History Has Been Witness To The Power Of The Flower And It Continues To Imply Peaceful Dissent During The CAA Protests
They say, an action is worth a thousand words and today as the entire country witnesses thousands marching to stand up against the imposition of the Citizenship Amendment Act, one tiny gesture of a woman handing a rose to the police has said more than words could ever account for. Divided on the implications of the CAA, the country is in splits right now, where half have taken to the streets in peaceful dissent while others have let their emotions and anger get the better of them. But looks like all hope is not lost, for there are certain people who, with the flower power, have shown that they aren’t here for violence, just to lend their presence to a cause they believe in.
A picture of a young woman, handing a rose to the police at the recent CAA protests has gone viral on the internet, and yet again proved that history does indeed repeat itself. A move that is symbolic at several levels, isn’t just a peace offering in midst of a raging chaos, but reflective of a slogan that first came into use in 1965 during the protest against the Vietnam War. Made to insinuate passive resistance and a non-violent ideology of the public, the slogan ‘Flower Power’ was coined by an American poet Allen Ginsberg to make war protests less about violence and more about peaceful demonstrations.
Also Read : The Biggest Narrative Emerging Out Of The CAA Protests Is That Women Have Voices, We’re Fierce And We’ll Protest
A similar thought, that currently runs in the minds of several students and protestors, who have started chanting slogans like, “Hum Yuva hain baat karenge, naa ki gusa laat karenge” urging the police to dial down their aggression, listen to what they have to say and fight alongside of them rather than against them. The girl who was captured handing out the flower to the police official had held up board saying, “My dad thinks I’m studying history. He doesn’t know I’m busy making one” and just like that, that one picture as though held the key to bring the nation and its people together.
Make this viral. pic.twitter.com/binxgV6HuC
— Gabbbar (@GabbbarSingh) December 19, 2019
Back during the protest against the Vietnam War as well, a famous war photographer Bernie Boston had taken a picture of a civilian putting a carnation into the barrel of a rifle, and that click perhaps, captured the true essence of peace in times of war. Nominated for several awards, recognition and titles, that one picture taken all those years back had become proof, that we too can channel our human side to emerge even during tumultuous times. He had said in an interview how he remembered and thought things were only going to get ugly, but just then a group of demonstrators walked up to the police with flowers in hands, and the rest was history.
— Soc Comm Experiment (@Rhet_Soc_Comm) February 24, 2017
Since then, many protesters across the world from Hong Kong to now in India, have relied on using flowers to convey their peaceful dissent and remind the authorities that as long as we’re all citizens of the same country, we’re on the same side. Whatever happens from here now, at least we would know one thing, that all this armed force in times pf peril was met with a flower child innocence and a hope for a better tomorrow.