A protest rally, my first experience

Well, I had never been to a protest rally! At least, not in the streets. This was my first experience. And limping forward with a burnt foot, I saw passions run high……..it was a memorable experience. I shall not say much about the reservation debate as I feel that there’s very little I can say and in addition, I think actions speak louder than words.

The rally was from Chikka Lal Bagh to Banappa Park. Chikka Lal Bagh seems to be the usual starting point for rallies held in the past. So it was for this rally as well. Most of the students present were medicine students (as made out from the white coats they were wearing). There were others as well and for the first time, I saw a good participation from IISc crowd as well.

The energy of the place was worth seeing. Most of the students there didn’t need to be there really! They were already students of the Institutes they wanted to join. But it was so inspiring to see them worried about the Future of the students who were going to join………for me too, I’m already a PhD student where I wanted to be. It may not really affect me. But I was there still. Because I felt the move is wrong. And I felt the others fight for the same reason too!

The rally started in an extremely disciplined manner with students moving in such a way that there was little or no disturbance to the traffic. There were onlookers as well as people who joined in on the way. There were people going off in between as well. But the atmosphere was charged. I felt the tension all the time.

There were cameras flashing all the time, video cameras were rolling, interviews being held, banners being carried……there was Police, media, ambulances, water trucks!!!! And there were cucumber and ice-cream vendors (they too made full use of the event with so many people in one place)……….and even a moongfali vendor……..it was very interesting to see all this.

And there were banners after banners……….I remember some and here’s the text …..

* Stop spoon feeding us. Let us stand on our own feet – OBC
* IISc opposes reservation, respect brains (I had part on making this one)
* Ab merit ka kya hoga?
* Next step: Reservation for SC/STs/OBCs in Olympics?
* Is it my fault that I was born in General Category?
* Students’ Power, Nation’s Power
* I am against reservation
* Forget about our dreams, higher education is RESERVED now

And some slogans were interesting too:

* We want JUSTICE
* Take back, take back, RESERVATION TAKE BACK
* Sixty Sixty One Twenty, ARJUN SINGH FOUR TWENTY
* Beke beku, NYAAYA BEKU
* Arjun Singh, HAY HAY
* Samaanta humko pyaara hai, YAHI HAMAARA NAARA HAI (excuse the mistake in this, the author of this slogan is not a native Hindi speaker)
* Desha hodya mantri, ARJUN SINGH KANTRI (I vaguely know the meaning of this one though)
* Ek do teen chaar, BAND KARO YE ATYACHAAR

One more notable point was the discipline being observed while the rally was being organized. The students were making sure that the crowd never strayed from the four columns they were supposed to be walking in. There were people periodically telling us to move in lines, to not block the traffic.

My hats off to the organizers of the rally……and I express my solidarity towards the all the students who are anti-reservation………it’s time vote banks stoppped being the deciding factor for policies!

That’s all I have to say about that……….



  1. Karthik said,

    May 21, 2006 at 2:31 am

    wish i had been there. however, owing to a fast approaching project deadline, couldn’t join you all.

    you talked of discipline during the rally. That in itself is an indicator that the protestors are rational people seeking sane decisions.

  2. Pritesh said,

    May 22, 2006 at 10:09 am

    I agree Karthik…..only that people who’re policy makers seem to have gone deaf and blind…..

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