SJW | Day 8: Social Justice and Minority Communities

In a conversation on interfaith marriages, Lara Jesani talks about the history of the attacks on such marriages and the narrative of ‘love jihad’ through which these are targeted nowadays. Speaking for instance of the context of Gujarat with its communal context, she mentions the kind of backlash and opposition people would make. Even so, the Special Marriage Act provided a way of entering the marriage, unlike nowadays, when things have become even more difficult with the new focus on the anti-conversion laws in different states.

Nabia Khan speaks of the suppression of dissenting voices, especially belonging to minority communities, in the context of CAA-NRC-NPR protests. She does so through the medium of poetry, making reference to the range of women coming together, and to the diversity of culture that continues to sustain us in the hope that change, the revolution, may still come.

Referring to the kind of prejudices and discrimination that one hears while growing up regarding the Muslim community, Pragya explains how these are part of a political narrative, not just social preconceptions. She brings up the patriarchal nature of these narratives, in which women are seen as ‘innocent’, and unable to defend themselves when faced with the Muslim men supposedly trying to ‘lure’ them. That is a challenge to women’s agency, seeing them as gullible and in need to have men take decisions for them as sisters, mothers etc.

In a testimony from UP, a young woman talks about what the actual implications of being in an interfaith relationship and then marriage are, especially in a working-class context.

In the context of the continued imprisonment of Gulfisha, Kavita Srivastava talks about the legal processes and how dissenting voices, especially when they come from minority communities, become ‘enemies of the state’. This is the tool that the state uses across the board, in the case of any protests and demands for rights, through the use of UAPA against Dalit, Adivasi and Muslim people. These are all people raising their voices against the war against humanity that the state perpetrates.

In the context of Gulfisha’s imprisonment, Hasina Khan talks about Muslim women’s participation in Shaheenbagh, and the targeting of minority communities on grounds of intersections of religion, gender, caste etc. Social movements, feminist movements need to focus in solidarity on minority communities and understand the fear of targeting especially in the present regime.

Nodeep Kaur speaks of solidarity between those who are targeted for raising their voices against injustice, against discrimination on grounds of religion and caste. The opposition is not between one religion and another, but rather different movements can come together in opposition of the state which practices all these forms of discrimination, and uses legal tooks like UAPA to put so many people into jails. She reaffirms our commonly held commitment to continue to fight for the kind of world all those who are now in jail under such draconian laws have been fighting for.

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