31 July : August Kranti is a celebration of ‘Citizen Activism’ in Chandigarh. Spread over all the five Sundays of August: the month of Indian Independence, with the intent to promote the noble ideals, which inspired our national struggle for freedom and also to promote peace & fraternity among the Citizens of Chandigarh, ‘August Kranti’ is a proactive citizens’ initiative to bring together, thousands of voices of Chandigarh and initiate a continuing dialogue (as well as action) on active and participative Citizenry
The name August Kranti itself is inspired from an important event of Indian Independence struggle. On 8 August 1942, Mahatma Gandhi issued the Quit India speech decreeing that the British must leave India immediately or else mass agitations would take place. The call mobilized the citizens to a huge Civil Disobedience movement as the British refused to grant independence till the War was over. This whole event has been called August Revolution or ‘August Kranti’ as it is popularly known.
The very fact, that Chandigarh was the dream city of Pt Jawaharlal Nehru who had proclaimed it to be “unfettered by the traditions of the past, a symbol of the nation’s faith in the future.”, gives the idea how Utopian the vision of the city is !
Note: August Kranti is a, non-commercial, low budget, big hearted, non–political, public-interest event powered by small but significant inputs from volunteers from all across the nation. The synergy has been largely facilitated by online social networking of the like minded people.
Need for August Kranti
To fulfill the Fundamental Duties as provided under Article 51 (a) of the Constitution towards creating a peaceful and prosperous nation, we at Chandigarh have always come ahead in our own ways to stand for the cause of the city time and again and will continue to do so. ‘August Kranti’ is yet another milestone in this journey.
For active citizenry and citizens participation in the democratic setup it is essential that the citizens have a say in how the System works and this is made possible by Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Peaceful Assembly to each citizen as granted under Section 19 of the Constitution of India.
The campaigns thus scheduled for August Kranti are an exploration of our Fundamental Duties as well as the Fundamental Rights and shall also be a means to educate the citizens about the same, thus creating more informed and active citizenry.
Even the master planner of the city Le Corbusier stated: “The seed of Chandigarh is well sown. It is for the citizens to see that the tree flourishes”!
August kranti is not only an Online Discussion forum or Interest group. Though an online platform these days is an essential tool to connect people and is a great means of communication but is NOT an end in itself. It is very essential that such a group or platform should enable the convergence of ideas actually on ground in the form of events focusing on local direct action, thus creating conducive environment for a desirable positive change in the community. Such an inter (action) of Citizens would be achieved here primarily by organizing three peaceful social events spread over all the five Sundays of August at public-places like: Open Hand Monument, Central Piazza, Sector -17. Leisure Valley etc, focusing on the pressing contemporary issues of our City.
[About Organizers] of August kranti
The August Kranti (2010) is the brainchild of Dr Gaurav Chhabra. Chhabra is a Chandigarh based social activist and is also a founder of NGO Humlog. In a short span of 4 years in the city, he has generated a fresh wave of Citizen Activism in Chandigarh and has been instrumental in various campaigns for the cause of the city including the recent: ‘ Free the Open Hand Campaign’ to make the Open hand monument accessible to the public, raising voice on the ‘Tagore Theatre rates hike’ for amateur theatre groups of the city etc. In the past he has also run a year long ‘Green battle’ to save the ‘Heritage Pond and Nursery’ in Sector-26 from being converted into a constructed area for IAS officers’ club.
The common thread among all these campaigns is the constant and ever increasing unconditional support of Citizens of Chandigarh, without which no campaign would have been successful. So this very event is also dedicated to the citizens of Chandigarh with the hope that not only they will participate in this event but will possess this event.
The event is thus, ‘by the people, of the people and for the people’ of City Beautiful.
The 5 Campaigns/Events
1. 144 Up in the Air: Highlighting misuse of Section-144 in Chandigarh
2. Free Will Free Wheels: Towards universally accessible public places.
3. Jai Hey: National Anthem Ceremony at Open Hand Monument
4. Root-cause: Re-connecting with ‘other’ citizens – the trees of Chandigarh
5. 5th Event: is a surprise and secret event.