Rights

Watch | To Educate People on Kashmir, a 71-Year-Old Has Taken to the Streets All Alone

Vipin Tripathi has distributed over one lakh pamphlets in Delhi alone.

Note: This video was originally published on October 13,2019 at 5:36 pm, and republished on October 14, 2019 at 11 am.

Vipin Tripathi and his wife work out of the dimly-lit basement of their two-storey house in Sarvodaya Enclave. His wife takes tuitions and he is former IIT professor and a full-time activist.

Tripathi runs an organisation called Sadbhav Mission. Their aim is to educate people on secularism and nonviolence at the grassroots level. Tripathi runs classes for children living in urban slums, teaching them about the perils of communalism. He also marches around the streets distributing pamphlets on the need to cultivate secular minds and live a nonviolent life.

A Gandhian at heart, Tripathi first stepped into activism after witnessing the brutal killings of Hindus and Muslims in the Bhagalpur riots in 1989, he told The Wire.

This episode shaped a lot of what he is doing today – fighting communalism across the country by sparking conversations in not just lecture halls but on the streets too.

Communal tendencies seem to be “at their peak in India right now”, he told The Wire, referring to the opinions of a majority of Indians on Kashmir. “It is imperative to tell people what the truth is,” he said.

Tripathi has distributed more than one lakh pamphlets – in Delhi alone – on the need to do away with a muscular approach towards Kashmir.

His pamphlet is titled ‘Kashmiris Are in Pain, and The Rest of the Country is Celebrating’.

This is not the first time Tripathi is doing something like this. But this is the first time he is doing it all alone. “There was always a toli with me, but now most people are scared.”

People who read his pamphlets argue with him and he is happy to have dialogue, but in one instance he was almost beaten up by a man because of his stand on Kashmir.

“This has never happened before,” he said. “But it is important to do this once in a while”.