Odisha Channel Bureau
Bhubaneswar: Lakhs of people across the country participated in the If We Do Not Rise countrywide campaign against the targeted attacks on constitutional rights of the people on September 5.
As many as 632 women’s groups, LGBTQIA communities, human rights organisations, trade unions and farmers’ organisations came together to observe September 5 as a day of resistance under the banner of Hum agar uthhe nahin toh… (If We Do Not Rise…). The day marked the third martyrdom anniversary of Gauri Lankesh.
According to the organisers, the online campaign on September 5 witnessed 2670 physical protests with a participation of over 50,000 people across 28 states covering 245 districts.
Approximately 2000 ordinary people made videos on issues that perturbed them the most and they were uploaded on various social platforms. As many as 513 prominent people did facebook lives, thousands of new visuals, paintings, posters were created and shared. Performing artists and many eminent personalities participated in the online campaign.
Over 150 performances took place using the hashtags #IfWeDoNotRise and #हमअगरउट्ठेनहींतो. The estimated views on social media are over 15 lakhs.
“The response was overwhelming; a conversation in the first week of July within a small group transformed into a major national protest. It was both the inclusiveness of the protest as well as the restlessness concerning the situation in the country that drew so many diverse groups to this protest (please see #IfWeDoNotRise on any social media platform).
Eminent personalities who participated in the campaign include: Aparna Sen, Arundhati Roy, Lillette Dubey, Joy Sengupta, Mallika Sarabhai, Maya Rao, Danish Husain, Ankur Tewari, Harsh Mander, Prof Aditya Mukherjee, Prof Mridula Mukherjee, Nandini Sunder, Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, Purushottam Agarwal, Ashok Kumar Pandey, Admiral Ramdas, Lalita Ramdas, Chetan Ahimsa, Anitha Bhat, Bhavya Gowda, Neethu Shetty, Kavita Lankesh, Anjali Bhardwaj, Annie Raja, Kavita Krishnan, Gauhar Raza, Dr Syeda Hameed, Ram Puniyani, Bhasha Singh, Pamela Philipose, Ramu Ramanathan, Jayati Ghosh, Teesta Setalvad, S Irfan Habib, Dhruv Sangari, Mannu Kohli, Vinod Pandey , Enakshi Ganguly , Prasanna, Prof Rooprekha Verma and others. Well known painters like Vivan Sundaram, Nilima Sheikh, Archana Hande, Atul Dodiya, Bijoy Jain, Mithu Sen, Meera Devidayal, Pushpmala N, Varunika Saraf and hundreds of others participated. Chemould Prescott Road, art gallery, run by Shireen Gandhy and many others actively were part of the campaign.
A large number of young people – designers, performers, social media professionals and students joined the campaign. There were more than 40 logos created for the campaign and then every state voted for them, the one which got highest votes was adopted as the campaign logo. Young designers created hundreds of new posters and designed the factsheets. It was truly a festival of resistance defying the authoritarian state.
The organisers have subsequently released a charter of demands and 20 factsheets on behalf of the campaign. The factsheets cover the following thematic areas: TG communities, Health, Violence against women, LBG women, Political participation, Migrant workers, Women farmers, Young people, Domestic workers, Muslim women, Sex workers, Dalit and Adivasi (DA) women, Environment and North-East region, Political prisoners, Environmental issues, Construction workers, Women with disabilities, Home-based workers, Religious minorities and Media.
The charter of demands covers 13 thematic areas: Democratic Rights, Transparency & Accountability, Institutional Autonomy and Integrity, Right to Life and Safety, Food Security, Right to Education, Right to Work, Right to Political Participation, Right to Health, Access to Natural Resources, Technology and Surveillance, Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Media, the organisers said in a press release.