[This is, in verbatim, my email to Blogalorean’s mailing list
where I called for this meeting and where we would be keeping this flame burning.]
The solidarity meeting in memory of these who lost their lives in the Mumbai Terror was attended by 16 people. Except Snigdha, Vinayak and myself, no one else was from Blogaloreans. After a long discussion which lasted for about 2 hours we decided to keep the fire burning, we decided to meet again soon, very soon lest initial euphoria die down. We didn’t come up with any revolutionary ideas or solutions, but we do have a few action plans in hand. The 16 of us wanted a common forum where we can carry on with the discussion, but instead of making yet another google groups to run the discussions, we decided to keep it here on Blogaloreans at least for first few days. So a lot of mails that would be hence forth exchanged would probably come across as Off Topic. Please bear with it. The main reason we are keeping the first rounds of discussion on this list is because we are not sure who all here might be interested in this initiative and who won’t. Am thinking even though none of you didn’t respond to the candle light vigil, you might be interested in more structured and constructive efforts. We can later move to a different forum.
With that I present you minutes of today’s meeting (which I am keeping very simple)
Introductions: Most people came thru OCC and CRY lists. Vaibhav had forwarded my mail to OCC frm there Amit spread it further amongst CRY voluteers group. So thanks to all for coming. :) Amit and some friends are involved in an street theater initiative through which they are hoping to spread awareness on how an ordinary citizen can help fight terrorism. They have a script ready which he can share with us. Amit please send us the google group address for the initiative those of us interested can join hands with you.
Main points discussed
What can an ordinary citizen do when it comes to fighting terrorism?
What do we want from the Government/ Administration?
some of the suggestion that came was:
1) Be alert of suspicious activities in your neighbourhood. If you see anything unusual don’t hesitate from reporting about it. We always worry too much about a being embarassed and laughed at but we shouldn’t be.
2) We should always check who are we renting out our houses, this doesn’t mean we become paranoid or we completely avoid people from a particular religion, but the idea is that we keep the local police informed, do a bit of background check.
3) Cooperate in all possible ways with security personnel in keeping vigil, and if we notice they are not doing their work properly we nudge them and insist. For eg. sometimes we see the security guards at Malls, cinemas, railway stations they just let people pass easily without properly checking all their bags. At those times we must insist that they check all bags properly
4) We also need to put a real democracy in place. For that the first step would be for all of us to get ourselves registered and obtain a Voter’s I card. Unless we have a voter’s I card we don’t even have the right to ask anything from our politicians, coz we didn’t vote in the first place. Secondly, we shouldn’t just vote but also judiciously vote. Make concious efforts to know our leaders, what is his background, how educated is he etc. just like we see in the Tata tea Ad, where this guy says sir aapka qualification kya hai?
Our politicians don’t communicate with us because we dont ask questions. We are not bothered and they know we are not bothered, so they’d rathe go to the villages and seek votes in consideration of blankets and Dhotis.
One thing we all agreed was that there are already too many groups and too many interested people ready to do something, lots of forums and groups coming up everyday. What we need now is a leader who could consolidate all, unite them all and lead. Talking about leaders, we thought of the winner of Lead India, RK Mishra. We wondered where is he? Whatever happened to his leading India. Was it just a reality show? Or was it meant to yeild anything more than revenue and TRPs. So we have decided to find him out and meet him.
I on behalf of Mutiny (www.mutiny.in
) and Blogalorans (http://blogaloreans.in/
) have taken the responsibility of finding him and call a Mutiny meet, where we all can meet and talk to him. Amit extended his help in reaching Mr. Mishra, he said he might be having the email ID / number etc.
Why Mutiny? Because it is a brand, otherwise why would RK Mishra want to meet me and 15 more of us, who are we? And also cause recently we saw a lot of Mutineers expressing an willingness to meet up and do something. The idea is instead of having many small groups we need to make one big circle and keep making it bigger.
We’ll be having this meet on do this Mutiny Meet on 13th of December. The other person we’d try to get on board is Jasmine Shah, the Jaagore Campaign Coordinator. I am looking for a venue for this meet right now, if anybody have suggestions on a good venue let me know.
A special thanks to Snigdha to propose this candle light vigil, it was her thought, my action and all of your’s support.
M. Nirmal Ganesh