IAS officer in taped-mouth protest call
Kannan Gopinathan, the IAS officer who quit the civil service to protest the clampdown in Jammu and Kashmir, has initiated a taped-mouth campaign on October 19 when the partially eased lockdown enters the 75th day.
“All who feel that we need to stand by our fellow citizens, let’s tape our mouth on 19th Oct, that is 75 days of this, for 75 minutes or any time we are comfortable, gather at any place, or do it individually. Do we have even 10 concerned citizens? #ShutMyMouthToo #RegainYourVoice,” Gopinathan tweeted on Tuesday.
Over the 24 hours since he posted this tweet, he has had a mixed response with several pledging to join in and others ridiculing the effort at sensitising people to the plight of Kashmiris.
This apart, the purpose is also to communicate a home truth: “If we are to be mute spectators to all this, let’s be that in a proper way”.
The images of people with their mouths taped are meant to communicate how the world’s largest democracy has fallen silent.
As part of this effort, meetings will be held in some cities. While Ahmedabad, according to Gopinathan, “is braving the headwinds to stand up for Kashmiris” on Thursday with a candlelight vigil, Delhi and Kochi will raise their voice in their own way on Saturday.
In Kochi, supporters for the cause are likely to speak out in silence by taping their mouths and writing postcards to the Prime Minister, requesting an end to the restrictions. In Delhi, the citizens’ protest promises to be a mix of speeches, poetry and songs of resistance.