Cellular Silence

The petition title is: Cellular Silence Day_30th January 2009.

The petition URL is: http://www.PetitionOnline.com/30JAN09/petition.html

The petition is directed to: India Inc.

The start date is: ..January 15th, 2009

The end date is: ..January 30th, 2009

The petition statement says:


Dear Messrs, Ratan Tata, Sunil Mittal and Anil Ambani


I am one of a billion Indian citizens.

I am somewhere in the middle of that pyramid that you wish to give
voice – from bottom to top – through wealth creation.

I am proud of the brands you represent that have made India proud.

I am one of the burgeoning Indian middle-class that share your
aspirations of mutating India from indolent elephant to thundering

It ends there…

I have hitherto been accused of being indifferent and apathetic,
simply because I am overawed and felt overwhelmed in a system replete
with Goliaths.

But when I saw you embrace the fascist mastermind of state sponsored
genocide as a future Prime Minister and endorse the Modi-fication of
India, it was disappointingly apparent that the brands that aspire to
make India rich shall continue to languish in ethical poverty.

While I am filled with revulsion at your endorsement of Narendra Modi,
I must respect your right to do so as a fellow citizen.

In writing this petition I am a mere David amongst the mightiest
corporate Goliaths but I feel empowered to address your collective
amnesia – through recollection of the Gujarat pogrom of 2002 – by the
true Goliath among Gujaratis in particular and Indians in general –
Mohandas Gandhi.

All those who sign this petition will switch off their Tata Indicomm,
Airtel and Reliance cellular phone and broadband connections from
midnight on January 30th 2009.

It is eminently possible that I might be the one voice in a billion
who will observe the 61st death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi on as
Cellular Silence Day.

Then again, there might be close to a billion who could join me on
January 30th, 2009 expressing their solidarity and silently insisting
that the captains of India Inc adopt an ethical, compassionate path to
wealth creation rather than the single-minded pursuit of the
We shall know that by the end of 30th January, 2009.


27 thoughts on “Cellular Silence

  1. Seems like an Mission Impossible for India. These days cell-phones have become life line(s). Anyways, it would be interesting to watch if this message alters how India Inc treats these Telecomm big-wigs.

  2. Err Sweetie. You’re doing daily posts. Again. Stop. We loyal readers need you healthy and wise. Wealthy can be your problem.

    That said, I loved that you posted this and will send it on to friends and family in India.

    But stop!(rap on the knuckles). And sleep.

  3. working for one of these business scions i was always proud of being in a company led by a man with a vision. everyone of us across the group of companies look upto him as a leader who can make a difference and who stands by what he says. to hear him talk and endorse narendra modi, hailing him as the next new leader of the country has left us shocked and speechless. we are trying to fathom why he would say something like that. i believe that people only start believing in the company when they believe in the leader. and for once all of us across corporate india are wincing in shame about what transpired that day!

  4. very very true. and i actually respected ratan tata. and the credibility he brought to the table. that is not to say i hate him now, but the adulation has gone down by leaps and bounds.

    was actually wondering if you would do a post on this. because your opinion on modi is rather apparent.

    p.s. stop writing daily posts. you are, you know?

    Me: 😦 technically thats not a post. I just bunged in a forward.

  5. MM, can you just explain why he has filed this petition?I mean how will it help if we all switch off our phones and for how long?No I am not asking a sarky question, I didnt understand, so I am asking. If you can help me get the deal a bit (dumb ass that I am:)
    I will join in.

    Me: Its just a gesture babe. Like taking candles to India Gate for Jessica Lal. A sign to show that we object. Thats all. Otherwise they assume the consumer supports them.

  6. thanks:)
    would like to join and sign in.sorry to ask such dumb questions.Really like your blog, have you on my favourites.

    Take care of your knee, dont post everyday, although I would selfishly love to read a post everyday:)


  7. The only reliance/tata/airtel in my family is the reliance calling card I use to call home.
    So I will call home on 30th but will not use the reliance calling card! Seems more fitting a reply that me not using the calling card…since I do not call home everyday..

