Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Candlelight is Mightier than the Flame

A silly argument put forward recently is that holding candlelight vigils is absolutely pointless and politicians listen only to guns and violence. Many politicians themselves have said that they don't see the point of such vigils.

The truth is that a candlelight vigil is the most humane as well as the most democratic form of protest or expression of solidarity. It integrates public opinion and sends out a strong weapon. To say that such vigils are pointless would be to negate those ideals for which Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King Jr., among others, stood for. 

Many people thought that silent protest never works. Such thoughts gave birth to Hitler and Raj Thackeray, to name a few. They are wrong. The wonderful thing about democracy is that a small show of solidarity that captures public interest is enough to make representatives move fast. Public opinion is the key: and a silent protest is the most powerful form of protest there is. That's why candlelight vigils are not pointless, they are essential instruments of human conscience. 

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