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Friday, August 19, 2022

The Messenger

He agrees that he was as complacent as others. A blast,couple of people killed,news flash,and then,back to work. Life would assume normalcy within hours,but not this time.

Amit Lall’s a common man driving for a common cause – peace & unity

He agrees that he was as complacent as others. A blast,couple of people killed,news flash,and then,back to work. Life would assume normalcy within hours,but not this time. It was only by 15 minutes that Amil Lall’s mother escaped the Mumbai terror attack. “Her train left at 9:25pm,and shooting began at 9:40pm,” Amit was shaken,pinched out of that nook of numbness,and pushed into a whole new life – “a mission,one common man,alone,with no organisation or political agenda,covering one country with one message – peace and unity.” And so began the expedition on January 26 ‘09; a drive along the borders and disturbed areas of the country with a will to unify people. Yes,he was clueless,“but I had a road map and direction,and a car printed with messages,” Amit first thanks his biggest supporter,Ratan Tata. “I wrote to him,telling him about my mission,and now,wherever I go,Taj is my home.” Not only this,Hyundai too agreed to service his 2000 model Hyundai Accent,his constant companion in this endeavour. “I lost friends,colleagues,faces I saw everyday and passed a smile in the attack….it’s sad that it took a shot at the cream of Mumbai to shake the Government. Till then,I was a businessman,occupied in my life,not contributing to the society,” tells Amit who made a stop at Chandigarh today after completing 13,900 kms,20 states and five international borders that of Nepal,China,Bhutan,Bangladesh and Myanmar. “I have driven along our sea coast starting from Bombay,then Kanyakumari,West Bengal and Nagaland,and now will be head up north to Kargil,along the India-Pakistan border,and then return to Bombay via Delhi,halting at India Gate to salute the martyrs,” Amit’s objective is to ‘prove that we Indians are a resilient lot who refuse to give into extremist action and threats.’ And so,it was en route that he decided to get in touch with the youth,with NGOs,schools and institutions for his cause. “For I believe in the power of the mind and positive thinking. What the mind can conceive,Man can achieve,” Amit soon came up with the United Force of India (it’s on Facebook). “UFI’s mission is to have a youth representative in each state and merge them all on one platform. This would stop regionalism,spread humanity,cut casteism and create a sense of belonging. My aim is to force down unity and make people say Jai Hind instead of a Jai Maharashtra or Jai Karnataka.”

The journey’s being documented,captured in photographs and on camera,and Amit plans to give it the shape of a book. But in due course,he will set base in the North East,where he spent more than a month and has a bagful of adventures to share. “Respect for women,self respect and hospitality – this is what we need to learn from the North East. They are more Indian than us,and are sadly in conflict because of unemployment and neglect. Check out these eight states and they are a treasure trove of flowers,fruit,bamboo…but no one knows what to do with it!” so Amit’s planning to call in reinforcements and set up an industry here. “I was in fact stopped by the Manipuri insurgents,but they knew about my mission and let me go,” Lall’s now ready to take on any thing!

He’s received letters,in Braille too. His white car is compared to the white pigeon of peace. Toll booths refuse to take toll money from him. And now that he’s into this national integration,creating a united front,demanding retirement age for politicians,clearing the road for youth to take charge and sparking off a second freedom movement from corruption,injustice and poverty,Amit truly believes this is his calling. “I felt like doing something,I did it. Don’t beg for anything,especially votes. If you can,then make follow you,be a leader and be the change.” All those aye,join in. Mail at or find the same on Facebook.

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First published on: 16-04-2009 at 03:36:11 am
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