  8. I will not sign this petition. Simply because, if I sign it, I will not know what exactly I am asking of these business tycoons. Not to endorse BJP. Till here it sounds great. I would be the happiest if they dont endorse BJP. But, after that what? Endorse Congress? Are they not fascist enough? Did they not do the exact same thing with Sikhs, as what BJP is doing with Muslims and Christians? Just because that was a while ago, are we supposed to forget it? In a decade, will we be expected to forget Gujarat too, when BJP has gotten away from it as smoothly as Congress did? I am sorry, I am not ready to forget anything. If we ask these business-people to not endorse BJP and stop there, it will be an open-ended statement, and can automatically be misused by the other side. Then what is the use. I will not request anybody not to endorse anybody till I present them with an alternative. Otherwise, what can the business tycoons do? They have to endorse SOMEBODY! Do we have an alternative?

    PS: I am absolutely not bashing the petition. I totally empathise with it, but my way of materializing the same intention behind the petition would be to remain silent, wait and research till I spot the right alternative… and then scream my lungs out in support of that alternative. i am optimistic…. still!

  9. I work for the Tata Group & have always looked up to Mr Ratan Tata & his vision for the growth of the group companies.But this endorsement of Modi left me shocked too.

  10. I am not sure I understand what this is all about. How will one day of not using cell phones make a difference to these super big shots?
    However, I will go through the inconvenience for these reasons:
    1. Mad Momma has asked us.
    2. very difficult to refuse the word ‘strike’
    3. a chance to do some reflection for a day.
    4. its a nice day for silence : respecting and remembering the mahatma.
    5. anything to bug Modi.

  11. hey anon,
    I didnt publish your comment because while not offensive, it was off-topic, controversial, communal and mostly – anonymous. If you have something to share, do mail me. Or else do it as a comment and leave it on a relevant post. I know who you are because of your IP address, and I hope you wont do it again. If you felt it was a simple sharing of thoughts – why not leave the name you usually use, nahi?

  12. I am not sure I agree with this petition. I am currently not living in India so my switiching off would not matter as much anyways. But I have a few questions. If BJP/Modi is being blamed for whatever they did in Gujrat then why are we not blaming Congress for the Sikh massacre and making the Kashmiri hindus refugees in their own country. I have been living in various states across India North to South for 30 years and I have seen various political parties very closely. I am afraid to say that they all are more or less the same. I do not see any difference between a Modi and a Lallu or a Jyoti Basu. Why do we forgive the massacare in Nandigram by the communists and we just want to pick on Mr. Modi ? Do we know how Hindus were terrorized in Kashmir and the world remained silent ? Political parties have encouraged killing of Hindus, Sikhs, Muslims,Christians depending on where they are. So I do not think that blaming Modi will get us anywhere. (Though these days its very cool and hip to be anti Modi) Why do we not talk about the communists in West Bengal or the Netas in Bihar or the people bashing up non-Marathis in Maharashtra, or the parties who make ammendments to please the minorities for the precious vote bank ? How is Modi any different from any of them ? If we can forgive the Sikh killings and making the Kashmiri Pandits homeless in their own country .. Gujrat is definitely not bigger than that. And why is no one talking about Afzal Guru ? Why is his capital punishment delayed ? Its time we look beyond Modi and see what the other “great” politicians are upto. In Tripura the tribals were killed by the goons of a certain political party because they asked their land back, in Manipur political parties encourage Anti Indian sentiments. No one knows because none of the TV channels bothered to show it. There is so much happening across our nation which goes unreported. But Modi sneezes and the world knows and sits and analyzes why he sneezed. This might get translated as my support for Modi which this is definitely not. But this is just showing how narrow our vision is becoming and how our thought process is controlled by the media. If Modi is wrong so is most of the political parties who more or less do the same thing. Every party has its sets of goons who kill on the order of their leaders. Every party, every leader does it in India. So why just Modi ?

    Me: Yes of course. There are few politicians who could be spotless. But each of us politically supports one at least. You dont have to agree.. or switch off your phone if you dont.. naturally. For me, modi tops the list, followed closely by Thakeray. And if you read this blog you will see that Amar Singh too was one of them. naturally we dont need to agree with each others political choices…

  13. Pingback: Everytime the aggression « The Mad Momma

  14. Go on, you show off:-) You get to dance with a Hrithik Roshan types while moi is stuck with two left feet( and them some…) types, leave aside the lukewarm enthusiasm I get when I suggest we hit the dance floor. He’s promised me we’ll join a dance class…..when the blue moon appears!!

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