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Restless for Justice

- Dr Rini Ralte Our Second National Conference theme RESTLESS FOR JUSTICE (2019) is realized in the everyday life of our nation. Due to the Coronavirus that spread in India, the nation was put under Janata Curfew on March 22, 2020 and a day later, a complete 21-day LOCKDOWN from March 24 till 14 April was declared. My involvement is specifically with the migrant workers from the 8 Northeast states who are stranded in Bangalore and are in desperate need of food and shelter. I am inspired anew along my spiritual journey and I appreciate reading our most Sacred Book, the Bible again and again where I find Rest and Peace. In this context of Restless for Justice. Several thoughts come to my mind, namely,

- Restless is to be in solidarity with the struggling people - Restless is beyond lockdowns. A lockdown is a luxury if you afford it, but restless for justice goes beyond to reach out to people in need. - I am Restless for Justice when a 9 month old baby demands milk but the parents cannot afford to buy it because they have not been paid. Their last salary was in January. - I am restless for justice when migrant workers are given a chemical bath, sprayed with disinfectant by the government today, on a road in UP (March 30, 2020). - I am restless for justice when migrant workers are jailed, sprayed, herded on trucks. - I am restless for justice when thousands of migrant workers have to walk back 50 miles, 78 miles and 100 miles with great frustration. No work and no job. They are tired walking in the hot sun. No one is spared including children. - I am restless for justice when visiting so many homes, from day one of the lockdown till today and witness their empty stomach. Starvation is a reality. - Restless for Justice is to feel pain when a Naga boy is not allowed to buy food in More in Mysore yesterday (March 29), when someone calls a northeast girl 'coronavirus'. I cannot write any longer because of the tears.....

Please see people suffering and let us all be restless for justice for the sake of the Gospel as Good Friday and Easter are around the corner. Dr Rini Ralte (OCWM, Bangalore) is a feminist theologian and social activist.

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