Mourn Junaid’s lynching as he was like my son: Harsh Mander

Mander’s latest book is a collection of 17 stories of people who had to suffer discrimination on account of their birth in unprivileged families

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Pranita Kulkarni | July 5, 2017 | New Delhi


#Haryana   #lynching   #communal violence   #Junaid   #book   #Harsh Mander  


Social activist Harsh Mander said that he mourns Junaid's death in the same way that he would mourn his own son’s death. 

Mander was speaking at a book discussion organised in Delhi on Monday for his latest book: Fatal Accidents of Birth: Stories of Suffering, Oppression and Resistance.
 
“Junaid and I are different. I am an agnostic, he recited Qur’an. But, he was my son. He was also the son of the people from that train compartment. Yet when we met the station master, staff and a lot of people, they had only one answer: ‘We saw nothing’,” said Mander referring to the 15-year-old who was stabbed to death on a train in Haryana last month by a group of men.
 
In conversation with Delhi University professor Apoorvanand, Mander said that he writes to build bonds of solidarity. “We need to recognise the difference between privilege, entitlement and merit.  All of us are here because of accident of our births. Through my writing, I do not want to create guilt, but I want to create humility and responsibility.”
 
Mander’s book is a collection of 17 stories of people who had to suffer discrimination on account of their birth in unprivileged families. 
 
The stories include one on the Ishrat Jahaan, about the juvenile offender in the Nirbhaya gang rape case, and on the victims of communal mass violence. Mander has also written about an incident in Orissa, where a woman and her husband had sold their child. “She [the mother] told me that she sold the child because she loved her. She didn't have the means to raise the child. Why can’t people understand this? The child died, when they forced them to take the child back. Who are we to stand in the judgment?” questioned Mander.
 
The discussion was followed by dramatic readings of some of his stories by Feisal Alkazi’s Ruchika Theatre group.
 

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