Whenever we hear the word â€œHippiesâ€ the first image that comes to our minds is Woodstock and those ubiquitous bell bottoms, while for most of us Indians it is an almost annoyingly pretentious Zeenat Aman swaying to the rhythms of â€œDum Maro Dumâ€. Granted â€œHare Rama Hare Krishnaâ€ was a poignant movie but the song depicting the hippie scene was so cliche and artificial to the core. Anyway I am digressing here, and what was most remarkable about the hippie scene was the flower power movement and how it brought the war obsessed American government back to its senses.
“The cry of ‘Flower Power’ echoes through the land. We shall not wilt. Let a thousand flowers bloom.”â€” Abbie Hoffman, Workshop in Nonviolence, May 1967
Flowers are universal symbols of peace, love and non violence, and a whole generation of young people rallied under this iconic symbol to protest against a war that was taking a toll of thousand young lives. They used â€œmasses of flowersâ€ and hand them to policemen, press, politicians and spectators to civilly fight violence with peace. It was the most ideal way of delivering their antiwar message to mainstream America.
The Flower Power movement reached its climax at the Woodstock Festival held in upstate New York in 1969, when an estimated 500,000 people lived in peace and harmony for three unforgettable days. People might still debate the success of flower power but the ultimate goal of the movement to end the combat and recall the troops back home happened ultimately.
We could all take a leaf from this glorious chapter of history and apply it to the conflicts of the modern world today. If only people presented each other with more flowers, and leaders of the nations would take them to heart instead of wearing flowers on their lapels, then there might be peace on earth.
The hopes of our future lies on these divine gifts from Mother Nature. Less power and more flowers for our leaders and generals!