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Our Silence, India's Shame

During the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic, Black Lives Matter was at the forefront of protests demanding justice for the killing of George Floyd by a white policeman in the USA. As people across the world stepped out to defy lockdowns and show solidarity, many people in India also joined in the dialogue and debates about racial justice.

We also questioned how genuine is our Indian response. In the days and weeks just preceding George Floyd’s death, India saw the start of one of the worst humanitarian disasters of the modern world. The lives of millions of Indians were thrown into complete disarray by the sudden lockdown imposed by the government. Thousands upon thousands were forced to walk hundreds of miles to find a safe place to escape the panic. We will never know how many died – out of chronic poor health, out of starvation, out of sheer exhaustion.

Alongside this, many Indians continue upholding the centuries-old practices of caste discrimination that dehumanise Dalits, Muslims and Christians.

I.N.D.I.A. stands in solidarity with the campaign and spirit of Black Lives Matter. We deem it equally important to raise awareness of the systematic abuse and oppression that is rampant in India, in which thousands of people die, often in horrific ways, but without any sign of protest from the privileged castes and classes.

The stories included in ‘Our Silence, India’s Shame’ are meant to help us understand our prejudices and think of ways we can start to overcome them. Click on the captions below to read the story behind the picture.

Our launch event was held on 25 July 2020

For picture credits, see each individual story page.

Siddis are Indians too
Pehlu Khan’s life mattered

All Lives Matter?
By F.H.A.F

BLM friends
you forcefully spoke
And now at last
the sleepers awoke

Home of the Brave
Land of the Free
Now ready and willing
to take the knee

Expressing outrage,
screaming their views,

"Incredible India"
say the Tourism Board
All their lies,
a scandalous fraud

The slaughter of Muslims
daily increases,
14 year old Christian
chopped into pieces

The hundreds in jail
include a lady expecting,
Their crime no more
than the act of protesting

Lynchings are not
just a Klan preserve
It's what many in India
are believed to deserve

And did you know also
that under attack
Are Africans and Siddis
Lives that are Black

So congressman, journalists
wake up for us too
Force the killing to stop
there's so much you can do

Don't say you can't
or worse, that you won't
Yes, All Lives Matter

But in India, they DON'T