V.K. Tripathi


In one of the many attempts by the civil society to promote communal harmony, Sabdhav mission organized a 15 km long peace march via historic places in Delhi.


With the motive of breaking the spiral of terror and communal violence in the country, Sadbhav Mission and Nishant Natya Manch organized a 15 Km long Peace March from Red Fort to Okhla Head on October 4, 2008.


Thirty activists from IIT Delhi, JNU, DU, JMI and other walks of life assembled at the historic Red Fort at 8 AM with posters, banners and portraits of 1857 freedom fighters. They garlanded the portraits of Bahadur Shah Zafar and sang his immortal last ghazal, “Lagta nahi hai dil mera ujde dayar mein”. This was followed by “Tu Zinda hai, to Zindagi ki jeet pe yakeen kar.” and other songs on common struggle of the masses against oppression and exploitation.


At 8:30 AM we started the march. At 9:15 AM we reached the Khooni Darwaja where three sons of Bahadur Shah Zafar were killed in cold blood by Hudson. We paid our homage to these martyrs and other heroes of 1857. As we sang “Na kisi ki aankh ka noor hoon…” every one was overwhelmed. At 10 AM we reached ITO and carried a 30 minute program over there. Then we walked to Zoo via Pragati maidan and conducted a program for 30 minutes.


From there we walked upto Nizamuddin and went inside the locality holding brief corner meetings. At 2 PM we reached Okhla Ashram where we addressed a gathering. Several additional friends joined us that point on, and by the time we passed through Maharani Bagh and New friend’s colony and reached Holy family hospital our number swelled to 200. Then we passed by JMI and Batla House and reached Okhla Head at 4 PM.


As we started addressing the gathering more people came in. People saw a reprieve from fear and apprehension in this little effort. Mr. Simranjeet Singh Mann, M.P., came in to express solidarity  with the peace efforts. All India Muslim Women Association convener Miss Zabeen, who had walked all the way from Red Fort to Okhla, made a moving speech.


Mr. Faisal, Mr. Zabir Shah Qadri also made brief speeches appealing all peace loving people to stand together against the cult of fear being propagated through blasts, genocides, arrests of innocents, and medias partisan reporting. Prof. Shamsul Islam laid emphasis on the real struggle facing the masses of all castes, religions and nationalities, the one against imperialism and fascism. V.K.Tripathi on behalf of the marchers paid homage to the victims of blasts, Orissa violence and partisan police action. He demanded that the government must:


i)                       i) probe the causes and motives behind the blasts


ii) deal with the perpetrators of blasts and communal violence  with equal resolution


iii) ensure that no innocent person is arrested


iv) ensure every arrest has to be made taking public representatives into confidence.


v) Set up judicial enquiries into all the police encounters.


(17 October, 2008;

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