Altering protest culture in Delhi since 16/12

Witnessing Change

Delhi being the capital city is a major hot-spot which plays a pivotal role in shaping the social structure of our country.

A new story of India is being written and the pen is held by the youth of this country, which in recent times has made its presence felt by stepping forth to bring about a change they wish to see in society. Two years have passed after the dreadful Nirbahaya incident which invigorated the protest culture in Delhi and made the youth more socially responsible ever since.

Metrolife asked what the youth has to say about the shifting social scenario. Here is what they said:

“I think protests like the one against the December 16 gangrape case and the anti-corruption protest led by Anna Hazare brought people together. It sent a strong message to the government that they cannot take the public lightly,” says Tia Sebastian, a wedding planner.

 “On the other hand, I see people who get excited at the thought of a candle march and think of it as yet another source for their profile pictures, which is sad. I personally am a supporter of protests which intend change” says Sebastian.

The protests are also seen as a way to practise democracy when the government-public dialogue fails and provides a rather impactful platform to make their voice heard by
the government.

Over the last few years, I have personally experienced the awakening of social conscience in Delhi. While we have experienced protests which have made the government rethink and the country aware about grave problems we face, like the protest against Delhi rape case of 2012 or ‘Besharmi Morcha’ which created the buzz and awareness which was needed, the protest by Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal, who took to the streets to protest against the non-cooperation of Delhi Police, was a futile activity. It was more like a cheap political gimmick rather than initiative for change” says Sushant Singh, a DU student.

Delhi has witnessed radical protests such as the ‘kiss of love’ which jarred debates on its nature and ethics in society. The Delhi Gay Pride, a yearly festival to honour and celebrate lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people, and their supporters is a demonstration which has marked the powerful voice of the marginalised and minority sections in the society.

Lenin, former JNUSU president describes the protest in a fascinating way “protest is necessary because without protest nothing will happen in society. For so many years all political parties just did lip service, but in the December 16 movement once the
students hit the streets with massive protests the government started taking gender issues seriously. Kiss of love was a protest against cultural hegemony. The youth needed
new modes of protest. I see ‘kiss of love’ as the new mode of protest.”

The progressive youth has been strenuous with their efforts and demonstrations which sometimes brought about the desired change. Since the protests in Delhi have taken a new turn in its path to development and change, it is the responsibility of the youth to carry it well.  

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