The following is Thank You Note from Jagadish G Chandra (New Socialist Alternative CWI-India) on behalf of People’s Solidarity Concerns – Bangalore.
Dear Comrades, Friends, Brothers, Sisters, Young & Elderly- Muslims, Hindus, Christians, Daliths, Buddhists, Sikhs, Believers & non-Believers, Physically Challenged, Students, Working people, different Nationalities, Sexuality Minorities and everybody who came and made this event ‘Stop the bombing of Gaza – End Israeli state terror!’ Protest for Humanity a success, I on behalf of the @Peoples’ Solidarity Concerns-Bangalore sincerely thank you all. Yesterday evening Bangalore spoke,humanity spoke,انسانیت spoke इन्सानियत् spoke, ಮಾನವತೆ spoke,மனிதநேயம் spoke മനുഷ്യത്വം spoke- asserted itself that contrary to the “popular” perception that here in this city people are impervious and have “ye sub kuch chalta hai” attitude to what happens around them and the world.
#Bangalore4Gaza was not merely a protest, was an ocean of humanity expressing its concern,anguish and anger against the despicable attacks that are taking place in Gaza by the Israeli state. As my fellow activist friend Jay wrote on his time-line last night, this was by far the biggest protest gathering on an issue of an international character in recent times.
It was an unprecedented show of solidarity for peace in Gaza, it was a mass expression of human emotions for the fellow human beings suffering. Many youth who came there, were really and rightly frustrated at the helplessness that ordinary people feel about the happenings in Gaza inflicted on the Palestinian people, many were seen and heard discussing intensely the possibilities of cease fire and end to hostilities.
To asses as to how many participated in the protest is a hard bargain, a plainclothesman from the Special Branch called me this morning and said there were at least 2000 in the gathering. Yes, the young participants were livid and uncontrollable, but that has to be understood in the context of the emotions that were running high.
In the run up to the event, I must have received 500 telephone calls in less than 48 hours, the event news went viral, in Face Book and WhatsApp on the Mobiles, the 5 thousand leaflets that we brought in 4 languages;English, Kannada, Urdu and Tamil went in a jiffy, in fact we had to struggle to keep some for the event. Many hitherto unknown youth volunteered to distribute the leaflets in their localities, I was told people saw posters put up in Mosques and leaflets distributed.
The massive turnout at the event goes to indicate the underlying anger in the society especially among the religious minorities, vulnerable and disadvantaged in the society. Muslim youth in particular feel that they are being attacked everywhere and feel frustrated that there is no fight back strategies either from their own peers or the political parties that claim to represent them.
The multicultural, multilingual and the all religious gathering in support of Gaza emphatically shows that, given a bit of leadership the youth in particular are prepared to stand-up and go a long way in challenging the stereo type attitudes in the society.
I would like to recall the protests events of the time when George Bush visited India, we could not bring all the sections together, though the Muslim brethren also resented his visit and did protest, they did not make a common cause with the rest of the people (especially in Bangalore) the protests were sectional and scattered, the peers of the Muslim community were seen advising their younger ones not to join the other protests. Now times have changed, both within this country and in the world outside.
They is no escaping of the fact that all the downtrodden, oppressed, marginalized and downtrodden have to come together and make a common cause and struggle forward. Hence the groundswell of spontaneous support for the Solidarity Protest on 17th July. In conclusion I would like to thank all those organisations /groups which enthusiastically brought their members and supporters out to the protest. I thank all those women, particularly the Muslim women, both young and old, who in spite of all the social restrictions ventured to come to the event and participate with all the gusto.
Last but not the least, I will be failing in my duty if I don’t mention the name of two individuals who initially motivated us in the New Socialist Alternative to take up the cause for Gaza, one is Ravi Ganeshan and Shaheen Ahmed. Of course all the comrades of the New Socialist Alternative CWI-India) worked tirelessly to get up this event in a short notice. The meeting was addressed by many important personalities, to name a few, Dr. Mateen of Jamat Islami-Hind, Ambrose Pinto, Principal – St. Aloysius, Degree College. Akbar Ali -Welfare Part of India,Farooq – SIO, Shabbir Kodiyattur, Corine Kumar – VIMOCHANA (Women’s Organisation).
But as the Convenor of the Peoples’ Solidarity Concerns- Bangalore, I sincerely regret due to overwhelming gathering things went out of calculations and we could not call every organisation to speak. Human rights Defender Narsimha Murthy did a great job in moderating this event. There was an financial appeal to the participants to cover the costs that were incurred to organise the protest. We collected ₹18,230 from the people, which covers the costs and little more extra (of Course, the excess would be out in use for future events), Thanking you all, In Solidarity Jagadish G Chandra Convenor, Peoples’ Solidarity Concerns-Bangalore New Socialist Alternative (CWI-India)