Before I demand anything of anyone reading this today, I’d like you to think about you. About your life. I’m going to ask you to vote for the following before I start discussing anything else.
That’s what I thought.
So most of you are fairly well off and do not spend half your day worrying about your survival. So am I. And together, we constitute a small part of the privileged parts of the Indian Society; which constitutes an even smaller part of Indian Society as a whole.
There are very few people today, who have the capacity to fight a battle for everyone. A battle, which if lost, shall cause a great deal of harm to everyone; and if won, will be for the betterment of everyone. And in our world today, there are very few battles, which need to be fought and won as soon as possible, and will truly benefit everyone. One such battle happens to be that against climate change.
The common Indian man does not care about the fact that in about 8 and a half years, us humans will have done so much damage to this gorgeous, intriguing, spectacular planet of ours, that we will not be able to recover it. He doesn’t care about the fact that as we speak, somewhere, one species just went extinct. All he cares about is the fact that tomorrow, he may not be able to provide a meal to his little family. He cares about the fact that he does not have the money to ward off a common cold, much less his mother’s fatal disease. In fact, chances are, he is not privileged enough to know that his planet is getting weaker by the minute.
And that is where you come in. You do know about the fact that we have about eight and a half years to keep ourselves away from a point of return. You do know that 200 species go extinct every day. You do know, that as per the NITI Aayog, 21 cities in India shall run dry by next year. You do know that you live in a city which is probably so polluted that it is causing damage to your lungs every time you take a breath. And you also have the power to do something about it.
You, a person who doesn’t need to think too much about whether or not the food they have just bought is too expensive. You, a person who knows that they have a home with four walls and a roof, and does not need to sleep on a bench in a public park. You, a person who has enough money to buy the device they are reading this on.
It is the responsibility of the privileged to fight for the needs of the common man, even if it is from the comforts of the upper class. For when one identifies themselves to any community, any nationality, or any race, you associate yourself with the common man.
No matter where in the world you go, when you are asked where you are from, you shall say, “I’m Indian,” and who exactly are Indians? They are whoever you want them to be. Because you, my friend, are the only one who has the power to define “the Indian”.
That is why you need to join this fight. Because you are one of the few who can.