An open question to each and everyone of you in MIT who had resumed their daily life in Manipal today.
In case if you were busy with gupshup, assignments, SP, Dee Tee and what not, there happened to be a candle light vigil at the Venugopal Temple in the campus this evening.
I had gone out of solidarity, hoping there to be a sea of wax with flames as bright as our determination blazing in Ishan’s memory.
And what do I find out?
Hardly 200 to 300 people show up. More or less the same people who showed up at the quadrangle on Monday. Even the Student Council leaders, inspite of the insults, taunts on facebook had the heart to show up today. For all your bravado, give them a break.
Even Ramesha C, who had the second highest number of abuses after Mrs. Garg had shown up. His eyes were moist with tears, even as he said this words:
“When you strive for change, atleast strive to honour the one in whose honour you fought”
But hold on, don’t think I’m criticising just you.
Some of you who were smug about those who showed at the edu building, and said that it was a disgrace that a mob had formed, abhorring all violence, claimed that the condolence meeting should have been concluded with a candle light vigil yesterday. That you still cared.
Instead you are all worried about placements, and not worried about honoring his memory, under the influence of rumors that placements are shot to shit.
And you didnt show up.
What was so hard in showing up, lighting a candle which can be purchased for five rupees, and saying a few prayers before leaving?
It’s hardly ten minutes work.
Some of you are so expert at lighting cigarettes it would have taken you atleast 5 minutes to do so.
Where were you all when you screamed “Ishan Amar Rahe” yesterday?
Is this how you wish Ishan to remain Amar forever? Out in the cold dark wind of the night as the wind extinguished the few candles that had been lit?
As me and a few friends who believed in Ishan’s memory, stood in the tranquil atmosphere of the Venugopal temple, the crowd dwindled. The candles began to dim.
A week of revolution was coming to an end.
But we decided not to let it end so pathetically.
With our lighters, we began relighting all the candles, atleast in your honour. You who agitated, but couldnt light a god damn candle.
We didnt even wince as the lighter fluid ran and the weak flames singed our fingers.
When the lighters ran out, we used candles to relight any remaining candles.
And then, as we received assurances from the much maligned DoberMen that Ishan’s photo would be safe, we called it a night.
A week of revolution finishes.
A new phase, as you call it, begins.
Fight against utility bills, against the mess food quality, against the high fees and every issue under the sun.
But remember one thing.
Will you be able to look at yourselves in the mirror and say that you have done the right thing?
If you are able to sleep at night, good for you.
If you cant, I will pray for you.
Keep posting and liking, commenting and sharing, but remember.
The splotches of wax that remain at the Venugopal temple, before they are erased by time, like our fickle memories, will be a stern reminder to our apathy.
– A True MITian
very true n very well written. i hope the msg goes deep inside..
Amazing work Vinayak – Thank you for this write-up.. I am with you on this! We simply seem to forget the most important things in the easiest manner
was really a heartbreaking 2 c an emotional RC . Respect .
Well said, Vinayak!
People not turning up yesterday just shows that the whole supposed movement that we had against the authority was just a means of using Ishan’s sad demise as an excuse to regurgitate whatever frustration and anger that we had building up inside for far too long -not to bring about a change because we are sad about Ishan’s demise. Apathy in this form, I believe is what leads to the downfall of many a cause.
Let’s hope that Ishan is remembered and the apathy is somehow curtailed. What we did yesterday was just a humble attempt at trying to give our final respect to a great soul whom most of us did not get to know in life.Who was taken away from us violently, cruelly, meaninglessly. Let’s hope that in spite everything shameful that has happened over the past week, a part of Ishan’s spirit continues to live within us…
Nicely written, Vinayak, though I would not agree with you here.
I was there at the quadrangle on saturday, monday, and thursday because i KNEW something was going on. I couldn’t come for the candle-light thing because I didn’t know it was happening.
Now I admit that even I was at fault here, but the organisers should have realised that everyone is still talking about the happenings of thursday, and it would take a little time for newer news to sink in.
moreover, the students were displeased with the director for MANY reasons. the fuel was already there in huge quantities. The death of a fellow student due to negligence on the part of the management was the spark that we all needed. there was a large explosion in the form of widespread protests. the director would HAVE to leave. there was no other way out.
This was analogous to the Mangal Pandey incident. Indians were already fed up of the British atrocities, but those cow/pig fat cartridges started a revolution.
tell me this – how many times in your life have you paid your respects to mangal pandey?
I know what you’ve written here is in good taste, but you should learn to look at the larger picture. this might be harsh, but the truth is this: ISHAN WAS JUST A PAWN, and i am sad to think that he had to die for us to finally grow a pair and fight for what was right. But that was the plan all along. Everyone was waiting for an opportunity to get back at the authority, and his horrendous demise gave us that.
Lastly, I would like to pray for Ishan and his family. But would not “hope that this does not happen again,” as many people are saying.
hoping would not get you anywhere. We would have to bring changes- in the system AND in ourselves. This is why we were so eager to protest- so that the management knows that we won’t take crap from them, and that a ‘mistake’ of this stature is too large to ignore.
With the benefit of hindsight, I do understand that some of the points I raised were probably in the heat of the moment.
You talk about martyrs. Agreed, Mangal Pandey was forgotten. But remember Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan of the 26/11 tragedy? When the seige on Mumbai got over, people all over India paid homage with candle light vigils, to not just him, but countless souls who died in that tragedy.
Perhaps, our martyr hasn’t gotten his due.
I respect your opinions. Peace.