Candlelight Vigil: The New Fashion Statement

Posted on April 13, 2011 in Specials


By Anonna Dutt:

Radhika Tanwar a Delhi University student was shot dead in broad daylight by Ram Singh alias Vijay to avenge his Insult… Citing the lack of evidence CBI submits its closure report for Arushi Talwar Murder Case… Death of Air Force official due to the rusted and poorly manufactured local parts of the Air Force Jets… Japan Jolted with Tsunami and Earthquake: Death toll crosses the 10,000 mark, 2.15 Lakh people rendered homeless… Binayak Sen given Life imprisonment by Sessions court in Chattisgarh… Anna Hazare fasts against corruption.

These just seem like random pieces of information, don’t they? But they do have something in common- A Candle Light Vigil.

Be it a murder, political drama, corruption or even a natural calamity, people in India come together for a candle light vigil. The reason for doing so could be to protest against injustice or a Samaritan call to support fellow citizens. But is it really so?

Well, it is really sad but true that most of the Indian people lack a sense of responsibility. Many a times there are people who do not even know what they are protesting for, even when they are attending such a vigil. There are people who are present for such protests just because they “saw too many people there and decided to stop by”. The typical herd mentality; you are there just because the others are. This is how many Indians think and poignantly, this viewpoint is not based on speculations merely.

Having personally attending the candle light protest against the closure of the Arushi Talwar case these are some of the conversations I picked up:

“Hey, why did you call me here? What exactly is happening?” “Why would I spend 20 bucks on candle for some Arushi Talwar? By the way, who is Arushi Talwar?” After reading this can you say that the cause really drives the people to arrange and attend such vigils. If not the cause then why do the people in hundreds and thousands gather to do so?

The reason is simple, it has nowadays become a kind of fashion statement and people attend the vigils just because their friends do. Also, people started arranging such protests by mimicking the western world, and obviously whatever the westerners do is just awesome. This is another reason that makes these candle light vigils much more endearing. Why else we do not organise something like diya light vigils?

The whole problem that results in a situation like this is the ignorance of the people. People need to be made aware of the different problems that persist in our nation, only then can they be eligible enough to protest for justice. Another thing that should be underlined here is that a candle light vigil is just a way to make the government and the other people in power notice us and listen our voice. It is not supposed to be taken as a fashion statement as many of the youngsters think nowadays.

Also, for once we need to realise that we are special and have some self respect. We need to take pride in what we have and not always follow what the westerners do. We should especially be proud of our democracy which gives us the space to voice our opinion, or else be it a candle light vigil or a diya light, nothing would have made a difference. With the rights that this democracy has to offer, come great responsibilities. Since we can determine justice, we have to be really considerate and understanding so as to not make a mistake and supporting the wrong.

All in all, a form of protest like the candle light vigil is a very powerful weapon in our hands and we need to use it responsibly.