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Feminist, blogger and activist Anasuya Sengupta, in an essay called ‘Fundamentalisms of the Progressive‘ wrote,
‘One of our campaigns was to wear a white ribbon for peace (the White Ribbon Campaign for Peace, India) – we used it both as a symbol and as a talking point, to begin conversations about violence of all kinds, including what we call ‘communalism’ in India (the rousing of hatred against particular communities). Initially, some of our friends scoffed at us, and wondered what an insignificant white ribbon could do, to change attitudes and animosities.
But the interesting thing was that there were so many people – both young and not so young – who were unable to be political in the same way as they saw ‘activists’; they felt this meant standing at street corners with banners, or going on rallies, or shouting slogans against the government. They found this too ‘political’ (in their understanding of the term), and yet they were deeply disturbed at the kinds of violence being perpetrated in the name of religion.
So for these people, wearing a ribbon was the beginning of a series of conversations they had with others, which began other processes of change, at least in terms of breaking the silence around violence.
And because it was something everyone could do – and have conversations at whatever level of politics and ideology each was comfortable with – it wasn’t intimidating in any way, and yet gave a sense of belonging to a community against violence, and speaking up for peace.’
Do you believe in pluralism and justice?
Are you Secular, liberal, free thinking?
Do you believe that all religion has in its essence ways of leading a soulful, integrated and fulfilled life?
Do you believe that religious extremism has done us no good?
Say No to religious bigotry.
It’s happening.It’s finally happening!
And it is also time to shed light on what really happened in Godhra.
The Tehelka Story on the operation brings to us the remorseless voices that orchestrated the tragedy.
After having moved the fourth estate, lets hope and pray that this operation moves the judicial machinery into taking the right steps towards trying and punishing all the accused named and implicated in the videos.Elections are due in December and contrary to the BJP’s view that this comes as a sabotaging act to the electoral process, this is in fact an aid to the concept of free and fair democracy.
A lot of what the tapes tell us is common knowledge in Gujarat. But having perpetrators implicate themselves on film is evidence that cannot be easily denied.And for the process of trial there is this and much more.It is time for the Center and the Election Commission to step in and stop the same criminal government from coming back again, in the name of development and progress.
For the public of Gujarat that seeks to put the shadows of 2002 behind, there can be no circumventing the issues of 2002.These are glaring wounds that yearn to be dealt with.
As a people we give thanks in deference to the entire Tehelka team, to Tarun Tejpal, Harinder Baweja, Ashish Khetan and Shoma Choudary among others.