Pasted from facebook group of people wanting an end to the bandhs…
Looking forward to the coming 3-day bandh? Looking forward to the fact that a few big egos with no-one’s interests at heart but their own, will oppress you for three long days with the real threat of cheap several-hundred-rupee-per-day-hired-violence. Who benefits from this? Can bullying create lasting change? After 15+ years of bandhs, does it have the power of shock and awe any more? Or is there only the sorry, stale whiff of an unshaven thug’s day-old armpit about it. It stinks. It’s terrorism on the street corner and the masses lie down and take it as a part of life in Naya Nepal. The more things change, the more they stay the same. But wait a minute….
- Its not my job to stop it
- I am helpless to face up to it myself, what can I do?
- So what, its just a few days, I can wait it out
- Uh, what, I’m asleep…. zzzz
Is there really *nothing* we, you, I, me, he, she, they can do? Aren’t you feeling helpless, pathetic, angry? What? You don’t care? Go and take a long, hard look at yourself in the mirror right now maybe? Wake up?
Here’s a suggestion. Instead of looking for the nuclear bomb that will wipe bandhs from the face of history tomorrow, let’s take it slowly, be creative, be surprising, reject the shouting, chest beating old-school ways, and have a lot of sneaky fun. Sounds like an ideal romance, no? Let’s start by giving a hint of the steam in this youthful pressure cooker. Start by making small cracks in the wall of nonsense surrounding the rulers of this country, the ruling caste.
Time to start brainstorming on this wall and discussion forum. There is no hierarchy here. You have a good idea? Share it. You think we’re all stupid? Please let us know. Have a terrible idea? Inspire someone else to improve it. Its open to all. Get thinking. Discuss with your friends.
What has come up so far? Only a few can be published (let’s be a bit subtle) and there are some good techno-ideas.
- “What about ‘Flash Mob'”?, asked a few people – showing the strength of the silent majority without violence. Know what it is? An sms alert brings a huge mass of people together at short notice at a specific location with secret instructions. Then disperse immediately after the action is over.
- “Exposing faces behind the mob”, suggested another. Get snapping pictures of bandh enforcers, and start posting pictures on this and other forums. This is one small way of empowering ourselves and see the faces behind this destructive forms of protests.
- Phone jamming – “if you get 1000 people to call every party head office and express their opinion on bandh, would be fun no?”
- Email the editors – “Mass send emails to the editors of the mass media in Nepal. ‘Please publish on letters page: Dear Sir/Madam, I am 23 from Lalalalitpur and I want to express my view on the bandh culture which is a hand at the throat of this nation….etc etc'”, suggested one of you. “If they don’t read or publish every letter, at least they get the message from a constipated in-box.”
- “A bandh day football tournament on tundikel, mass random cricket competition in the streets, a cycle rally for the hard-core orwhat the hell – let’s just get people, lots of people together. Otherwise its pathetic, isn’t it?”, brainstormed yet another.
- “Eggs, eggs, eggs – or should it be shoes?”, asks a foreigner. “Where is the dissent in this country!?”
Ideas abound, actions, er, well, limited. Safety in numbers is key – isn’t that why we want to make the group as big as possible? As a group, we’ll work on what you have said. Is this dumb? Could it be better? Let us know now.
We have got some secret underground plans on the way. We are looking for activists like you! Let us know if you want to be a bit more hands-on in removing the culture of bandh from this country. If you feel you want to remain hands-on-keyboard and contribute ideas, please feel free to send us ideas (however simple they might be) in the discussions forum in this group. If you want to do so anonymously, please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Get out, take pictures, listen, look, talk to people about their view of bandh, listen hard, ask them more questions, listen, listen, and report your stories.
“If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping in a room with a mosquito.” Some wise person said that. You all know its true.
We’ll be in touch soon regarding the above. Be ready to bite.