Continued from Part 1
It was Friday and each one of us involved was excited about the event next day. By afternoon, we got a call from the Commissioners office that shook us !!! All of us panicked and were in a state of confusion.
When we had sought permission from the Commissioner to conduct this event, we had mentioned that it would be a silent protest. And our letter also carried the same. Now, according to some new rule or act, due to security reasons, the word protest would anyone to conduct such activity only for an hour. Had we mentioned silent movement, silent prayer in our letter, we could’ve conducted the event as per the planned 4 hrs. A full day would have been allotted if it were even a fasting session. And to change the activity is next to impossible as the invites were already circulating among our contacts.
The event was supposed to be from 9am to 1pm and now we are supposed to wind up by 10.15am when most of the invitees had agreed to drop in only by 10-10.15. Damn !
The event kick started at exactly 9am with a welcome note by one of the volunteers. Initially, there were nearly 35 members excluding the 18 volunteers. By 9:10, we were 73, all together under the tent remaining silent. To our surprise, there were two elderly men sitting along with us. We were surrounded by police officials, the lady officials came in a little late, probably they did not expect the female crowd. We had a lot of onlookers whose questions were answered by the police. Though our banners explained our purpose, the passerby’s would have been surprised to see a couple of young people sitting silently in the heart of the city under a tent with police protection. During the event, RAW officials approached us to take snaps and for a brief write up. After an hour, we went up to the two elderly gentlemen to check their whereabouts, one person was an Ex- Airforce official and the other a retired Professor from Anna University. Both of them never knew each other but the reason for their presence along with us were the same. That’s were I guess, we succeeded; we had managed to bring in people from different age groups, from different cultures, from different states, but everyone had one thing in common- love for the nation. We asked if the two men could address the crowd and they agreed without hesitating. The Airforce official spoke about how the youngsters could contribute to the nations security while the retired Professor gave us a lot of insights on how to take this small group of ours to a bigger platform. After their inspiring speech, we had one of our volunteers recite our national anthem. This was the best part, all 73 of us and the entire police officials stood with our heads held high in unison. Never did I get such goose bumps thinking about our country and never before had I felt proud of myself. By 10.30 made a note of the registrations, wrapped up and retired.
We felt a little discouraged when the head count was less, but then, inspite of being a Saturday and also with the last minute changes, we shouldn’t expect more. One thing was sure, the next time we conduct a similar event, we already have 73 people confirmed. I must admit, it was such a riveting experience to be present with those like minded janta, to be just one among the crowd which believed in one common cause. It was our first event; we need to improve a lot more on the co-ordination and assigning work amongst ourselves. From mistakes we learn, and from what we learn, we act !
We are gathering soon to decide on whats next. This series would continue !
Jai Hind !