Rahul Dubey, Naam to Suna Hoga? America’s New Desi Hero Who Sheltered 70 Protestors

Social Commentary

Rahul Dubey, Naam to Suna Hoga? America’s New Desi Hero Who Sheltered 70 Protestors

Illustration: Mitesh Parmar

The protests in the US over the killing of George Floyd continues and so does the police brutality. On Monday, when police in Washington DC closed both ends of the streets, around 70 protesters found themselves trapped. The curfew began around 7 pm and they feared they’d be arrested. That’s when an Indian-origin resident Rahul Dubey opened his doors and sheltered them in. Overnight, he’s become a hero.

“Human tsunami,” that’s how Dubey described the scene on Monday night (June 1), as he let the demonstrators inside his house.The 44-year-old was seated outside his home when he noticed police set up a brigade on 15 St and Swann St, where he resides, turning the space into a holding area. As people started sitting on his porch, they approached Dubey asking if they could charge their phones and use his bathroom. He complied. However, the situation escalated once the cops corralled on the protesters and started spraying them with pepper spray.

Dubey was quick to push open the door to his house, as people scurried to make their way toward it amid the mayhem. “Get in the house,” he shouted out. He slammed shut the door after police lined up outside and there was no other protester to rescue.

Only once the curfew ended at 6 am the next day, did the protesters leave Dubey’s home. But not without cheering for their saviour.

But Dubey says he is no hero. “If people like us aren’t going to open a door then who the fuck is?” he asked Washington Post reporter Derek Hawkins.

With the help of his neighbours, who were passing along jugs of milk and first-aid over the railings, Dubey helped the people who had been maced and were coughing and could barely see. It took a while before they could truly settle in but the community that they formed through the rough night, touched Dubey’s heart.

Protesters thanked Dubey by posing with him like he’s a celebrity and posting photos and videos on Twitter.

The night hadn’t been an easy one for either of the parties. Officials had tear-gassed Dubey’s house through the window when they noticed him trying to protect the people. But the valiant man refused to back down. “You are safe here,” he reassured the crowd.

As word about Dubey and his humane act spread across, people started dropping him numerous notes of gratitude for being an ally and even more so, for risking his life. Few even showed up at his doorsteps to help clean up.

Now the India-American has won fans across the globe, winning praise from his namesake in India – Congress’s Rahul Gandhi.

Rahul Dubey is truly a legend. Here’s to humanity!