Published: 18th September 2020
Why students and activists are flooding social media with #UmarDarnaNahi
A former JNU student, Umar Khalid is currently in the Delhi Police's custody for his alleged role in organising the Delhi riots in February
"In a country where oppressors of all shades want to silence you, your existence itself is resistance," reads a placard that JNU student Apeksha Priyadarshini held. A good friend of former JNU student Umar Khalid, she was among the few who started the campaign #UmarDarnaNahi (Translates to Umar, do not fear) extending solidarity to him. Umar is currently in the Delhi Police's custody for his alleged role in the Delhi riots in February.
While speaking to a newspaper a few days ago, Umar's mother Sabiha Khanum said that on the night that Umar was picked up by the police, she kept on telling him 'Darna Nahi'. The campaign is inspired by her words. Responding to his mother, Umar was quoted saying, "Ammi, aap ghabrayiyega nahi," (Mother, do not worry). "As part of this campaign, we have asked people to write a message of hope to Umar on a placard, click a photo of theirs holding it and upload it on a social media platform," says Apeksha. She says that she is in touch with Umar's younger sister and that the family is waiting for the next hearing, which is probably on September 25.
Another placard read, "This time, you are by yourself. But you are not alone." Artist Sephin Alexander too has created an artwork, illustrating the conversation between Umar and his mother. Previously, activists and politicians, including Thol Thirumavalavan, Sitaram Yechury and Yogendra Yadav had expressed solidarity to Umar.