Karwan e Mohabbat’s journey of solidarity through a wounded India - IAMC
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Karwan e Mohabbat’s journey of solidarity through a wounded India

Karwan e Mohabbat’s journey of solidarity through a wounded India

There is an evil stalking our land, of hate and fear engineered by cynical politics. As lynchings threaten to grow into a national epidemic, minority communities are learning to endure an intense sense of foreboding – a lurking, unnamed, unspoken fear. This is not simply the apprehension of discrimination, it is the danger of imminent violence, of being vulnerable to attack anywhere – on a public road, in a bus or train, in a marketplace, even in their homes.

How culpable are we when our brothers and sisters are burned and lynched and we stand by? We need to interrogate the reasons for our silences, for our failures to speak out, and to intervene, when murderous hate is unleashed on innocent lives. We need our conscience to ache. We need it to be burdened intolerably.

To speak to our collective silences, the Karwan e Mohabbat — a Caravan of Love — has been crafted as a journey of atonement, solidarity, conscience and justice. The journey started in September 2017, the Karwan travelled to 8 states, meeting families hit by hate violence. It set out from Nagaon in Assam on 4 September 2017 and concluded its travels on 2 October 2017 in Porbandar, a small coastal town in Gujarat where Mohandas Gandhi was born 148 years ago.

During its travels, the Karwan bore witness to such intense and pervasive suffering and fear fashioned by hate violence, and such extensive state hostility to its most vulnerable citizens, that we resolved that the Karwan of love must continue its journey. Every month we travel to a new state, meeting families whose lives have been wrecked by violence and threatened by the impunity of the perpetrators.

The members of the Karwan have resolved to chronicle — through books, films, photo exhibitions and public talks — the rise of hate and fear that we bore witness to during the Karwan, and will continue to do so as we continue to travel during the coming months. In order to inform and appeal to our sisters and brothers across the country, to care, to speak out, and to resist. We feel this is imperative to inform, stir and appeal to the public conscience. To restore compassion and constitutional values to our country.