A Message From The National Secretariat
For the fourth consecutive year, India rose to another height, the madness prevailed and it is still not over!
The OBR rising month- February 2016, has created a new chapter in the herstory of the OBR risings. For us it is the multi-dimensional, pluralistic, inclusive and above all young- yes it has come to age, it is in its fourth year. The first time in 2013 when we threw a small pebble into the pond of creativity & solidarity, with dancing steps of activism, protest and power of collective risings, little did we realise one day it will turn into the largest global mobilisation.
The years of the OBR risings continued, marking the ripples larger and deeper, expanding the pond into rising waves, higher and higher; today as we share with you glimpses of rising in India, we feel intoxicated. February 2016 was an amazing month for the OBR campaign, we have crossed all limits and given up the desire for counting the numbers- one, two or four billion risings…does it matter?
The most significant and exhilarating is the rising of the youth: we have yet to establish the full count of campuses but it seems more than 150 schools, colleges, universities across the nation rose- their support has been monumental. It is no long just a Rising of women’s issues, the youth of the country have taken it over. This comes as no surprise as India has one of the youngest populations (the median age is 28) in the world.
Plays, songs, dances, debates, panel discussions and street demonstrations – name it and it is there. We do not even know the full extent of all the Risings of the nation as they are still reporting to us every single day!
Friends, let us tell you that this time YOU did it, it is no more just a national call: yes we held planning meetings, travelled to provinces across the country, provided support, attended a number of risings…but it was the efforts YOU put together, YOUR initiatives, YOUR updates and requests that has kept us going, and we could never say no to your call!
Kamla and Abha travelled to so many places, the National and South Asia OBR energy flowing together, Soumya kept the spirit going by designing, planning and connecting with all our Risers, keeping the newsletter alive and colourful, she gave back to you what you were doing, connecting and inspiring the OBR community.
This year, the OBR partners across India have reached out to the most marginalised, providing the global OBR platform to the who need it most: women, girls, dalits, the displaced, migrants. Muslim women and men, tribal people, LGBTQ community, the nomadic tribes etc.
Some talked about the meaning of love in their lives and some others the meaning of living with a conscience and consciously. We met sensitive men who are now our co-travellers, we have made longer and lasting bonds.
This year there has been more active support of the police in some states and in some open opposition. Yet many dared: our partners have faced threats of arrest for merely using the word ‘sexual’ in posters and banners callings for an end to ‘sexual harassment’. This is proof enough that while we have come a long way since we first began in 2012 with a call for this campaign, we still have a long way to go, and movement of ours must continue- will continue!
And so, here is a glimpse of Risings from more than 15 provinces. The National OBR Newsletter binds together the spirit of many micro OBRs of India in our 2015-2016 campaign. If any Risings are left out, it is not intentional and please do get back to us immediately and we will include it in our March Newsletter.
We stand in solidarity with all & pray for the recovery of Soni Suri.
Abha & Soumya
Abha Bhaiya, Jagori, National Coordinator One Billion Rising, India
Soumya Bhat, Assistant Coordinator One Billion Rising, India