India is going through a momentous time. Later in our lives we will look back and say that something historic happened today.
Rapes have happened earlier too – after all Delhi is referred to as the Rape Capital!
Political protests have happened earlier too and so have lathi charges.
But when was the last that people have gathered to protest, demanded their rights, braved lathis, water canons, sec 144 and all of them spontaneously AND WITHOUT a leader exhorting them?
There is no Anna Hazare this time. No Jai Prakash Narayan. No divisive issues like Mandal or Ram Temple/Babri Masjid.
This is by the Indians for Indians. We all are in it. We can’t say I’m busy with _______ (fill in whatever it is that you do – a job, a business, a start up, social work). Basic rights are far more important. Their absence endangers whatever you filled the blank with. It endangers our lives, our family, our livelihood. We can’t be ostriches in a sandstorm of change around us. This is a time to stand up and be counted. You and I who can read and write on internet have an important duty.
What is happening in Delhi today and hopefully in Mumbai later is not the end. Don’t go there if you don’t want to to. Its a flash in pan and our politicians know that. Real India still is in villages and smaller towns and in slums of our large cities. Real India still hunkers down and lets a storm pass and then goes on to next day of survival. Politicians work on this huge mass through their rallies, cash disbursals, liquor disbursals and win elections and forget them for next 5 years. Because they know they can do this, they can afford to ignore what is happening in Delhi today. They have already seen the impact of Anna Hazare’s protests and its impact in elections in UP, HP and Gujarat. We don’t need to go to these protests but need to spend time with the real India and tell them that they have the same rights as Indians and they need to stand up as Indians.
So if, like me, you are watching events unfold on your TV or on your twitterstream or in your discussions with friends AND at the same time see people going on with their lives, watch movies, tweet about innane stuff and wonder what is going on – this is what is going on:
Gather ’round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you
Is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’
Remember even Gandhiji didn’t make an impact on the English with his meetings in Mumbai and Kolkata. It was only when he went into villages that he became the Mahatma.
We don’t have a Mahatma. But this our India and We as Indians need to save it. We need to get to ALL of India.