The faint echoes of jingle bells amidst loud protest

By T S Haokip NorthEastToday 24/12/2019 Imphal Free Press
As Protest, bandhs and rallies dominate the headlines just before Christmas 2019, Santa must be confused as to what to give whom. For, the antis and the pros are all on the street. The season of love peace and joy has fully arrived and is leaving soon. Only we are not ready; only we are not blessed with an environment of festivities. It is indeed a challenge for most people to imbibe the spirit of happiness with tear-gases forcing them to shed tears, whether one is sad or not. When people on the streets hold placards like #SayNoToCAA or #ISupportCAA, it can be a challenge to shout #JoyToTheWorld.
While protests in the form of rallies and dharnas against CAA is understandable, it is hard to digest, tens of thousands shouting slogans in the streets in support of CAA. If the whole idea of protest in a democratic country is to raise the attention of the Government, I failed to understand whose attention the CAA supporters are seeking. Are we reducing protests, the only option where minorities don’t feel being marginalized, as a show of strength now? At least on some issues, numbers should not be the only criteria to justify a cause. Otherwise, the tribals and minorities will always be outnumbered in every issue and there will literally be no country for them.
The protests against CAA and NRC will soon wither away like many protests before. What will however remain is an experience of pain and anguish for the families of those killed in the protests. What justice would justify their loss is hard to fathom. I believe and hope, the best minds in the country, who swears by the Indian constitution and who sees the children of India beyond the prism of religion are working towards bringing a lasting solution to the present imbroglio on the citizenship issue. It is with this hope, I wish to look forward to celebrating Christmas 2019.
As I lit up my Christmas tree and look at the stars, up in the sky, I remember the three wise men. They followed the stars through all the ups and downs, all from different locations, all with different stories but all with one wish: to wish Christ on his birth at Bethlehem. We all have followed our stars, from different places with different experiences and we have arrived finally. All that we wished for is here; it is Christmas day! I sing;
Oh Christmas my true happiness,
your arrival I glance its advance.
I dance and sing at all chance,
Let my joy be Christ’s happiness.
I choose not many things to worry,
But dwell in his praise and merry.
How could I not be happy but mourn,
when today, my saviour is born!

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