Yesterday the people of Mumbai came out in the open street to join the mammoth gathering that took place near the Taj hotel. It was clarion call made to the people to come together to show solidarity, express their outrage against the terror attack and protest the callous and inept attitude of our Politician. It was through the internet, blog and SMS messages that scores of people joined the rally. And the response was fantastic and unbelievable.
Tens of thousands of people participated. This rally is most unique in many ways and first of its kind ever to take place in Mumbai. Blogs, SMS and Citizen News portal came to the fore in marshalling such a huge rally which brings into focus the importance of digital age we live in. Beside it was used to channelize the public outcry and anguish against the Terrorist and the utter failure of our politician in protecting us. This has redefined the concept of citizen journalism and has left little doubt the CJ is going to stay here and from here onward will keep spreading and growing. The outcome of this public assault using digital media helped roll many heads in the Indian Ministry.
First to go was India’s home minister Shivraj Patil followed by the resignation of Maharashtra Home Minster RR Patil and Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh. In fact Chief Minister has admitted that it was the Public anger and pressure that made his step down from office.
Yesterday’s rally was unique in many ways. It was first massive Public rally called by the public and was for the public. Mumbai has never seen the mobilization of such large human resource at one go. It was always the monopoly of the Politician to garner huge rally by using his money power and state machinery. Yesterday’s rally was devoid of any political connection. In fact the fury against the politician was so furious that no politician would have dared to be present there. In all likelihood he would have been lynched.
I felt like the whole of Mumbai had tuned out on the streets. Processions were taken out by ordinary citizens waving placard and carrying tri-color Indian flags. Not only solidarity was shown towards brave police officer and Commandos who laid down their lives for the country but in general the public expressed their ire and fury, the disdain and contempt displayed were aimed against the Political class. Slogans like Go Go Terrorism, No votes No tax, Politicians step down, Hindu – Muslim unity and so on ranted the air. Graffiti and candle vigils marked the night.
There were people of all hue and walks of life- the Celebrities and commoners, Old and young, the rich and poor, Upper and middle class, Ultra-urban educated and rural and grieved families who lost their dear ones. What is most satisfying is that majority of them were young college students lending their vocal cord in shouting slogans and expressing solidarity. This is a good sign as there is often criticism that they don’t vote or take part in social issues.
I am sure yesterday’s public rally must have sent fear among the politicians that they no more can take the people of Mumbai and in general of India lightly. One good thing that comes out of this tragedy is that yesterday public rally has indicated that Mumbai is rising and now has voice of common public that cannot be ignored.
For images on the protest rally