Do you have faith in the White ribbon?
Feminist, blogger and activist Anasuya Sengupta, in an essay called ‘Fundamentalisms of the Progressive‘ wrote,
‘One of our campaigns was to wear a white ribbon for peace (the White Ribbon Campaign for Peace, India) – we used it both as a symbol and as a talking point, to begin conversations about violence of all kinds, including what we call ‘communalism’ in India (the rousing of hatred against particular communities). Initially, some of our friends scoffed at us, and wondered what an insignificant white ribbon could do, to change attitudes and animosities.
But the interesting thing was that there were so many people – both young and not so young – who were unable to be political in the same way as they saw ‘activists’; they felt this meant standing at street corners with banners, or going on rallies, or shouting slogans against the government. They found this too ‘political’ (in their understanding of the term), and yet they were deeply disturbed at the kinds of violence being perpetrated in the name of religion.
So for these people, wearing a ribbon was the beginning of a series of conversations they had with others, which began other processes of change, at least in terms of breaking the silence around violence.
And because it was something everyone could do – and have conversations at whatever level of politics and ideology each was comfortable with – it wasn’t intimidating in any way, and yet gave a sense of belonging to a community against violence, and speaking up for peace.’
Do you believe in pluralism and justice?
Are you Secular, liberal, free thinking?
Do you believe that all religion has in its essence ways of leading a soulful, integrated and fulfilled life?
Do you believe that religious extremism has done us no good?
Say No to religious bigotry.
Wear a White Ribbon today.