaikwad
Zubair (Student)
Dr Padma Deosthali
Amit Kumar
Vineeta Bal
Sunita S.
Seema Baquer (Cross Disability Consultant)
Ashiq Ahamed Chemmalasseri
Aman Irshad
Souban Faridi
Ms. Sabreen Aslam Modak
Selina Sen (author and scriptwriter)
Rita Puthenkalam
Ali Safeer Farooqi (lawyer)
Asha Sharma
Fióna Bolger (poet)
Asif Khan
Arshad Naseem
Akhileshwari Ramagoud (Journalist and Academic)
P Das
Anita Rao
Shagufta Hakeem (Independent Scholar)
Noor Nisar
Nikat Farooque
Bernadine Joseph
Sadhna Arya
Sudha Bharadwaj
Ashish Kajla (Independent Researcher)
Amjad H Khan
Cherian Philip


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Rehan Khan

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Isha P



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Nanditha IR



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Biswaroop Chatterjee

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Svati Shah