Why do we sleep on social issues until something horrible happens?

Awaken before the alarm This ad has a powerful message for Indians apathetic to social issuesScreenshot
Social Social issues Friday, February 17, 2017 - 15:33

Jyoti Singh, Jisha, Rohith Vemula or Swathi: All of these names are associated with incidents which triggered us, as a society, to sit up, take notice and speak out. In other words, their ordeal and deaths made us react.

But when you think about it, the underlying issues in each of these cases are not new: patriarchy, sexism, casteism, chauvinism, and a general desensitisation towards these deep-seated problems unless something disturbing and gruesome happens to shake us out of our stupor.

Three years after Tata Tea’s last Jaago Re advertisement, the campaign made a comeback with a new ad which tells Indians to pre-act and not just react.

It features young men and women sleeping (literally snoring in the ad) before the ‘alarm’ rings - a metaphor for the trigger incidents. With an angry Indian woman character as the protagonist, the message of the ad is, “wake up before the alarm”.

Watch it here:

Shot in muted tones, the ad effectively points out the hypocrisy of the Indian society. The society conveniently turns a blind eye because “kisaan abhi maraa nahi”, “bridge abhi gira nahi” and “rape abhi hua nahi” (The farmer hasn’t died yet, the bridge hasn’t fallen yet and the rape hasn’t happened yet.)

https://ssl.gstatic.com/ui/v1/icons/mail/images/cleardot.gifBut once it happens, the protagonist points out how we turn into activists: candle light marches, hunger strikes, WhatsApp messages, social media outrage and everything that has followed each the cases mentioned earlier.

The video ends with the idea that reacting is not enough and that status quo over existing problems is not okay.

The Jaago re campaign was first launched in 2008, reports Hindustan Times, and has taken up issues of corruption, women’s empowerment and voting. Check out some of their older videos here:

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