Sunday, April 5, 2009

Jaago Re India

As you all know Guruji has asked everyone to come out and vote this year and inspire at least 10 others to vote. The Pune satsangs have been organizing a "Parivartan Padayatra". As part of this campaign, many AOL volunteers have been standing at traffic intersections, malls, under flyovers holding banners that say the Hindi/Marathi/English equivalent of "Wake Up and VOTE".

Picture of one of our volunteers standing under the University Flyover.

Yesterday was my first time. I started out with trepidation in my heart. Stand in public in front of hundreds that would drive past and smirk and smile derisively ? What if someone I know or knows my family sees me ? Blah Blah......

Turns out I was dead wrong. Little did I know I was in for an evening of fun and adulation. As I stood under the university flyover with a banner that read "Utho Jaago - Vote Karo", heart in a flutter, arms aching, eyes trying to avoid the direct gaze of commuters that whizzed by in bikes, auto rickshaws and cars, I became a witness to the mood of a microcosm of India today.

People - young and old alike - whizzed by with thumbs raised and a broad smile on their faces. One guy even whooped as he whizzed by :) An MBA student from Pune University stopped by to talk about who we were and what we were doing and why. When I said we were AOL volunteers, he was even more impressed.

Then it happened - my 2 minutes of fame :)

A group of youngsters in a car actually STOPPED in the middle of the traffic junction (youngistan - you have guts I'll say) , yelled out at me and - took a picture of me with the banner. Then yelling out "We will vote", they whizzed away ! LOL !

Ah - My Dear Aching Arms - This was so worth it :) :)

This is such an easy and fun seva. If in India, you should do it too. Its so important for us to take responsibility. Many drops make a mighty ocean.

And seriously - as Mahatma Gandhi said : Be The Change You Wish To See In This World ! As someone remarked in satsang yesterday, unless the educated middle classes make the politicians realize that their vote matters too, there is no way they will take their job seriously. And this change will only happen when India's vast middle classes go out and VOTE in large numbers. Until then votes will be bought by money/liquor/coercion/bogus voting.

So whether you are a member of Youngistan, Middle-Ageistan or Senioristan, come Your Voting Date, PLEASE COME OUT AND VOTE !!! And between now and then, please inspire others to do so too .

Guruji's article in the Times Of India Speaking Tree

Sri Sri Urges People To Vote

Guruji talks about the upcoming elections in this video .

Jai Guru Dev