12 June 2014


It was 37 degrees in the City of Nawabs on 11th June. I had just reached an area called Kondapur, when I got to know that the Intelligence Bureau (IB) has sent out a report listing Greenpeace as one of the foreign-funded NGOs and also a threat to the economic security of the country. It took me a moment to sweat out the story and realize what it was all about.

The next big question that immediately struck me was, do I tell this to our supporters (as I was on my way to meet one of them) and if yes then what could be the possible statements that would appropriately fit in (as I did not want to sound too defensive about it). It did not take up much time to jot down the points, when I saw the supporter walk in.

We sat down and started our conversation in the usual manner. Through a chain of events we finally reached a point when I started talking about the recent activity (i.e. the IB report) and was half way through when the supporter raised his hand and stopped me in between. For a moment I was taken aback as my immediate reaction was, "Did I just dig a pot hole for myself and fell flat on my face?" Then, what followed was a wave of relief when I heard the supporter saying, "Why do you need to give an explanation? You guys are not in the wrong position, but they are. Let them say whatever they want to, you just carry on with your fight. This is not the time to sit and ponder about what could have been done, but to move ahead and finish what you started. Accepting change is difficult in itself but that does not mean change should take a back seat."

These words that came from the other end of the table were meant to strengthen our voices. It gave momentum not just to the rest of the day but also made me realize how strongly the organization is evolving with a strong community of people who truly believe and understand what we do.

This is what we call the 'power of individualism' and that is what makes us what we call, 'a people's movement'.

Anasua Sen works with Fundrasing at Greenpeace India.