The ongoing CAA & NRC protests have been taking place all around the country. The 19th December protest in Mumbai had around 100,000+ attendance (not sure what the official count was). We had another protest on the 27th of December at Azad Maidan. This one was subject to a last-minute venue change due to lack of permission from the authorities.
I have noticed that people in Mumbai tend to lose interest in a topic post a span of a couple of weeks. I don’t know what it is. Maybe the fast-paced life of Mumbai or the always work-on mode that people have that makes them move on so quickly. I am also guilty when it comes to this type of behaviour. Many a time I have voiced my opinion about a particular topic and then completely forgotten about it post a week or so. This general trend was something that I was wary of when I decided to go for the Protest on the 27th of December at Azad Maidan.
I walked in around 3:20pm to an underwhelming number of people. This automatically and almost immediately had a negative impact on our morale. We all kept saying, “We need more people here. This is not done.” I tried to ignore this negative feeling and decided to get my camera out and start filming. While shooting the interviews, I realized that people were slowly coming in and soon it was evident that although the numbers would not be as huge as the 19th, it would still be sizeable and enough to showcase our solidarity. Within an hour the place was packed and a sense of pride was felt by every single person that was present. This time, Mumbai did not forget. This time, Mumbai showed up. Like the girl in the video said, I hope that we keep this momentum going. We need this kind of unity more than we have ever needed before.
UPDATE: I publish this right after Delhi was ripped apart with violence where more than 40 people have lost their lives. At this moment I do feel helpless but we must keep our hopes up and always speak out and voice our opinions. It is our right to do so in a democratic nation.
Photos by FocusMonk aka Ankit Gupta.