As the protests against the police for #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd flared up in Minneapolis, the Indian restaurant, Gandhi Mahal, which stood just a few doors away from the Third Precinct headquarters of the Minneapolis Police Department, was burnt down and damaged.
The police headquarters was set ablaze by protesters of #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd on Thursday night and several other buildings also caught fire. Gandhi Mahal was one of them.
However, in their response to the incident, the restaurant owners said that they won’t lose hope and added that they want justice to be served.
They took to Facebook to issue a powerful statement that was written by the owner Ruhel Islam’s 18-year-old daughter Hafsa. “Hello everyone! Thank you to everyone for checking in. Sadly, Gandhi Mahal has caught fire and has been damaged. We won’t lose hope though, I am so grateful for our neighbors who did their best to stand guard and protect Gandhi Mahal,” the post read.
“Your efforts won’t go unrecognized. Don’t worry about us, we will rebuild and we will recover. This is Hafsa, Ruhel’s daughter writing, as I am sitting next to my dad watching the news, I hear him say on the phone ‘let my building burn, Justice needs to be served, put those officers in jail’. Gandhi Mahal may have felt the flames last night, but our fiery drive to help protect and stand with our community will never die! Peace be with everyone,” the post further read.
With over 33K shares and 39K likes, Gandhi Mahal’s Facebook post has gone viral and touched millions of hearts. It is also being widely circulated across other social media platforms. Netizens flooded the comments section and lauded the owners for backing the protest despite the fact that their restaurant was burnt down. Several others expressed their desire to donate funds to help the restaurant reopen.
Gandhi Mahal opened in 2008, during the Great Recession. Although Mr. Islam believes in nonviolent protest — he named his restaurant in honor of Mohandas K. Gandhi — he empathizes with the frustration of many Minneapolis residents.
The fundraiser started for the restaurant of Facebook has already received a tremendous response, and the community support seems to be coming from all directions.
Speaking to The New York Times, Ms. Islam, who delivers food part-time for Door Dash, said she had stopped her car at a red light on Monday as Mr. Floyd was arrested. She watched, horrified, from her car, she said. She learned only later that he had died.
“I understand why people did what they did,” she said of the demonstrators. “They had tried with the peaceful protesting, and it hasn’t been working.”
“I am going to continuously promote peaceful ways and nonviolent movement,” he said. “But our younger generation is angry, and there’s reason to be angry.”
It goes to show that no matter how small you may consider yourself in the grand scheme of things, a little nudge in the right direction can spark a revolution. And we are all together in this.
#JusticeForGeorgeFloyd – because each and every life matters!
Not competent enough to sit idle and stare as the world goes by, Pallavi is optimistic to a fault and believes in building her world on her own rather than depending on others to make things right.