'Fasting sends out a negative message'

Though many appreciate the initiative, some also condemn the method employed by these people to garner a response from the government. People find fasting a rather outdated way of showing disdain and youngsters in the City complain that relating to the issue is tough, as no solution comes out of such methods. Metrolife asked people in the City about the methods apart from fasting that the civil society can resort to generate public opinion

Sabaah, Student

“The role of the civil society is really commendable but I think fasting as a means of protest is quite silly. It sends out a rather negative message as it is equivalent to committing suicide in front of the whole nation! Though it does get people talking, other methods can be used to generate dialogue and get people interested in an issue. Facebook, for instance, is a great way of mobilising people. Music and art can also be used very creatively to stress on an issue. Even a fashion show with an anti corruption theme is a good way of expressing our disdain.”

 Ajay Naik, Pilot

“The issue in question becomes equally important when we are discussing about the other methods civil society can adopt to rebel against government policies. Every issue is subjective and different methods are required to deal with it. However,
one of the basic reasons why people find it hard to relate to any issue is because of lack of information. The first step we need to take is make people aware of their rights.
Information booklets and banners all over the City can be used to constantly remind people of their rights.”

 Pavithra Natarajan, Professional

“We need to make more noise when it comes to dealing with issues like corruption. What would be nice is a crusader against corruption, someone like a real-life Anniyan (a character in a Tamil film), who is so angry with corruption that he decides to take it upon himself to clear the muck. Fasting, protests, committees, nothing has worked so far! What we actually need is something that will put some fear into corrupt officials and politicians.”

 Muiz Ahmad, Student

“Media is the best tool that civil society can use to generate public opinion. If I felt strongly for an issue, I would just grab a couple of my friends and protest at Anil Kumble Circle. I would basically do all that I can, to grab the attention of the media. To get all my friends involved, I would just put up an event on Facebook, probably rope in a radio cha­nnel to talk about it, get T-shirts addressing the issue and lastly, have a bunch of signboards. I would pro­bably also get my college involved and make enough noise so that a news channel comes and covers it.”

 Bhairav Shanth, Professional

“There are certainly many ways of influencing government policies, which the civil society can adopt. One of the ways of doing it would be if the top hundred business leaders of the country got together to form a consortium and addressed some of the issues in the country. If the important people of the country get together, the government is bound to listen to them. All we need is a body that acts as a strong bargaining medium with the government. It will also be a
medium for educated youth who want to do something for the country as they can be part of such a body and relate to it.”


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