Amidst dramatic situations in Gujarat, Karwan-e-Mohabbat, the campaign for peace, has reached Ahmedabad from Rajasthan on Monday. Karwan-e-Mohabbat (Caravan of love) led by human rights activist Harsh Mandar, is visiting the kinsmen of people who had lost their lives in the name of cow protection.
The government of Gujrat had put pressure on the hall owners of Ahmedabad not to provide the space for the Karwan team to hold open dialogues with the masses in the city. Dialogue with the mass is the primary tool of Karwan-e-Mohabbat for the establishment and resumption of harmonious relations between various communities.
Suroor Mandar who is the part of the Caravan of Love told that due to pressure from the official's sides, the meeting was held in Juhapura, one of Asia’s biggest Muslim ghettos in Gandhi Hall. The Caravan arrived in Ahmedabad to meet the family of Mohammed Ayub who was lynched in the town a year ago on September 16, 2016.
While addressing the audience in Ahmedabad, Harsh Mandar said that there was an "atmosphere of fear and desperation, especially among minorities across India and Gujarat". “Creating an atmosphere of peace” is the only way to counter this fear and desperation, said Mandar.
Recollecting a moment which he had experienced through his journey, Mandar shared with the audience, “We were told by people of a dominant community that the only way to buy peace would be to pardon them for what they did with the minority, and the latter would be allowed back into the village. All through our caravan, we found that, locally, there was very little remorse for what was happening with minorities".
Asking the audience to unite against the fascist BJP in the upcoming assembly elections in the state, Dalit rights leader Jignesh Mevani said "There is a need to combine the fight against the fascistic ways like the lynching of minorities and Dalits, and economic demands. We must ask: What has happened to 50 lakh houses the BJP had promised, for instance."
The Caravan of Love will conclude its three-phase journey at Porbandar on October 2. Successfully completing the journey through Assam, Jharkhand, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan and Gujrat, the team will head to Mhow in Madhya Pradesh on September 20. Today, the team visited Vadavli and Sojitra and it ended in Godhra.
Earlier, the team had met with attacks from members of Hindu Jagran Manch, Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad at Behror in Alwar where Pehlu Khan was lynched by the vigilantes.