As lynchings threaten to grow into a national epidemic, minority communities are learning to endure an intense sense of foreboding – a lurking, unnamed, unspoken fear. This is not simply the apprehension of discrimination, it is the danger of imminent violence, of being vulnerable to attack anywhere – on a public road, in a bus or train, in a marketplace, even in their homes. In tribal regions, Christian people feel a mounting dread. Dalits, who have so long lived with everyday violence and humiliation, are fearful of attacks for pursuing their caste vocation of skinning cows.
How culpable are we when our brothers and sisters are burned and lynched and we stand by? We need to interrogate the reasons for our silences, for our failures to speak out, and to intervene, when murderous hate is unleashed on innocent lives. We need our conscience to ache. We need it to be burdened intolerably.
To speak to our collective silences, we propose to embark, with as many comrades who wish to join, on a journey of shared suffering, of solidarity, of atonement and of love.