NEW DELHI – Brutal killing of an African American George Floyd by a white police officer in US’s Minneapolis last Monday raked nationwide protests across the US. The police officer kneeled on the neck of Floyd so hard that he choked to death. His muffled cries pleading that he was unable to breath did not move the arrogant cop.
The brutal treatment of a black man by a white officer fueled massive anti-racism protests which in some American cities, including in Washington in front of White House, took a violent form with the protesters clashing with riot police.
The heat of the protest also reached India where people started a campaign #MuslimLivesMatter on social media. The social media users brought out all the incidents of police brutality against Muslims suggesting that India also needs a massive protest against the killing of Muslims by the police forces as also by the mob.
It was pointed out that how the killing of a black man by the white police officer raked up the massive protests and the erring officer charged with the murder but the killing of Faizan in the police custody during Delhi violence neither evoked any reaction nor was the guilty officer punished.
They also pointed to the double standards adopted by Indians including celebrities who are speaking out against racism in the US but remain silent on the growing Islamophobia in India and the killing of Muslims by the police forces and the mob.
On Twitter, people launched a campaign #MuslimLivesMatter.
India-origin Swedish professor Ashok Swain said, “A 46yr-old Black man’s murder by police has brought nationwide protest in the USA, & even in Canada under the banner of #BLACK_LIVES_MATTER! India badly needs a similar type of mobilisation to oppose extra-judicial killing of Muslims in the country. Why not #Muslim_LIVES_MATTER”.
A 46yr-old Black man's murder by police has brought nationwide protest in the USA, & even in Canada under the banner of #BLACK_LIVES_MATTER! India badly needs a similar type of mobilization to oppose extra-judicial killings of Muslims in the country. Why not #Muslim_LIVES_MATTER
— Ashok Swain (@ashoswai) May 30, 2020
Joining #MuslimLivesMatter campaign, eminent women activist Kavita Krishnana questioned Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra why she spoke out on the US racism but remains silent on the growing Islamophobia in India.
. @priyankachopra good to see your solidarity for #GeorgeFloydWasMurdered and #BlackLivesMatter. But why are you silent on institutional Islamophobic violence in our own India's police against Muslims and persons presumed to be Muslim? Please say #MuslimLivesMatter in India 🙏🏾? pic.twitter.com/D4xeSHiNcz
— Kavita Krishnan (@kavita_krishnan) May 31, 2020
Prominent journalist Rana Ayyub said there are people who were silent on all anti-Muslim policies and their lynching but they suddenly started talking about the black lives matter.
The same intellectuals who are tweeting 'black lives matter' will see the atrocities in Kashmir and the lynching and carnage of Muslims in India through the prism of patriotism. They will ask you to 'speak like an Indian first' and not defame the nation.
— Rana Ayyub (@RanaAyyub) May 31, 2020
There were others who joined the MuslimLivesMatter campaign in India.
#MuslimLivesMatter Indian Muslims are being #killed, #Lynched, #BurntAlive by #BJP_Goons, a party of #Modi. The world must take a note and make sure the criminals will get prosecuted & face the full weight of law. @CNN @nytimes @USCIRF @ravishndtv @AudreyTruschke @ashoswai
— Omer Shaik (@Omerasadbajabar) June 1, 2020
As an American, I appreciate people across the world joining our fight against systemic racial injustice by criticizing our police brutality, our complicit government, etc. Keep it up. #BlackLivesMatter
— Audrey Truschke (@AudreyTruschke) May 31, 2020
"Black lives matter" is trending in India where Muslims, Christians, Dalits, Women, Kashmiri’s & poor lives don’t matter.
— أمينة Amina (@LuvAminaKausar) May 29, 2020