What happened in Baduria and Basirhat of West Bengal is a warning. What is happening in Darjeeling is a warning. What is happening in Jammu and Kashmir is a warning. When people are getting lynched for their food choices, it is a warning. What is happening to dalits, adivasis and other minorities in present day India is a warning. Can you read the writing on the wall?
It is alarming. India is sitting on a tinder box. Any day it can explode, inflaming the whole nation. It is time that saner people came out of their comfort zones and did something. Many people say I’m helpless. Many people blame it on the political parties. Many people say I’m not a political activist, what can I do? No, it’s not the time for forsaking India. It’s not the time for apathy. It’s time that everyone started doing whatever in their capacity to save India from a grave danger that’s lurking in the dark. When political parties, except for the right wing fascist Sangh Parivar and its political off shoot Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), are in deep slumber it is time for people to step up.
During freedom struggle Gandhiji asked everyone to drop whatever they are doing and plunge into freedom struggle. I would say it was not a smart move, but it had it’s political impact. But it left many people without good education and knowledge to earn a livelihood. Finally when freedom came it also made many people disenchanted.
Now we have come to such a stage that we have to launch a second freedom struggle. Now people don’t have to leave their jobs or their studies. They just have to donate an hour for the well being of the country . On top of whatever everyone is doing, donate just one hour for the communal harmony of India. One hour is a bench mark. You can donate more or even just five minutes of your time a day. This can be spent in any meaningful social work that anybody can do. From a five year old child to a 90 year old elder citizen should be able to take part in this endeavor. While spending this hour people will be reflecting why they are doing it, where the country is headed, is this the direction the country should go.
Some Activities that we can do in this one hour or five minutes.
- Blood donation camps. Sharing our bloods will make us realize that we are all brothers and sisters.
- Community kitchens or food packet distribution to the needy
- Know your neighbor. Spend some time with your neighbours to know about them more deeply and intimately. This can create communal amity.
- Film screening on communal harmony
- Poetry reading on communal harmony and social integration
- Cultural Programmes
- Seminars, workshops on communal harmony and social integration
- Protest gatherings, rallies
- Petition campaigns
- Literary/painting workshop for children and college students on communal harmony
- Spend time with disabled people, elderly people
- Planting of tree saplings for a better India
- Reviving/protecting a water body to protect our lives
- Inter caste/inter religious food festivals to create communal harmony
Well, this is small list I just scribbled down. There is no end to creative actions that can bring peace, justice and communal harmony to India. We can build a better India. Let’s start dreaming and working together.