Sunday, December 23, 2012

Images from India Gate - When protest meets mobs


As I type this, my hands are still shaky. I'm backing up nearly every second word I write here because I can't get the letters right. My nose still stings from the tear gas and the pain on my leg from the lathis of the RAF feels a million times worse in the biting cold of the Delhi winter. I've not felt happier in ages.

I was at India Gate today. I went because I wanted to be part of something bigger than myself. I wanted to be a part of the living, breathing change that had collected itself around the humongous symbol of sacrifice and courage squat in the middle of the capital.

I hear now that since I left, the situation took a violent turn and what was once a peaceful demand for beneficial reform and swift action has now turned into a full scale riot. I suppose this is what happens when social benefit suffers the wrath of political agenda. To those creating or encouraging these activities, I plead, don't let this brilliant, and potentially revolutionary, movement go down the same road as everything else in this country. Let's not lose our collective shit.

While there, I managed to catch a few glimpses of the situation on camera. I'd like to share those images with you to give you a better idea of what was REALLY going on there today.

A man walks defiantly into the middle of the tear gas explosions. He has no weapons, just a flag.

When the tear gas explosions and Lathi Charges start, everyone runs. Tear gas burns like the fires of hell and a lathi to the leg in this weather shakes you up completely. But the courage isn't in enduring these pains, the courage lies in experiencing them and coming back to face them once again.

Pro(test) tip: If you're going to protest at any of the locations, wear a muffler and heavy jeans. Tear gas and Lathis shouldn't stop you, but you're not much good to the movement lying on the ground in pain.


A lot of people were calling this a leaderless protest, but I saw hundreds of young leaders, organising people in groups, creating human barricades, ensuring no one got trampled or hit, stopping any kind of violence that started to emerge.











Students stood no more than two feet from the Police, their voices hoarse with screams of "Aap kya kar rahe hain? Aap public ke liye kaam karte hain ya minister ke liye?" Both parties deserve respect, the students for their courage and the police for not losing their heads at this agitation.

While I was there, I was tear-gassed thrice and hit with a Lathi once. All four of these incidents were without any violent provocation from the protesters.The RAF would appear in hundreds every hour or so and Lathi charge the public, provoked or otherwise.

5 comments:

  1. Excellent images for a depressing scene.

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  2. Your talent is the only thing that supersedes your intelligence.

    Brilliant.

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  3. Thank you, Denis and IThink. Much appreciated :)

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  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  5. i just hope this protest doesnt fade off as another 'more important' news catches the interest of fickle attention span people of our country.

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