Blindfolded marchers

Am I missing something? I couldn’t figure out why a group of otherwise sensible social activists in Mysore, opposed to Chamalapura power plant proposal, should take to the street, blindfolded. Were they trying to convey that the public was being kept in the dark on the status of the power plant proposal? Or was it a self-admission by the protesters, that they were in the dark as to where their protest was headed? Either way, the protest event attracted media attention; and the protesters moved on to planning their next event – a rasta-roko. 

 The marchers have a point, if their blindfold was to reflect the government silence on details of their proposal. My hunch is the government has much to be silent about; because they have yet to work the details. After all, the minister in charge of power and a power-person in the state cabinet is reported to have said the government had yet to submit a proposal to the Centre for environmental clearance. It may well be that the present government, with an uncertain future, finds itself ‘blindfolded’ as to the fate of its proposal. Agitators wouldn’t, presumbly, give the government the beneift of the doubt.

Anyway, whoever thought of the blindfold-morcha in Mysore evidently saw something some of you and I couldn’t. What I can see, however, is that old-fashioned protest by way of flag-waving, slogan-shouting, dharna, hunger-strike and effigy-burning wasn’t getting agitators the kind of headlines they look for. So they hit upon something, which a local evening paper headlined as a ‘unique march’. The mainstream media the next morning gave the story a big play (see The Hindu photo).  

Snag with such unusual mode of protest is that the media gets focused on the fact of their protest, rather than its purpose. Which was, to apprise the deputy commissioner of the environmental fallout of the power plant project. The DC is reported to have assured the agitators that a meeting would be “convened in due course” to discuss issues in depth. As an uninformed, but concerned, citizen I wish our media had sought and given us details on the nature of the proposed meeting (official-level, ministerial, or Institution-of-Engineers-type of open meeting) and how long would “in due course” really mean.          


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