Opinion: Videos Of Violence Show That India is Not What Modi Whitewashed For Trump

The violence that started in Maujpur, Delhi, on 23rd February still continues, and 20 people, including a police constable, have allegedly been killed.

The clashes first broke out on 23rd February, Sunday, particularly between protesters in favour of and against CAA, in Muslim-majority areas, in North East Delhi.

Modi ‘Whitewashes’ India For Trump As Delhi Burns

As India’s PM and the American President attend functions and events together, Delhi burns.

These areas are about 18kms from where Donald Trump has been meeting political leaders and diplomats. In anticipation of the US President’s arrival, the government built a ‘wall’ in Gujarat, to allegedly ‘hide’ slum dwellings.

A slum colony of over 1,000 huts, including narrow lanes and a lack of proper sewage lines, has been hidden from view.

“We have been living here for the last 60 years, when there was nothing here except jungle and even as our colony grew, so many dignitaries have gone by, but this is the first time that we are being hidden like this. Is Modi ashamed of us? Instead of hiding us, why doesn’t he make our living conditions better? Are we not a part of Gujarat too?” asked Bhikku Kaka, an elder of the Vanjara community.

While India’s PM and the American President attend functions and events together, Delhi burns. Seemingly, the recent events in North East Delhi have not impacted the visit in any way.

Amidst chants of ‘Jai Shri Ram,’ mosques were allegedly set on fire. According to Delhi Police, curfew has been imposed in four areas of North East Delhi. 

The situation worsened on Monday as extreme violence, rioting and arson were reported from Maujpur, Kardampuri, Chand Bagh, Dayalpur, Bhajanpura, and nearby areas of Delhi.

Schools will remain closed on Wednesday, 26th February, in areas where violence had been most severe, said Deputy CM Manish Sisodia. He further added that internal examinations were postponed.

Kapil Mishra had come to Maujpur and said in front of senior police officers; ‘We will be peaceful till US President Donald Trump is here, but after that, we will not even listen to the police to open the roads.”

Even three reporters and one cameraperson of NDTV were assaulted by the mobs who were armed in northeast Delhi.

While the violence engulfed the city, Amit Shah, Union Home Minister, who is responsible for maintaining law and order in the Union Territory of Delhi and whose ministry controls the Delhi Police was nowhere to be seen.

Videos Of What’s Happening On The Ground

Here are some videos from the sight of clashes to have an insight into what’s happened and currently happening.

Anti-CAA protestors and Pro-CAA protestors can be seen in the epicentre of Delhi violence between Jaffrabad and Maujpur area, respectively, north-east Delhi. 

“Jai Shri Ram kehna hoga” (They’ll have to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’) Vandana Sharma, a resident of Babarpur, told The Quint. 

This video quickly went viral on social media. The gunman can be seen running towards the cop and shouting “maar dunga tumhein” (will kill you) while he points the gun at him.

Pro-CAA protestors can be seen setting a shop on fire at Maujpur Chowk. 

The mob was seen carrying sticks, stones, and arson. “We were being stopped from filming,” said Yogita Limaye. 

Mohammad Nawab ferries goods from the Bawana industrial area. He, along with his partner, was stopped, identified by their religion and allegedly beaten up by a mob, and robbed of their documents and keys. Their vehicle was stopped near the Gokulpuri market. 

Not only vehicles, buses, and shops are burning. The nation is burning. 

Modi A “Temporary Symbol Of Hate”: John Oliver

In a recent episode of HBO’s ‘Last Week Tonight With John Oliver’ which aired in the US on Sunday night, the comedian discussed PM Modi, Amit Shah, and Yogi Adityanath and how they are executing their politics of hate to drive the Muslim population out of the country. He referred to Modi as a “temporary symbol of hate.”

“Modi and his party may be about to strip millions of Muslims of citizenship, and they did it in a diabolically clever two-step way,” he said.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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