"I realise that some of my criticisms may be mistaken; but to refuse to criticize judgements for fear of being mistaken is to abandon criticism altogether... If any of my criticisms are found to be correct, the cause is served; and if any are found to be incorrect the very process of finding out my mistakes must lead to the discovery of the right reasons, or better reasons than I have been able to give, and the cause is served just as well." -Mr. HM Seervai, Preface to the 1st ed., Constitutional Law of India.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Yellow is the Colour of Democracy in Hong Kong and Youth the Image

Joshua Wong was 15 in 2011 when he started a sit-in with few of his friends in the Legislative House premises of Hong Kong to protest against pro-China nationalist education in Hong Kong. This humble beginning magnified into a movement, of a scale, never before seen by Hong Kong in recent past. It was the moment of self-realization of power within by the Hong Kong youth. The government cowed down eventually. Wong, now 17 can’t be expected to be quiet when Hong Kong is at another historical juncture. He and the group Scholarism is in the forefront of the ‘Occupy Central with Love and Peace Movement’ demanding democracy in Hong Kong.

Today is the fourth day of the boycott of classes by the university students. A group of concerned staff and members of faculty are supporting the protest. Professors are recording and uploading their lectures to make good the missing classes. Students are gathered in Tamar Park, where the central Government offices are located. Speeches, discussions, protest banners, processions- the place is buzzing with activity. Thousands of students move in and out wearing black t-shirts with slogans printed in Cantonese, sporting yellow ribbon. Yellow is the colour; of democracy, liberty, freedom, happiness and the responsibility they have shouldered.

The spark youth carries is the defining factor of society’s political health. Hong Kong youth like their counterparts in other regions have been at the receiving end of criticisms for being apathetic to social and political causes, strictly rule bound, looking west forgetting home. The 2011 incident shook up Hong Kongers to the potential of the Hong Kong youth and now it is felt that if someone can make change it is they.

Chambers of Commerce of different countries including India have issued statements against the pro-democracy protests. The billionaires of Hong Kong have lot to loose. It is anybody’s guess that status quo is the best for them that they shuttle to China to broker peace. They have business interests both in the mainland and Hong Kong. The Hong Kong government is openly pro- China and the students can't expect to have a repeat of 2011 that easily as stakes are much too high this time.

The hope but is only with the students of Hong Kong and the support that has to flow from the community. After all, it is the students of Hong Kong who reminded the administration of Chinese University of Hong Kong that universities should be places of neutrality and should demonstrate the courage to face historical facts, in their struggle to place the statue of ‘Goddess of Democracy’ commemorating the pro-democracy movement of Tiananmen Square, in the University grounds.

1 comment:

K.G.SankaraPillai said...

The present Hong Kong situation do reminds me of
1.The Student Power Movement of 1968 in Paris.
Under the leadership of Cohen Bendit, Regis Debre..
And with the sure support of Sartre etc

2.Prior to that there were spontaneous student upsurges in India in response to Gandhi's call for anti colonial unity.

3. The sad Tianenmen .