Protest through Reading…

Kamala Kanta Dash and Afroz Alam Sahil for BeyondHeadlines

One Protest was going on outside the Jamia Nagar Police Station and the other was within the boundaries of the same police station. While the former was a Local Community Protest against Delhi Police’s arrest of a Muslim youth, the later has been a silent protest against community’s major problems of education, empowerment and confidence.

We are talking about the silent protest that is taking place at the Police-Public Library located within the boundaries of the Jamia Nagar Police Station. Started around six months back in February 2012 to engage with the Local Youth and knowledge seekers, this Unique Police-Community Engagement initiative has attracted many youth and elderly readers to the library. Initially many were skeptical of the utility of such an initiative and even today some in the local community continue to see this as nothing more than tokenism.  But the regular visitors and the librarian had a different take on this.

Sahil is a regular reader at the library. A Class-XII student, Sahil wants to join IIT for a B.Tech and considers this library very useful for examination preparation. Yasmeen who wants to become a police officer in future is the librarian at the Police-Public Library. She wants to purse a degree either in Social Work or Mass Media at Jamia Milla Islamia and wants to serve her community through education and empowerment of women.

Both Sahil and Yasmeen are acutely aware of the socio-economic and educational situation of Muslims in Jamia Nagar and elsewhere in India. They knew about the today’s’ protests outside the police station but chose to flip through the pages of their books in order to continue their silent protest through reading.

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