10 Dec 2015

Shivaji Park

The Bahujan Font.

We were at Shivaji Park photo op.

Jai Bhim Mela. 

I was at  Shivaji Park on the 5th of December, 2015 a day before the anniversary of Dr BR Ambedkar's death anniversary that falls on the 6th of December. The atmosphere is like that in any Indian mela, with thousands from all over Western India and parts of Madhya Pradesh.  The only difference is that the different groups of people seeking attention from the visitors are from different schools of Buddhists thoughts, political parties that work for dalit issue, Dalit publications and music companies and SC/ST unions of various large public sector organisation like GAIL.

The heroes behind the scene in the entire show has to be the people at BMC who are experts in organising congregations of this size in the middle of this super-packed city. 

A pilgrimage to the city of dreams. 

A lady sits, a little baffled by what's happening next to the  cricket pitch at Shivaji Park.

The more enterprising among the visitors are the ones who are also making a few rupees selling mementos like flags, photographs and calendars on the streets of Dadar. 

While thousands sleep on the streets outside, there are tents put up for people to stay inside Shivaji Park. However, many prefer to conduct business outside on the street. 

The food is free here.

And if you want to get an annual health check up for free from the doctors at Grant / JJ or the doctors who work for hospitals attached to public sector companies. 

The chores on the road are the similar to the ones at home. The Indian mother works even on a holiday. 

The age of VCDs and CDs are still alive and kicking loudly here. The people who come here are yet to enter the smart phone age and continue to buy their music. 

Cassettes it says, but they were selling VCDs. 

The TV isn't flat yet.

 at Jai Bhim Mela.

Left, right and centre. 

Home decoration and mementos. 

Statues: Rs. 1,80 lakhs. Glasses extra. 

There are visitors who can't afford books or statues, they buy calendars

The market place of ideas.

Falug Gong, Buddha, Darwin, Karl Marx, Bhimrao, Vivekananda, Annabhau, etc. 

T Shirts for sale.

Pali language t shirts

The IAS and other exam coaching centres had a strong presence at the Jai Bhim Mela. What does that suggest to you?  

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