Black Americans have asked white Americans to put their bodies between the police and black bodies. In a similar vein, Sharjeel Imam asked Hindus to come out on the streets with Muslims and shout Allahu Akbar with them. While blacks in America are identifiable by the difference in skin colour, Muslims in India look the same as Hindus and can only be identified by the difference in their religious speech-acts. A Hindu shouting the Takbir becomes significant in the way it makes it harder for the colonial Hindu state to identify genuine Muslim bodies it can brutalize with impunity; brutalizing a Hindu body carries larger repercussions because public opinion does not permit it and would turn against the government very quickly. At this juncture in global politics, many people from the oppressor castes and classes are realizing that they have to ally with the oppressed. It is necessary for the oppressed to separate genuine allies from fair weather ego-trippers so their movement is not compromised by people who put themselves before the cause. It should be understood that it is not only their right but also a survival requirement for the oppressed to set such terms of solidarity.
Akshat Jain, New Delhi, India: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more on Antipode’s “Conjunctural Insurrections” series – an experiment to amplify voices often unheard and invisibilised in politics, daily life, and academic discourse – see https://antipodeonline.org/2020/06/23/conjunctural-insurrections/