Friday, March 04, 2016
Who are the people who stand for the oppressed?
There are many people who feel for the oppressed, but there are a few who go out and stand for the oppressed. The ones who really work for the oppressed will never make noise, because there is so less time and there are so many lives to be uplifted. Some of the people who feel for the oppressed do help them through small gestures of spending a day or two with them or sending money to programs working for them. While there are some who just want to remain in a perpetual state of rebellion by taking the name of the oppressed, but doing little to improve the fate of the same people they are talking about.
Now the question is who are the real heroes or sheroes who work at the ground and make a real difference? They are familiar people but we just don’t visualise their great acts, because they don’t make speeches.
She is the primary healthcare worker in a village cut-off by a dam project in Odisha, where medicine supplies come only once in two months, but she has saved thousands of villagers over the last 30 years by just making them aware of malaria menace and ensuring they use mosquito net. He is the Lutheran Church father, who left his art studio life in Paris and is residing in a non-descript plateau valley of Chotnagpur teaching thousands of Oraon and Munda children English. He is the RSS worker who has brought small lift irrigation access to hundreds of villages in the same plateau valley location of Chotnagpur, without government help and has stopped migration of thousands. He is the mystical Muslim old man who sells vegetables on the highway and gives his whole month’s earnings to feed hundreds of orphaned children managed by a temple trust. Interesting all these people –The Church father, The RSS worker and The Muslim vegetable seller -- help each other when there is a drought or disease outbreak to help the oppressed people. They see each other as different people having the same mission, standing for the oppressed.
He is the US educated youngster who left start-up midway and has since helped thousands of Gondi farmers to grow mushrooms for multinational FMCG majors, thereby improving income significantly and stopping migration to brick kilns completely in hundreds of villages. She is the MIT doctorate, who after being raped in her early years in India works for the betterment of the same locality. He is the soldier, who misses all the beautiful years of his child’s life but doesn’t miss a single intruder who wants to bleed India. They are the labourer parents who slog hard to get their children a better life, a life better than theirs.
The people, who really stand for the oppressed, never have time to make speeches or big ideological statements. The people who really work for the upliftment of the oppressed don’t take time to buy faded jeans and Che Guevara T-shirts, because they themselves walk as revolutionaries they wanted to. They don’t grow beard or colour their hair white to look rebellious and intellectual because they earn it by working tirelessly and meticulously for the oppressed.
The people, who really work for the oppressed don’t want awards, don’t want political appointments, or a fellow position in some institute peddling a certain ideology in a large city. The people who really work for the oppressed don’t talk romanticism and blame the whole world while trying to impress the cute girl in the 1st year of social science department.
The people, who really work for the oppressed don’t need to get drunk and smoke 12 cigarettes to talk romanticism or sometimes give hate speeches. People who work for the oppressed don’t spend their pocket money on old monk and navy-cut cigarettes and later graduate to the finest cigars and wines. They would rather pay that money to a Birhor family of 7 for buying rice and salt for a whole year.
People who feel rebellious and people who bring real changes are two different people. While it is great to feel passionate about standing for the oppressed, it is unfair to perpetually curse the system and not doing anything worthy for the real oppressed.
In a country like India doing something for an oppressed person is easy, because the state is not able uplift the lives of millions and each of us can act for thousands of them, but preferably without making speeches.
People like me who were old monk, faded jeans rebellious and then went to the real ground working for the people we loved, but could not sustain more than a year understand how courageous are the heroes and sheroes who work isolated in non-descript locations without any recognition. Escapists like me how these wonderful would never give up what they are doing because they have become true revolutionary.