By Shraddha Sankhe:
Allan Octavian Hume, an Englishman and an active member of the Theosophic Society back in 1880s in India led a movement which changed a generation. When Hume and seventeen of his Indian educated men came together, they did something inexplicable. Wyomesh Chandra Bannerjee, Dadabhai Naoroji, Mahadev Govind Ranade, Dinshaw Washa and few more notable men met once a year to make sure the British Government considered their demands which were initially limited to education and share in the Government jobs. As the years passed, the discussion turned into a well-organised movement with the participation of Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Lala Lajpat Rai, Gopal Krishna Gokhale and others. The Indian National Congress led India to independence.
The power of speech and the strength of a will are almost venerable. No matter how allayed a world of issues and problems we live in, it is impossible really to not raise a voice. A cogent word could change the world- is a belief that leaders choose to follow. A fantastic argument is that the Government, nature and fate have too many advisors, condemners and admirers. So will the system really hear our opinions? Will it ever consider them? Will the world become a better place? We questioned. And we won. Yes-is the answer-and we’d rather treat it like the dogmatic challenge. The pen can really touch the hearts and move the world. What is needed is an organization of efforts and one magic word-DETERMINATION.
When we hear someone make strong statements like, “Stand up for a cause”, “Join the movement”,Â “Make change possible” —what we expect is only signing up for a ‘cause’ and waiting for things to change. Things here are corruption, people talking ill of our homeland, men influenced by explosive ideas and women looking down upon themselves. Rural India is growing up at a rate excruciatingly slow, cities are enervating, education is rote-learning itself and the national animals are dying.
People want to make a quick buck sitting in government offices, the chewing gum along with the wrapper are everywhere but in the trash bin, the festivals mean killing the environment and somebody’s sleep and the problem of untouchability is as strong as voyeurism among all classes. Marriage is the death of honor if done outside the community and divorce only means that the woman is at fault. Getting up early is not a habit but a necessary evil so that no body sees you do your morning chores in the open areas. Tap water is a dream, a bathroom is a luxury. A part of your income never comes to you because it is may be funding a ‘development’ cause-at most in a well known politician’s speech may be. Farmers want to die. War heroes die and their widows watch their promised homes being ransacked by sons and lovers of influential and rich people.
There have been mixed opinions about Arundhati Roy and her initiative to promote Azaadi in Kashmir. Certain issues, many assume are esoteric. Few talk, most ignore and the nation sleeps only to wake up to another issue to get even with. “Whither Kashmir? Freedom or Enslavement“ , has made many a youths fervid with anger and questions that need a lot more than just rants. Let us all come together to talk, get educated and really BE THE CHANGE on Sunday, November 7th, 2010 at 5 pm atÂ http://www.youthkiawaaz.com/events/kashmir/ .
Sometimes all it takes to change the world is you, me and the magic D-word.
The writer is the Mumbai Editor of Youth Ki Awaaz.
Image courtesy: The image for the article has been sourced from an amazing ad by CARE. Watch it here.