Friday, February 13, 2009

Victory No. 1: Muthalik Calls Off Violent Valentine's Day Protests!

Wow, looks like people power has started ticking in again. News reports say that Muthalik has called off the violent protests in lieu of their information that some miscreants have plans to disrupt the peace in the city. Hmm, does he and his goons know that nobody else in the city is given the status of miscreants par humanity that his own men?

It is far cry from when they started off opposing the very existence of Valentine’s Day and their threats to its endorsers. The only logical explanation to this move seems to be the secret directive from their own fatherly state government and Police to not to take law in their hands due to the mounting public outrage.

However it is hard to believe these extremists powered by political motives when they say ‘they will protest non-violently if they spot anyone dressing indecently.’ We have no problem with your protests Mr Muthalik as long as they are conducted within the purview of the law. Everyone in this country has the right to express and voice their opinions.

I congratulate everyone involved in this movement to uphold our fundamental rights of freedom and equality, though the true feat will actually be achieved by ensuring a smooth Feb 14th and only the dawn of the Feb 15th will make things clear.

Having said this let us still be on our tenterhooks and keep a vigil on these anti social elements as we have planned. Continue with PUB BHARO, now more so with grace and freedom.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Thanksgiving E-mail and Photographs: Peace procession: 7th Feb 2009

Dear All,

With the happiness of highest magnitude I am writing this thanks giving e-mail to you.

Please see below the link to view the photographs of the procession:

The day was 07th Feb, 2009, sunny Saturday morning in Bangalore, a bunch of 100 odd citizens mostly youngsters, a high visibility locale, a peace procession, cause - protest moral policing and express support to Mangalore pub victims. A perfect setting to say finally the souls are awakening.
From years now we have been coming across news of injustice and seen violations of fundamental rights of individuals in our country and every time we felt the need to do something. It was on 24th Jan that we saw the horrific incident of hooliganism in a Mangalore Pub, and that when we decided enough is enough, no matter what results or outcomes we face, we are not going to sit back and feel surrendered as a symbol of injustice to our conscience anymore. Thus came out my thoughts on blog and eventually took shape in the form of a peace procession. So with tremendous anguish and outrage against those barbarians of human values we started coining up ideas with few colleagues and friends and decided to hold the procession on a 1st Saturday, which was 07th Feb 2009.


With no background of holding or participating in any procession earlier, post the circulation of invitation to everyone, actually did I start feeling the heat in terms of:
Permission – law and its long muscles won’t let your life to be easy even with a right reason…:-)
Route – toughest in terms of convincing the police, finally sadly had to settle for a not so prime location M G Statue, compromising on Brigade or Church Street, but even then took tad a week to have official permission
Attendees – to ensure large participation from people of all walks of life, be it professionals or students, depended on media, Internet, pamphlets and word of mouth
Safety – – it took a while for me to figure out how dow we maximize safety of our people from any notorious elements during the procession, thus came in few Innovas (emergency escort vehicles) and an ambulance as any untoward incident was the last thing we could have expected post Mangalore attacks

D-Day (7th Feb 2009):
I reached the venue at 0800 AM with those who have worked with me all along to ensure the success of the procession. It was around 830 AM when a bunch of 5 people comprising 3 boys and 2 girls joined us. And as the times passed by, people started walking in individually and in groups of 2 to 3. The proposed time to start the procession was 1000 AM, but to our surprise despite having more than 300 interested people expressing their desire to participate only about 50 people assembled at this time. Then came Pratigya with all the more energy and there followed her bunch of adrenaline moving friends and soon our procession was about to start.

Needless to say that as was proposed, all the participants had black ribbons as a sign of protest against Mangalore Pub Attacks and filled in Good Citizenship Form.
And as was expected media was present.

Focus and Outcome:
Some of the things that came out of this procession were just nice too be described in mere words. I have always believed that most men and women are good human beings and given the right platform and conviction can rise up to the occasion.

A senior citizen joined us with her daughter and grand daughter in support of the cause. What really heart moving was the sheer commitment that she showed in protecting our fundamental rights and how she has upheld it throughout her life which was obvious from her energy and never say die attitude….
thank you grandma (Ms Saldana) from all of us, our country needs many more men and women like you.

Another very interesting and heart moving incident was the way in which women took up the cause, and became evident as one girl in pink top and black scarf spoke to one news channel about her constitutional rights in a truly passionate manner, and thus was by far according to me the best motivating moment.

At this juncture I specifically salute all women who have taken up this cause. Great job and we are proud to have you as the citizens of the country.

This is not to say that the men’s contribution was any less. All you men out there who have not surrendered and taken up this cause are no less than heroes to me. And it became quite evident when I requested few women to come in the front for a media group photo, a lady wearing black top smilingly turned off the request stating you guys posing for cameras will set out an example of men’s support to the cause. Thanks all of you for being so united, a bit emotional element here….

Be it bank professionals, lawyers, corporate trainers, IT professionals, architecture professionals, housewives, students, other professionals, you all have just proved that this country has a fighting spirit and will not bow down to few anti social elements.

The most important element was the fact that the procession got the correct coverage which it deserves in the light of the unfortunate moral policing and has already reached Vidhan Soudha hopefully along with many other protests that took place in the weekend as our cause is united.

Post procession:
I woke up at 0900 am the next day morning all more confident, and the spirits were really boosted to see the photographs of procession with the correct messaging in all leading dailies, with Indian Express putting it on front page. Soon by 1100 AM it became clear to us that almost every newspaper be it English, Kannada or Telugu, in fact all have inserted our procession photograph and with correct caption or messaging (with the exception of 2 English dailies).

The path to the ultimate victory of human endeavor cannot be tread by one peace procession but by many such activities which propagate our message well into the larger sections of the society and create awareness, thus motivating others to come forward empowering themselves in making the country a place worth living

In this spirit we need to have many channels of expresseing ourselves, to make it a bigger voice in terms of causing the right vibration and achieve the overall objective of eradicating moral policing and support the unfortunate victims. For this need your coordination and support. So in the wake of looming threats by few moral police against couples on Feb 14th, we are planning to go all out in spreading the right message and hence I urge you to please come forward and know the plan and put your ideas. This one needs to happen fast and really fast.

Vote of Thanks:
We thank all those who coudn't participate in the procession but have their hearts out to support our unanimous cause. We wish to see you soon in action.

Finally with humility, respect and pride I salute everyone for coming forward in a true spirit of humanity and thus leave fingerprints on the walls of history as good citizens by your participation!

Special thanks to media: We also definitely owe very special thanks to all reporters who have also contributed largely to our united cause by articulating the message to the larger masses...from Bangalore Times, Bangalore Mirror to The New Indian Express.

With love,
Indraneel Murkumbi