"if you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen
the side of the oppressor." - Desmond Tutu.

Candlelight vigil for Manisha held outside Indian passport and visa office in Surrey Featured


South Asians activists came together on the evening of Friday, October 2, to raise voices against the recent gang rape of a Dalit woman in Uttar Pradesh, India 

Manisha died after struggling for life for two weeks.  

She was brutally assaulted and raped by people belonging to the upper caste.  

Her death has outraged the community of so-called untouchables who have been facing caste-based oppression for centuries. Under the current ruling right wing Hindu nationalist Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) government, such atrocities have grown. Not only religious minorities, especially Muslims, Dalits also continue to be targeted with impunity by the right wing goons.  

On the call given by Indians Abroad for Pluralist India (IAPI), two dozen people showed up at the candlelight vigil and rally right outside the Indian passport and visa office in Surrey.  

The participants, the majority of who were from the Dalit background, held signs asking for justice to Manisha and lit candles in her memory. They also raised slogans against the BJP government.  

The speakers were unanimous in their criticism of the BJP government which is openly shielding the suspects and patronizing violence against Dalits and Muslims to transform India into a Hindu theocracy.  

Incidentally, October 2 is also the birth anniversary of MK Gandhi, the towering leader of the passive resistance movement against British occupation of India. Gandhi was assassinated for standing up against atrocities on Muslims and for denouncing untouchability by the Hindu fundamentalists. It is a separate matter that he was not opposed to the caste system, because of which Dalit activists find him as an extremely problematic figure. The followers of the ideology of his killers are presently governing the country.  

Among those who addressed the gathering were Dalit activists Roop Lal Gaddu, Surinder Sandhu, Ajmer Singh, Sukhwinder Kaur and Anita, besides Sikh activist Ranjit Singh Khalsa and anti racism educator Annie Ohana. 

IAPI members Tejinder Sharma and Gurpreet Singh also spoke on the occasion, which began with a poem by Amrit Diwana, a well known progressive poet and writer in the Punjabi community. His poem was based on the systemic sexual abuse Dalit women endure in the Indian society.   


Rate this item
(0 votes)
Super User

Gurpreet Singh

Cofounder and Director of Radical Desi


Leave a comment

Make sure you enter all the required information, indicated by an asterisk (*). HTML code is not allowed.

Latest Tweets

RT @Subscriptions: You asked (loudly), we listened. We’ve reduced the signup flow for creators from 27 steps to just 4. It’s never been e…
Say goodbye to prying eyes and hello to secure conversations. We're giving early access to Encrypted Direct Message… https://t.co/diSzwN83WV
WORLDWIDE! Creators across the globe can now sign up and earn a living on Twitter. Tap on “Monetization” in settin… https://t.co/V32aqisAT4
Creators can now sign up and earn a living directly on Twitter in the EU, UK, and EEA. Tap on “Monetization” in se… https://t.co/krlyUXDU89
Follow Twitter on Twitter

Post Gallery

The Black Prince brings out last Sikh emperor's resistance to British occupation

Indigenous activist Cecilia Point and former Vancouver Park Board Commissioner Niki Sharma honoured at annual anti racism event in Surrey

Chuck Puchmayr honoured for bringing a motion against CAA

Historical heroes and robot dinosaurs: New games on our radar in April

TG G6 will have dual 13-megapixel cameras on the back

Here's how to make Kevin's famous fish cutlet from 'The Office'

Asia's best restaurant has a frustratingly confusing menu of only 17 emojis

KJerry's will sell food cream that tastes like your favorite video

Hynopedia helps female travelers find health care in Maldivs