Namaste Dhruv Jee,
You might not know me well though we have met quite a few times but I do hope that you will take some time out of your busy schedule to read my mail. I happened to read your post on Gotstared.at regarding your protest on 21st April – 21st April 2013: The Day I Realized I Am No Longer a Part of a Democratic Nation. It was profound and I hope your post inspires many others in this country to do what is needed today. Though I must say that I am in a way quite happy about how things are happening. Happy in the sense that young people like you and many others are realising that democracy in this country is more or less dead. But for me this democracy died long back. As the nation and its youth are seeing today how the political masters of this country behaves when their rule is questioned, we have witnessed this long back. For me and many of the refugees staying here, democracy is more or less non-existent.
Every time a Chinese leader visits India restrictions are placed on movements of Tibetans and supporters. The Tibetan colony in Delhi is sealed and RAF battalion is placed. No one is allowed to come out or go in. Our phone communications are monitored and so is our movements. For me democracy died that day when I was picked up in the middle of the night in April 2008 while I was addressing the press near Jantar Mantar. The ones who took me away were wearing civilian clothes and neither had any id with them. For 24 hrs or less I was in a cell in Parliament street which even lacked the basic amenities like proper drinking water and a functioning loo. We were not taken to any court but rather forced to sign a paper which was written in India. When asked the ACP told me that we have become a threat to national security and the government is sending us to 14 days preventive custody. We were sent to Tihar Jail, Ward no. 7. My democratic rights were taken away that day in full public glare. Indians young and old told me that day well you have to behave you know. The chinese are our guests and we believe in Athithi-Devo-Bhava. Democracy died again in jail (if there is anything called 2nd death), when I had a severe asthma attack and instead of a proper check up I was declared to be an acute TB patient and send to the Delhi TB hospital. Luckily for me the attending cop in the van decided to show me the papers and ask what exactly was wrong with me. I was saved but there were four inmates who were not lucky that year. Allegedly they died of wrong TB treatment. In jail I met a Tibetan who had nothing to do with protests. He was simple guy who was coming back from home along with his Nepali colleagues from Noida after work. The cops picked all of them but later let the Nepali folks go. The SHO told their boss that the Tibetan guy couldn’t be released since he has orders to put any Tibetan in jail for next many days. But no written copy of the order was shown. We heard similar stories from other Tibetans in Tihar and trust me there were close to 700 Tibetans in Tihar then.
Brother for us democracy died long back. I am in no way trying to put your efforts down. But rather I must say that I am happy about what you did and that you have inspired me. As I say in my talks with young people that at least once in a lifetime you should be imprisoned for a good cause. These experiences teach us a lot of valuable things.
I am ready and can’t wait for the day when I will walk with you and many others to break laws, barricades that are unjust, be tear gassed, be water hosed and if needed to be shot at for defending and upholding our rights. Our rights to a non-violent protest, our rights to bring back our much cherished democracy
Here is a quote that defines me and many others – “There is a point when anybody can become an activist. I mean you see something happen that is so wrong, you have to act. Even if it means the end of you.” – Edge of Darknesss (2010)
With Love and Freedom,
P.S- Since I am a school dropout I have no sense of grammar or knowledge of punctuation. So there will be many errors and I request you to ignore them. Also if you feel there is a problem with what I have written please get back to me. Don’t file a defamation suit or an application under IT Act. I can’t afford to hire a lawyer now
This letter got published in Gotstared.at.