The Delhi Gang Rape case has indefinitely taken the entire country to an outrage. It has brought forth an outburst of anger, emotions and intolerance. It has brought forth the concern for safety, equality and justice and highly profound displeasure in the governance of our nation, our laws and the judicial system. Our fellow countrymen have expressed their discontent, how? No, its not just over social networking sites but also on streets and cities of our country.
Students, professionals, housewives have all been marching out on the streets over the last one week with slogans demanding justice, capital punishment for the rapists and questioning the government over its laws and action taking procedures. From the Raisina hill in Delhi, to various locales of Bangalore, Kolkata and Mumbai, the discontent is out and evident on the streets and amongst the people.
But where did all of this come from? I remember reading that Tagore once told Gandhiji when he went to see him that he was handing over a very powerful tool in the hands of the people, ‘Satyagraha’.
While films like Rang De Basanti and No One Killed Jessica re-introduced this method of protest into the popular culture it was with Anna Hazare’s anti corruption campaign that this very method of protest became a rather popular activity at all occasions And the next couple of years till date we see protests, peace rallies by different groups taking rounds of the city on occasions While a lot of people look at it like an over dose of rallies, I’d simply like to put it as, ” the age of Awakening for Indians.”
I woke up to this FB update on Monday morning:
Message from Principal – Bhavan’s College :
Students and Staff of Bhavan’s College, Andheri (W), Mumbai are organizing a peace march, expressing solidarity towards the victim of gang rape in New Delhi, on 24 Dec 2012.
The march will commence from college at 2.00 pm up to Andheri west station.
After reaching the station a chain will be formed at the station up to 7 pm.
All are requested to join the march or the chain as per their convenience and express concern towards the issue.
After reading this I began to wonder, why? How can a peace march really contribute to this cause. On asking one of my professors, she mentioned, “this is a peace rally. We only want to create awareness and express solidarity towards the cause.”
Probably, somethings are best experienced than explained. And I wanted to experience this one. I went along with my friends and fellow students and professors for this peace rally. There were banners with slogans and cries of ‘WE WANT JUSTICE.’
It was altogether a different energy. There were onlookers, there were trespassers and there were people who were merely amused and began video-graphing us. It was quite a protest with over 200 students and close to 20 professors joining in. and together were loud cries of demand for justice.
This was not mere solidarity, this was an outburst of anger, grief and intolerance towards wrong doing. You could see it in their eyes, you could hear it in their cries. May be the joy of a protest is venting out that emotion before the society who is leading a normal life, or those who behave totally ignorant. There is a hope that all those people who merely walk past listening to cries and looking by if nothing, will at least understand the emotion of anger and be more aware about it. And then so many things could happen if only people thought about what all those protesters were up to at least once, there would actually be a change in the society.
Change begins with an action, an initiative.
We’re hoping to see a rather constructive after effect with this. It could be in the form of street plays to spread awareness, seminars and lectures to students discussing the most important aspects of life- their safety and behavior in the society and respect towards women.
Any protest or rally that attains its purpose only when it meets the goal of provoking action and not becoming a lost, forgotten thought.
“Be the Change that you wish to see in the world.”
– Mahatma Gandhi