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Candles, Candles Everywhere.. Does Anyone Really Care?


Candles are in demand these days. All across India, in towns and villages, we see people holding candles and doing candle marches everywhere.  Whether it’s a rape somewhere, a scam, a corruption case, a prisoner of war being tortured in Pakistan, any issue.. And people come out on the streets holding candles. The scene of the year was Gandhi Vadi Anna Hazare holding a Candle on stage during last years’s Jan Lokpal agitation.

Being a journalist for 25 years, I have seen thousands of protest marches, dharna, aandolan and all sorts of street action, but no candles were needed or seen anywhere, until now.

Why do we love the Candles so much, all of a sudden ? Does anyone even know why Candle light vigils or marches are held ? Has anyone bothered to ask a simple question at any rally or protest march as to why we are doing this everywhere now ?

Candle light Vigil is a Christian tradition, mostly followed by Church Groups to mourn a death or suffering of people or after a tragedy somewhere. Hindustanis have been fighting one evil or the other for a long time. Be it the British Rule or the Communal Violence or an earthquake or a flood or building collapses or any thing else, people come out and protest in large numbers. Chakka Jam and Hartals are almost a daily thing in an aam aadmi’s life. A dysfunctional democracy that we are, we love to harass our own people, and make our own lives miserable by resorting to Tod Fod, at the first opportunity available.

People used to hold banners or a Mashal if it was a really burning issue, in the literal sense you know. But 2 new things are happening these days.

Almost all the banners and posters everywhere are in English. Look at any Rally or Dharna and see it for yourself. Whatever happened to Hindi ? If everybody can read and speak English in India now, that is good news, but I really doubt that.

The other new development is this Candle mania. Both of these things prove one thing. That no matter how smart or intelligent we think we are, the fact remains that we have always mortgaged our brains and intelligence to the western world. What a co-incidence that the Congress (I) is now headed by Mrs. Sonia Gandhi Maino who is of Italian Origin, the home of Rome.

Slowly, but surely, Christian traditions are making deep inroads in our day to day lives, be it Bollywood where most of the marriage scenes are shown in Churches, most religious rituals in films are of the Christian types, even the flowers and garlands (fulo ka haar) on Samadhi are being replaced by the round, flowery, Christian symbols. And now these candles everyone.

As India marches ahead, candles in hand, Hindustan is becoming more and more, a thing of the past. 

Author: Vipul Jani ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Published: May 06, 2013

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