Monthly Archives: February 2011

tahrir square’s message to india

My Guest Column at The Viewspaper

“Because that’s what needs to happen. Because sometimes the truth isn’t good enough. Sometimes people deserve to have their faith rewarded.”

– Dark Knight

In the times to come, people will forget this rise of the indomitable human spirit against the tyranny that threatened its freedom to think independently. People will forget the surge of the emotions as thousands stood around the Tahrir Square asking for their fundamental rights of survival. People will forget the thousands of anonymous heroes who carried the baton of democracy in the darkest of the times, lighting every single soul that came their way till they created a fire, wild enough to engulf the 30 years of tyranny, that subjugated them, and burn it down to ashes.

What they will remember, however, is the change that has come to be. They will remember what good governments stand for – independence, freedom of thought and expression, a good economy, no corruption and employment opportunities to all. As they bask under the freedom, that their forefathers dreamt of and fought to achieve, they will understand that no government that thinks itself superior to the people whom it serves can ever survive.

This is not just the battle of Egypt, a battle that the people of Egypt have fought and won and can now go to their homes with the spoils of the victory. This is a battle that every government in the world, including India’s, needs to be afraid of. This is the war cry of the youth as they dare to envision a world of change. This is a threatening call to the Rajas, the Kalmadis and the Chavans who have plundered the nation to fill their foreign bank accounts. This is a sign of impending danger for the all powerful Khap Panchayats who think that they are the beginning and the end of justice. This is an alarm for the judiciary that takes 63 years to judge issues of national importance. This is a stare of anger at the system that cannot protect the women on the streets, the kids in the schools and the widows in the Ghats of Varanasi but manages a way to protect the corrupt politicians and their not so civilized goons every time. This is a message of caution for the system where onions are sold at 65 rupees per kilo and farmers commit suicide because of poverty. This is the premonition of danger for the pseudo-secular governments that have long used the caste, the religion and the region as their electoral henchmen. This is a warning to all the governments, from the Panchayats to the Union, that they better be for, of and by the people.

This is the same battle that the thousands of people fought under Mahatma Gandhi, the same battle that the likes of Chandrasekhar Azad and Bhagat Singh fought, the same battle that the mythical Bhuvan fought in Lagaan. In the 21st century, this MTV generation that watches the swayamvar of a female overburdened with silicon or spends all their waking hours on Facebook or in McDonalds have finally shown what they can do and in there lies a quiet tide that every government should be afraid of.

The regular tides that come in the sea subside with the rise of the sun. The Tsunami comes uninformed and washes away the existence of many long standing monuments that have come to believe that they are persistent, in its wake. Unlike the moods of the sea that follow no regular pattern, in the political scenario, however, each tide that is ignored or suppressed increases the chance of the aforementioned all-destructive Tsunami.

In 1989, the World Press Photo of the year was a single man standing against the Chinese tanks at the Tiananmen Square. The photograph went on to become the symbol of liberation and Tiananmen Square got etched into history as a symbol of people’s fight against their governments that do not appeal to them.  22 years later, another square in Egypt withstands testimony to the same.

It is high time that the Government of India started taking note. Chandni Chowk in Delhi could be the next!

Personal Note (Added Later)

Dream: Write a Guest Column.  Status: Crossed.