Monday, 11 June 2018

An Iftar to heal religious divide in India


Marriage outside one's faith or caste is still frowned upon in many parts of India, at times resulting in violence.
"Honour killings" - when a person is killed by a family member who believes the victim has brought shame on the family, clan or community - are common in India.
According to government data, 288 cases of honour killings were reported between 2014 and 2016 in the country.
For Ankit's father, Yashpal, breaking bread with these men and women meant a rejection of hate.
"This man is celebrating a festival of the same faith as that of his son's killers. This resonates with the India that Mahatma Gandhi wanted to build. In an atmosphere of hate, it's critical that we stand with people like Yashpal," activist Mohammed Amir Khan told Al Jazeera at the event.
Yashpal's reaction immediately after his son was killed and in the months that followed have counteracted the possible politics of division that could have played out around the incident.
"Please do not communalise my son's death," Yashpal had told local media after his son was the target of the violent hate crime.
He also stayed away from a candle-light march in memory of his son organised by local leaders of the right-wing ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
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