Dwiddly

My notes and musings …

Posts Tagged ‘non violence

Not the first time, won’t be the last either

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A satyagrah when standing in solidarity with a cause or a people appears to a third person as a voluntary act. But as one absorbs the spirit of resistance and solidarity, it becomes an urge, a pull, a drive to act. Given that we are typically not the ones in the eye of the storm, we apply reason, strategize, coordinate, organize, mobilize and try to maximize the impact of the act of resistance.

It was very appropriate that in the morning I attended a panel discussion on Gandhi’s views on dissent and sedition in the first half of the day. And in the second half a talk by Tanveer Ajsee on the historical roots of Kashmir art today. The languages of dissent and expression used by Kashmiris – in their attire and presentation, on canvas, paper or pavments, in their music, dance and celebrations of weddings or commemorating their martyrs.

My satyagrah yesterday was in protest of the govt of India’s communication blockade in Kashmir. If we are to believe the govt of India, 8 million+ people have been subjected to a lockdown so that a few hundred people are kept from communicating between themselves and the rest of the world. For 61 days. Where is the sense of proportion? Is there any concern to human life and livelihood in such actions by the state? In reality, the blockade is yet another step in the further alienization and brutalization of a community. A community that has seen, and survived through, at least 175 years of repression, deceit and exploitation by various states – British, Dogra, and Indian.

There is an attempt to re-weave the Indian social fabric to distract every one from the large scale exploitations of resources and energies. To establish a supremacy, to reiterate and stamp a chauvinistic identity among a majority. A majority that is being told over and over again and is starting to believe that it is under threat. History is replete with cases of the rich and powerful consolidating their hold over the state using this fear. And of communities singled out and oppressed to assuage the collective conscience of society.

The Govt of India, with its actions over the past 39 years or so has ensured that whatever bridges were built are chopped down and brunt to the ground. Again and again. Keeping an active military in a region has never brought peace to that land. The UK, US, Russia, and every hegemonic power center has experienced this. War and occupation brings wealth and excess to the oppressors. And the blood soaked money and power is what we are getting out of Kashmir.

As frequent as these oppressions are the acts of resistance. The living up to ideals, the giving up of livelihoods, freedoms and even lives for certain truths that one holds dear. The defiance of those who don’t just believe that love and peace should prevail, but are ready to stand up and say not in my name; not again.

We can amend laws, we can change the rules. But we cannot legislate affection for a state or fraternity and brotherhood with the rest of the country. It has to be earned.

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Make an umbrella or build a boat?

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The monsoon rains in most parts of India arrived late and in many places has been pouring so much that it has led to large scale flooding – initially it was parts of Karnataka and Maharashtra, now in UP and in Bihar.

But more than the rains unleashed by the late monsoon this year, civil society in the country has been bearing one assault after another from none other than the ruling establishment for a few years now. The Govt. of India  has decided that its energy is best used to curtail and restrict the activities of organizations, individuals and communities however legal and/or humanitarian they might have been; that there should be those with full rights and those who shall remain at the mercy of the mob; that there is no need to heed to laws, constitutional norms, or legal precedent; that any right or freedom is subject to the person’s perceived patriotism (perceived because, a mob does not ask questions before unleashing violence).

The Govt of India laid siege on Kashmir, through a revised List of Business on the last day of the parliamentary session, de-operationalized Article 370 and 35A, converted a state with a special status in the Indian Constitution into two union territories, and all this without even a charade of consulting the people of that land. Sitting MPs, MLAs, former Chief Ministers, political leaders of all hues have been illegally detained for almost two months now. And the Supreme Court, in its supreme wisdom, has pushed aside Habeas Corpus petitions with a we don’t have the time to hear them ! An undeclared emergency has been imposed in Kashmir. People raising their voice in support of Kashmir in other parts of the country, barring a few exceptions, are threatened by ideologues while the police and the administration either look away or stand with those issuing the threats!

So as we celebrate the 150th birthday of MK Gandhi the apostle of peace mkg_drawingit is quite logical that we step forward to understand and embrace non violent protests in the form of a satyagraha. And given that it is now 2019, a cyber satyagraha is that much more appropriate.

Since the night of Aug 4th/5th communication for millions of people in the Kashmir valley has been cut off. 58 days Kashmiris have been cut off from the internet, from each other and the rest of the world. As part of the cyber-satyagraha, I shall be cutting myself off from the internet and all telephone (mobile and landline connections) from 10 AM to 10 PM on Oct 2nd 2019. I shall be joining others at different events in Bengaluru to express my dissent and to hear from those being oppressed by our govt. in our name. I shall also be writing about my experience after completing my satyagraha.

If you also feel what is happening in Kashmir is not correct, raise your voice !

बोल के लब आज़ाद है तेरे
Speak, for your lips are still free
ಮಾತಾಡು, ನಿನ್ನ ತುಟಿಗಳನ್ನಾರೂ ಸೆರೆ ಹಾಕಿಲ್ಲಾ

Written by Dwiji

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2019 at 04:01

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