SARAH AHMAD | 25 APRIL, 2019
The Call of the Nation
We absorb, we pray, we ache, we vote, we live
Five Years, and I’ve had it, can’t bear another five, yet I live in the fear that it might be inevitable, and they will be back; but also, in the hope that this too shall pass. Yet change is not easy to come by, and when it does it can be catastrophic; winters have warm uncertain days, summer has cold brutal rains, autumn peculiar flowers, and leaves fall in spring.
The same applies to our political state, our social outlook, or electoral rights. When our fear comes to life, that a little typhoon near the coast has finally made its way inland, in the depths of a land locked town, burning at the touch. When we don’t take care of our environment we bear its brunt, yet many celebrate its annihilation like the advent of a miraculous spirit.
An eccentric event, hosted in New Delhi by a collaboration of community development organisations, Those in Need and Our Voix, is about liberation and emancipation. The event called The Global Bubble Parade is about defining the power of one’s voice. Its central aim is to make people raise their voice, share stories where it or collective voices have had an impact. It is a peaceful walk of soapy bubbles and music, engaging participants and encouraging them to break their bubble of self-consciousness.
A film – The Magnificent Journey: Times and Tales of Democracy – brings to light the landscape of our times in and how the idea of democracy is under severe threat. The film celebrates democracy for its ambition, the engagement and the excitement it generates, while also identifying the many challenges it faces. Directed by Abhijit Banerjee and Ranu Ghosh, it draws upon unique footage from hundreds of conversations with would be voters and local leaders in various towns and villages of north India, with all the humour, passion and intellectual depth that the participants bring to their decisions.
And Punjab Disappeared – a documentary following the work of the Punjab Documentation and Advocacy Project, uncovers the decade of enforced disappearances, extrajudicial killings and mass secret cremations that took place in Punjab. Thousands of people, mainly young Sikh men and boys, disappeared after being abducted by the Punjab police, were murdered in staged encounters and their bodies cremated as unidentified. You can watch a trailer here.
Change is coming, yet there is a chance of no change. We might witness the further extension of the world we live in today, an expansion of the fear we face, pain and feebleness the marginalised encounter. Still, we move on. Leaves fall, winds become hurricanes, humans become beasts, yet we absorb, we pray, we ache, we vote, we live.
. The Global Bubble Parade: 26th May, 3pm-6pm, at Lodi Gardens, Lodi Road, New Delhi
. The Magnificent Journey: Times and Tales of Democracy on 30th April, 6:30 pm, at the India International Centre, New Delhi
. Punjab Disappeared, followed by a panel discussion, on 26th April 5:30 pm at Jawahar Bhavan, RSVP over email or Facebook