#NotInMyName and the Absence of the Armchair Activist

Politics

#NotInMyName and the Absence of the Armchair Activist

Illustration: Akshita Monga

I

t’s about 7 pm, and I am swimming through a sea of people at Jantar Mantar. There is a wonderful whiff of petrichor in the air after the season’s first downpour, rivalled only by the energy of the crowd that has come together to protest the spate of lynchings in the country.

Twenty-five-year-old homemaker Ambar Ahmed has come all the way from Gurgaon: Her two-year-old son Quasim is on her left hip, six-year-old Haider’s hand in her right. She’s one of nearly a thousand Dilliwalas who’ve decided that the killings are #NotInMyName. “It becomes obvious from my features and my clothes that I’m Muslim,” she tells me. “I’m scared to go out in public spaces now more than ever, especially when I’m with the two of them.”

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