How many of us still think about the 26th November incident these days? Its hardly a month now and it looks like it has faded out of peoples mind except for the ones who were directly affected. The patriotic sms’, blog entries, formal and informal debates, everything related to terrorism has taken a backstage now. Well, that’s human tendency, especially for us Indians, since we are slowly getting accustomed to being a victim of such injustice.
Whatever happened last month in Mumbai is something that still disturbs me. We have had similar attacks in our country, but I must admit none of them had affected me to this extent. It was more of a feeling of helplessness even though I had no friends or relatives who were directly involved. I was confused if it was out of patriotism or out of a fear to live in this country from now on. If it is the latter, how long is it going to continue? And isn’t it going to be even tougher for the future generations to survive in India ? But what I can do all alone ?
I should thank our Smita for it was this post of hers that inspired me. She had mentioned something very honestly, which made me realize- what are we bloggers doing other than ranting about such incidents in our blog? Nothing at all. What can I possibly do other than writing a post, receiving comments and replying for them?
I was absolutely clueless until Dec 2nd when I casually mentioned my state of mind to Ram, a working colleague of mine. There was a spark in his eyes, which made me ask if both of us could conduct an event, some activity like a peace rally. The intuition didn’t go wrong as he was also in a similar confused state. He too wanted to do something to raise his voice against what is happening in our country today. Probably, it is not we alone; everyone else is going through a similar state of mind. It is just that more often than not, we hesitate to ask each other and most of our initiatives remain within ourselves. Ram immediately called another friend of his and the very next day, three of us had a brainstorming session. We had our focus on the objectives, but were confused on what to do. Three of us turned out to four in a day, four became ten by the next day and ten became eighteen by the end of the fourth day. All of us were like-minded working professionals and that’s the only common thing between us. We named ourselves ‘Lets Change’; the name might sound very ordinary because much of our time wasn’t spent on thinking on what to call us. After all, whats in a name !!!
Together we discussed on the feasibility of the project and finalized the objectives. We didn’t want to concentrate on the Mumbai terror attack. Of course, the attack was the reason, it ignited us to go ahead; but we wanted to voice our generalized concern on the present pathetic situation of our country, the change that everyone expects and the role that we could play in going about changing. The discussions then proceeded to what-to rather than how-to. A peace rally happens all the time, and moreover such rallies, especially in a sensitive city like Chennai, would eventually be politicized. The next option was to go through a fasting session on the decided day, but then again, fasting sounded too cliché for our cause. After a couple of options, we zeroed in on a silent protest. We decided to remain silent on a particular day to voice our opinion; enough of sitting back and cribbing about what has happened. As working professionals, we need to be socially responsible too and realize that a handsome salary or a property in the most happening area doesn’t actually mean success. Then again, the questions of why concentrate on the working community aroused. We aren’t; we would be happy if others joined too. It was easier for us to spread about the event among the corporate since most of us came from different organizations.
People, we are conducting the event on the 20th of this month in Chennai near the Chepauk cricket stadium. We had sent invitations through mailers and sms to almost everyone we knew. Rest is for the invitees to decide if they really want to join us. Even if are just five of us, we would sit with our mouth covered from 9 am to 1 pm on Saturday and that’s certain. I am personally inviting my fellow Chennai bloggers and also extending this invite to anyone who accidently bumps into V-Lokam. If you cant make it up, please pass on this information to anyone whom you think are socially responsible. You might face a similar question that I was asked while inviting – “Don’t you think it is too late?” for which the reply from my end was – “Do you think so? How often have you promptly reacted to such incidents?”
Below is one of the invite that we sent across. Special thanks to Sangeetha for the content in the invite.
Next -- It is never too late to react! Part 2 : The silent protest