To fight it with peace | delhi | Hindustan Times
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To fight it with peace

If Mahatma Gandhi got us freedom through non-violence, he also bequeathed us the art of protest. People’s anger, frustration, anxiety, deprivation and sadness often manifest themselves in the form of rallies, demonstrations and sometimes a musical evening, writes Swapnapriiya Manna.

delhi Updated: Feb 01, 2010 15:40 IST
Swapnapriiya Manna

Our city isn’t very safe is it? "While today could be just another day for me, for someone else it could be the horrifying
day they get raped, crushed by a drunken driver, beaten up unconscious or even brutally murdered. It doesn’t seem to
matter how old or how young you are, " says Shruti Ailawadi who works with Commotion which is a dynamic network that brings to attention current issues of concern that need to be addressed.

"We are committed to stand up for justice and speak on behalf of those in need. Our aim is to spread awareness and recruit as many people as we can to join this mission," added Shruti. ‘Come Together’, organized by Commotion, brought people together to promote communal harmony and stand against prejudices and atrocities toward people from the North East who now no longer feel too welcomed in this city.
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Eunice Pamei performing at the event.

The multicultural evening of artists from India and abroad came together to celebrate life, express unity and challenge discrimination and prejudices based upon culture, religion, and sex. Artists Tony Johnson and Zoie Ray Johnson, Almond Blossom (Eunice with band) and Bonny Andrews came together from different parts of India and abroad to express their concerns through music and dance.

In the past few months it would seem that violence toward the North East community (especially women) is on a rise. " It’s bad enough when we hear about racial violence/discrimination against Indians in Australia, the UK, or somewhere in the West; but why within our country, amongst our own people?, " asked Tenzing Yeshe, who has just come to the city to pursue his higher education.

" Its seems like somewhere in our shameful subconscious collective thinking we are programmed to associate female north eastern looks with extreme sexuality. Not the expensive foreign blonde and busty pole dancer, or the unattainable chaste Indian goddess kind of sexuality , but the kind that is easily available" said Raghav Moitra, a student from the University of Delhi. Maybe to an extent that may seem right but is the continous oppression of north easterns just a result of sheer frustration on the part of the opprresors? " There is continous debate about if this obnoxious behaviour has to do with identity politics in terms of regionality or sexuality'" said a student from Miranda House who prefered being anonymous.
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Tony and Jordan

So, does holding candle vigils or walking marches prove fruitful in some way when criminal cases against various offenders rot in piles of documents in our courts while some never even reach there? "When surrounded by a million tragedies we can easily become desensitized, indifferent and blissfully unaware. Our aim is to catalyze positive change in the values and attitudes of our city. " says Shruti. Shiv Khera’s famous quote ‘if injustice is happening to your neighbour and you can sleep at night, wait your turn. You are next!’ sounds uncomfortably true.

Commotion is a charitable trust working closely with school and college students as well as with young professionals.