I was expecting a gathering of 100 odd people (based on the newspaper reports that I have been reading) but was pleasantly surprised to see more than a 1,000 volunteers at the demonstration site.
The media was also there in full strength. But the coverage on TV was disappointing.
There were old people, young children (even infants) and woman in significant numbers.
I was particularly pleased to see the young participating in full gusto. Cheering, slogan shouting, distributing water to the elders and thirsty in general, the young people of Delhi were doing it with a smile on their faces.
Everyone present joined the clapping to accompany the nukkad natak by the firebrands of Asmita Theatre Group.
The Police was in full attendance. Women police officers were stationed throughout the area and some of them were also seen talking to the protesters.
I heard one police officer say, he wished he could also join the protesters instead of trying to stop them.
There were several moments in today’s evening that I’ll remember for a long time to come. But the one that scared me out of my shoes was when I had a Mahabharata moment. On one side the protesters were crying out slogans, waving flags and mashaals and on the other side a three row wall of policemen and policewomen ready to thwart the march to India Gate. Suddenly, for a moment, I could see an aerial view of the road in my mind’s eyes and it seemed that a mighty clash would occur in minutes.
My respect for the movement and its organizers increased manifold when, the protestors said they would not move forward without proper permission. Permission was denied and I later learned that the protestors camped at Jantar Mantar till almost mid-night.
I wish people at least attend one of these gatherings and give the people who are championing the cause an ear before dismissing them and their argument.
I hope that the protests will not run their course and die an unnoticed death. I hope some sort of change comes and if nothing at all the government realizes the importance and strength of the voice of the people.