Had been resisting to post on this topic for long. Didn’t want it to be just another post or a knee jerk reaction to something that is THE hot topic of the present. But considering the spontaneous outpouring and growing public outcry, felt if at all a topic is worth posting, this would be it.
On the way to office, I saw a group of twenty something’s (Yup. We sad thirty somethings…why god why..avvvvvvvv) chatting out aloud on bus. By default, my mind blocked them out as yet another bunch of hooligans who show off and cause nuisance. The notion didn’t last a whole second when I noticed the charts and posters they were carrying. Needless to say, they were carrying slogans protesting against the ban on Jallikattu. Usually fellow passengers and conductors give cold shoulder to these youths. But today could witness something totally different. They were looked upon with pride and even those who were no way related to them, appreciated them and even urged to protest hard. The conductor dropped them at the very place where they wanted to get down which was not even a regular bus stop and not a soul complained. There were many who waved them good luck and for a few more stops they were the topic of discussion. Come office, there were already talks of people forming protest chain and slogan shouting late evening and were calling for volunteers. There were few obvious “enthu pattanis” and to my surprise, as the timeline neared, the crowd simply grew exponentially. What was initially planned as a small walk, required few vans to be arranged to commute the foot soldiers till the campus entrance and the to and fro ferrying went several times. One of my team mate told that, her elder sister went to marina yesterday night at 10 PM with her kid and came back home around 3 in the morning.
One can question what did she achieve or what these slogan shouting crowd managed by protesting for something about which I am more than sure they don’t have much of an idea. Except for the hyperboles that are shared as facts and circulated in social media, majority didn’t even knew what they are actually protesting for as each had their own definition and derivation of the issue. But in their mind, they had already picked a point which they felt was unjust and call it mob mentality or whatever, they wanted to show their displeasure. It could’ve been for a variety of reasons long lying dormant and for want of a vent. But whatever said and done, there are thousands of people on the street, protesting. Irrespective of political affiliations and for most its not even an issue that has immediate impact, though having disastrous consequences in the long term, they are out in the street. With a topic, so sensitive, its been handled the most insensitive way by either of the governments. When students join a stir, however trivial the cause maybe, it inadvertently bring their families into fray and in one shot the crowd grows manifold. With social media playing a major role in crowd sourcing for these events, anyone with a camera phone playing news anchor role, this issue is only going to snowball into an avalanche pretty soon, if not already.
What is heartening to see amidst all these are scenes of so many school kids, college students and women taking part. These are not people you see in every protest. These are not fence sitters who sway parties into pyower for food and money. These are not people who are segregated based on any criteria, be it caste, creed or cash. And make no mistake they are no emotional fools either. If this group is out on the streets, protesting something, whatever be the issue is, its high time the people on power take a good hard look at it and take steps to resolve. This may not be a generation that might’ve taken part in independence movement or witnessed the famous emergency of the 70’s. This is the very group that gets brickbats for their bus day celebrations and rash activities on new year’s eve’s. They may not have major earth shattering events to show case their civic worth. But seeing a notable few cleaning up the beach alongside protestors of rubbish was a literal goose bump moment for me.
Sloganeering beckons. More power to Makkals.