Heeramandi: An Over Thought Out Review


When I met Sonam Wangchuk for an interview some eight years ago, one of the things he told me was that there is only one eligibility criterion to get admission to his school, the student had to fail at least once. Today, when I read about him ending his 21-day fast—the first phase of his agitation—I really felt discouraged. Let’s not forget that Wangchuk’s father also fasted for Ladakh’s indigenous people's rights in 1984. He broke his 16-day fast after the then Prime Minister visited him and assured him that their demands would be addressed. 

This failure, if I call it so, is ironic.

In the last few years, the country has seen several protests, protests opposing CAA and NRC, protests against the farm laws, protest by female wrestlers to protect their honour, protests by students, protests in Manipur demanding peace be restored in the state. But is anyone listening? 

The only response they get are new nicknames, tukde tukde gang, Khalistanis, Urban Naxals, and so many more. 

Remember a time when people protested and the government actually heard? The agitation for the Lokpal Bill, protests after the Nirbhaya case, hell, I'll even consider the online awareness campaign to oppose Net Neutrality; the citizens had a voice then. The citizens could voice their opinion without fear and there was some glimmer of hope that their demands would be at least be heard. Now, it’s a straight-up deaf ear. This is the state of a country which gained its independence on the back of protests. 

The question now is, is the Right To Peaceful Protest still our fundamental right? 


  1. Good point, Pooja. It is sad that we are living in a time when dissenting opinions, even when they are gracefully said, are misunderstood, taken personally, and sometimes the person is even branded as anti-national! Hope it's just a passing phase and we will move to a more inclusive and accommodative era.
    My latest post: Amusement

  2. it seems, we are in the zone of "majority" opinions, not based on the right or wrong. Majority just pursuit their goals without ethical and moral.

    # Great opinion .... love it.

  3. You interviewed him, wow.
    Yes, it's really sad that the government doesn't care about it. I hope it ends on a positive, fruitful note. :(

  4. The sad thing is that peaceful protests are not addressed by the authorities.

  5. Yes it seems instead of moving forwards we are moving backwards. Fasting or going on huger strike is no joke. It is brutal, I don't know how people do it.

    Allie of

  6. Well said. I hope my comment posted.


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