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Why has story of Sophie Scholl (1921-43) resurfaced after Disha Ravi's arrest?

Sophie Scholl was a 21-year-old social activist in what was then called as Nazi-Germany

Tuesday February 16, 2021 1:03 PM, ummid.com News Network

Nazi Gemrany and Disha Ravi

Mumbai: The story of Sophie Scholl is doing the rounds on WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter and other social media platform ever since Saturday when Disha Ravi, a 21-year-old climate activist, was arrested by Delhi Police.

Delhi Police alleged that Disha Ravi was one of the editors of the controversial "toolkit" that was leaked on the social media when acclaimed climate activist Greta Thunberg shared it on Twitter while lending her support to the farmers protesting against Modi government's agriculture laws.

Delhi Police, and Modi government in New Delhi, believe that the “toolkit” was part of a “larger conspiracy” to defame India and had people linked with pro-Khalistan groups behind it.

Those defending Disha Ravi claimed that the “toolkit” is a simple list of guidelines for the people who wish to understand the farmers protest and are willing to lend their support to them.

Disha Ravi, according to reports, said that she had edited just few lines of the document. Delhi police on the other hand claimed that it was Disha who had shared the toolkit with Greta Thunberg and later asked her to delete fearing “she could be charged under the stringent UAPA.”

Also Read | From Climate Activist to 'Toolkit Editor', Who is Disha Ravi?

Notwithstanding the claims and counter claims by Delhi Police and those defending Disha Ravi, social media users have traced a close similarity between the arrest of the Bengaluru based climate activist and Sophie Scholl who was arrested by Nazi forces for distributing “anti-government pamphlets”.

A German student and anti-Nazi political activist, active within the White Rose non-violent resistance group in Nazi Germany, Sophie Scholl was born on May 9, 1921. She was convicted of “high treason” after having been found distributing anti-war leaflets at the University of Munich (LMU) with her brother, Hans. As a result, she was executed by guillotine on February 22, 1943.
The one post which is widely read is by Darshan Mondkar, a Social Media Commentator. He wrote on Facebook:

Sophie Scholl was a 21-year-old social activist in what was then called as Nazi-Germany. On 18th Feb 1943, Sophie was arrested by the Gestapo for distributing pamphlets in the University of Munich. These pamphlets contained information and instructions urging the people of Germany to resist the Nazi ideology. The said pamphlets gave procedures on how to passively and non-violently dissent against the Govt. So basically these pamphlets were the “ToolKit” of 1940s.

The Gestapo found these pamphlets as a conspiracy against the Govt. Sophie was tried in the courts on charges of Treason. “Somebody, after all, had to make a start. What we wrote and said is also believed by many others. They just don’t dare express themselves as we did” —- this was the only statement made by Sophie in her defense. Sophie was beheaded by a guillotine on 22nd Feb 1943. Sophie was beheaded not because she was wrong, but because she dared to raise her voice against the wrong.

Today in India, we have a Sadaf Jafar, a Nodeep Kaur, a Disha Ravi ….. Many Sophie’s of India who are raising their voice against what’s wrong. They are being arrested on frivolous charges, held in custody without going to trial, abused, beaten, man handled, allegedly sexually assaulted in custody. Not because they are wrong…. But because they dare…. Because somebody has to dare….. Because the rest of us don’t have the guts to dare.

Also Read | Named in 'Toolkit Case', Nikita Jacob seeks anticipatory bail

My salute and respect to all these ladies who have been brave enough to raise their voices against a tyrannical establishment while having full knowledge of the compromised institutions that it holds, especially in a country where women are not supposed to dare…. I hope the rest of India doesn’t stand as passive bystanders, ignoring what’s happening in the front of their eyes. Because, India cannot have a Sophie…… We just can’t allow that to happen.

On 22 February 1943, Scholl, her brother, Hans, and their friend, Christoph Probst, were found guilty of treason and condemned to death. They were all beheaded by guillotine by executioner Johann Reichhart in Munich's Stadelheim Prison only a few hours later, at 17:00 hrs. The execution was supervised by Walter Roemer, the enforcement chief of the Munich district court. Prison officials, in later describing the scene, emphasized the courage with which she walked to her execution. Her last words were:

Such a fine, sunny day, and I have to go... What does my death matter, if through us, thousands of people are awakened and stirred to action?


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