This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Aheed. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

“Why Did The Boy Go Inside The Temple?” And Other Talking Points That Need To Stop

More from Aheed

A 14-year-old Muslim boy was beaten inside a temple by a Sevak, Shringi Yadav, for the “unthinkable” crime of drinking water from a tap inside the temple. The video, shot by another disciple of the temple’s priest, shows the perpetrator asking the boy his name and subsequently beating him. Yadav and Shivanand Saraswati, the man who shot the video, were arrested after the it went viral.

narsinghanand saraswati
Narsinghanand Saraswati.

The Sevaks are disciples of head priest Narsinghanand Saraswati, a bigot who has a history of spreading Islamophobic messages. He praised Yadav for his actions and only regretted that they shot the video. Some of his followers were also directly involved in the 2020 Delhi Pogrom.

Members of the temple management committee have extended support to Yadav and Saraswati and are working to free them. Apologists have taken to the task of justifying Yadav’s actions and have hinted at a conspiracy.

“There is a sign outside that prohibits Muslims from entering.”

“Why did the boy have to go inside the temple to drink water? There was a tap outside.”

“We condemn the incident, BUT…”

But what? “Why do you never talk about Hindus being beaten?”

Let’s talk about them.

In Jhajjar, Haryana, five Dalit men — Virender, Raju, Dayachand, Tota Ram and Kailash — were killed on suspicions of cow slaughter. The incident took place in 2002.

In Khairlanji, Maharashtra, Dalit farmer Bhaiyyalal Bhotmange’s family — his wife, daughter and two sons — were killed by a violent mob of villagers. The incident took place in 2006.

In Una, Gujarat, seven members of a Dalit family were beaten for skinning a dead cow. Four members of the family — Vashram, Ramesh, Ashok and Bechar — were flogged publically while being taken to the police station.

sign outside dasna devi temple
Sign outside Dasna Devi temple in Ghaziabad.

People who proceed with a “BUT” after their condemnation don’t really care about the problem. Their contempt for minorities in this country overshadows everything. They don’t care about the violent incident. Their condemnation is mere posturing before they spew their whataboutery.

Countless other incidents of assaults and lynchings have taken place against minorities in the country, especially since the BJP came to power in 2014.

These incidents have been normalised by the same people who spoke up only during the Palghar lynchings — where three Sadhus were lynched by a mob on suspicions of being child-thieves. In the aftermath of the incident, news channels and right-wing “intellectuals” tried to communalise the incident. They claimed (ironically, on national TV) that the incident wasn’t being talked about because the victims weren’t part of a minority community.

The Palghar incident was heartbreaking, but the Sadhus weren’t lynched because of their religion or identity. Several such incidents involving minorities do occur because they are part of a particular community. The same people who were outspoken during the Palghar lynchings justify it in other cases.

The talking point and rhetoric of “liberals only talk about minorities” is remanufactured every time such incidents occur. It does nothing but further the enmity. Pehlu Khan and Tabrez Ansari were talked about and have now been forgotten. Talking about them didn’t really change how Muslims are viewed and treated.

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), on the other hand, seems to be more concerned about the portrayal of children in Netflix series Bombay Begum than how children are actually being treated in this country.

The FIR in the assault case was only filed after the video of the incident went viral. The child’s father didn’t file an FIR because “he did not want to invite any more trouble”. In an environment where people are afraid to file complaints against perpetrators, why do we expect change?

And for those who think this was part of some big conspiracy since there is a sign that prohibits Muslims from entering, the father said that his son was illiterate and couldn’t have read it.

In the almost 30 second video of the incident, Yadav first says, “Badhiya se dono ka chehra ana chahiye (make sure both our faces are seen in the video).” The child, unknowing, initially seems to have a smile on his face while Yadav asks him his name. As Yadav starts beating the child, he pleads, “Pani peene aye the uncle (I came to drink water).” Saraswati, who is taking the video, can be heard saying Jane de (leave him) while Yadav keeps kicking the child.

The video is an extension of our society, where minorities in this country are beaten and killed and people in the background “speak up” but never really take any substantial action to stop the violence.

You must be to comment.

More from Aheed

Similar Posts

By Shivam

By Ritwik Trivedi

By Kalyani Biswas

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

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.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

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, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’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.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below