The Gandhi Protest
Several readers commented on a posting earlier this week about 200 skilled immigrants from India who tried a Gandhi-like tactic and sent flowers to the government's immigration director for help in moving their green card applications along. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services forwarded the flowers to soldiers recovering at Walter Reed Army Medical Hospital, saying it understood the intent of gesture.
Here's a sample:
"I wonder if USCIS really understood why the flowers were sent. It was a symbolic protest by legal immigrants AGAINST the way USCIS treated them. How could they send it in the 'same spirit' to soldiers whom we all empathize with?"
"What an inspirational act. Too bad the message did seem to have gotten lost in translation. Just imagine what would have happened in WWII if the US would have turned away the immigrating sciencists and engineers. How come some 50 years later, the US is struggling to see the value of inviting the world's best and brightest to immigrate here."
"I'm sorry that these people were tricked into coming to America with the promise of a welcome and eventually a Green Card. The fact is that H1-B immigrants were brought here in order to replace US workers."
"Viceroy Lord Wavell and his assistants laughed when M.K. Gandhi told them that one day they will be forced to leave India. What they did not understood that they were not politicians, they were bureaucrats. When the political power behind peaceful civil disobedience was unleashed, a nation took shape, and what Gandhi told Wavell became a reality.
"Something similar repeated in United States recently when thousands of legal immigrants were given a cold shoulder, despite of their merit based claim for an American Green Card. They decided to apply Gandhian way of peaceful protest by sending thousands of flower bouquets to USCIS, an American agency responsible for immigration and citizenship. Instead of offering an apology, USCIS chief decided to again ignore the immigrants and simply issued a statement that the flowers will be forwarded to the injured service members recuperating at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Once again a bureaucrat miscalculated the power hidden behind a peaceful protest. Now the power behind flowers is becoming a media mainstream story. NY Times, Washington Post, Reuters, Yahoo News are a few to name. Bollywood, has recently issued a statement providing its full support to Immigration Voice, the non profit organization behind the flower campaign.
"An American way of fighting injustice 'A law suit' is on its way, the usual rallies and demonstrations are about to begin. However, in America, its first time after Martin Luther King Jr., that someone has tried to apply Gandhi's way to fight injustice. It is yet not clear that what would be the outcome of this campaign, but there are rumours that USCIS is already discussing internally to reverse the discriminatory decision which caused this embarrassing flower campaign against them.
"It's amazing to witness that 60 years after Gandhi's demise, his ideology is still relevant. We are sure its gonna remain relevant till there are Lord Wavell's in this world. Lord Wavell's can momentarily laugh thinking that unorganized immigrants are helpless, but when the peaceful protest will demonstrate its political power, they surely will realize what Gandhi and Gandhian ways are all about."
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