Through the Lens: Life and Politics in Asia | Society | South Asia

A Poetic Protest Against Lynchings of Muslims in India

A Muslim poet protests against the recent violence inflicted on her community.

Sabika Abbas Naqvi recites her poems on streets and stages across the country, to protest against hate and to promote love. These days, she seems to be busier than usual, as several Muslims have been lynched by mobs over rumors that they killed a cow or ate beef. Some have been brutally and publicly killed for loving a Hindu woman.

A performative protest poet, Sabika says when she’s on the streets, she fears anything can happen to her as she is a Muslim woman. For some Hindu nationalists, cows, which Hindus consider sacred, or their own definition of what India is and who it belongs to, are more precious than human lives. But fear doesn’t stop Sabika. It must not, she says in this video interview with The Diplomat, and explains what keeps her going.