Its important to strike a balance between fighting for a cause and also keeping yourself safe.
This past year has thrown us a major curveball, putting our health, livelihood and sanity to the test. However, despite the major focus on a global pandemic, social, political and economic crises still continue to prevail- Whether it be an unfair court ruling or judgement or a heinous crime. Protesting wrongful actions, ideally in a peaceful manner, is a great way to advocate for the better and educate people about such issues. Due to the pandemic and lockdown restrictions, protesting in its traditional form has not been easy. So, if you want to object to unjust actions, here’s how you can safely protest this pandemic.
1. Filing RTIs:
The Right To Information Act, enacted in 2005, gives citizens the right to avail information from a public authority or records. Some of this information can be useful in understanding public procedures, the reason behind certain decisions, and illegal or unjust actions taken, to then use the same to support protests.
2. Writing Letters To Officials:
Letters and messages to government officials are a great way to communicate problems or complaints, in an official manner. An opportunity to present a compelling, detailed argument, and the ability to do it from one’s own home without physical contact, makes this method an ideal one during the pandemic.
3. Creating Petitions:
Petitions are requests, usually made by individuals to government officials, including the information about the problem, that are signed by a number of people, to stress the impact and urgency of the matter. Petitions are especially great, as they rarely require physical contact to come into play. Due to the increased use of social media platforms during this pandemic, sharing the petition and information regarding it has become easier. A growing reach of petitions on social media can also help it gain recognition from concerned authorities. Some common sites where petitions can be posted are Jhatkaa, Change.org and IndiaVoice.org.
4. Creating an Online Presence:
Social media has become a popular platform to seek medical information and has fascinated the general public to collect information regarding coronavirus pandemics from various perspectives. The increased use of social media as entertainment, showcase talent, mediums of communication and platforms for jobs, especially during the pandemic can serve as useful in getting the word out on some crucial issues. Budding accounts and the content created by them are not only sources of entertainment but also as a source of information and news. By having an online presence that advocates sustainability and social issues, amplified shares can be a way to promote knowledge and now that a lot of public officials have an online presence, including them in the dialogue can be a step towards change.
The public health challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic did not deter protesters across the country from voicing their concerns. Protests remained an integral part of the political landscape in 2020. From protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) and communal riots in January to the farmers’ protest in December, large demonstrations and also shorter protests have erupted regularly. It is understandable that not everyone can take to protesting in person, but the measures, above, can bring about a small but substantial change. Hopefully, this will help you take an initiative to take a stand and protest, while abiding by the precautionary measures, to keep yourself safe and make the world a little safer too!
(Also Read: COVID and Climate: A Tale of Two Crises)
Wahengbam, T. (2021). Protests in a Pandemic: A Timeline of Protests in 2020. https://www.epw.in/engage/article/protests-pandemic-timeline-protests-2020
Cuddy, A. (2020). Covid: How to protest during a global pandemic. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-54477523