This is old news now, but I’ve had no time to post. In my recent Bangalore stint (or shall I say stink, both are equally appropriate), I got mixed up in several battles. One was the rights of stray dogs. I’m so proud that our country acknowledges the rights of animals to space, food, kindness. I’m so proud of the many kindhearted people who cook for and feed tens of stray animals around their homes. But I’m not at all proud of the rabid haters who attack those people and deny the animals’ right to existence. Such a battle is being fought in my neighborhood. Luckily law and logic are on our side; unluckily the haters don’t recognise either.
Zooming out from the microcosm – the entire world seems to be a battle between the haters and the live-and-help-live people. Sitting at the farm, we are mostly out of it all, and slightly guilty that we are not part of the good fight. The CAA and the NRC, with their huge potential to be misused, look ominously like Hitler’s beginnings. But here we sit, sandwiched between a Hindu and a Muslim village, peaceful neighbours, insulated from the hatred and the poison, except through our mobile newses.
Anyway, I was happy and proud to join a protest when I was in Bangalore last week.
It was so heartening to see hundreds of women of all faiths sitting together, chatting and making friends with strangers in between making speeches, chanting slogans, and singing protest songs in Kannada, Hindi and English. The battle is grim, but the mood was jolly. It was like a picnic. There was a haze of sisterly love over all the proceedings. But the most thrilling, actually heart-strings-tugging, part for me was the repeated call, Aawaaz do! To which we would all answer at the tops of our voices, Hum ek hain!
It’s that simple. Hum ek hain. We are one. Why can’t everyone see it? What will it take to knock the scales from their eyes?