Dharna day 12: even the police laugh at the irony of it all

Yasmeen with children
Yasmeen with children from the Millenium School
As with many days, the day began with the dawn of interacting with the children of Delhi. Unlike most days, they came to us.

Students from the Millenium School came to visit Jantar Mantar, not our dharna per se. The students were walking around Jantar Mantar and they chanced upon our group. There was much interaction with our group, lots of questions, lots of answers. The students and teachers were taking pictures of us, and meanwhile Vikas took photos of them interacting with us. One of the teachers asked Vikas to hand over the camera, and he handed it over thinking they wanted to take more pictures. When he checked what they were doing, they asked how they could delete the pictures he was taking. He asked them – Why? They said – You won’t understand. Vikas said – Explain it to me. So the teachers said – Don’t take pictures of the girls. This led to an interesting discussion about how the students and teachers didn’t seem equally worried about the consequences of their taking photographs of the young girls from Bhopal. It led to a discussion about how trust had to be mutual, about notions of unidirectional protection across class lines, and the teachers and students felt they’d benefitted from this aspect of the discussion in addition to what they’d learned about Bhopal.

Meanwhile, Rachna went to The Other Media office to do some work and take some printouts. By the time of returning to the dharna sthal a police man was waiting for Rachna. He said he’d been waiting for a while and handed over our rejected application for permission to hold an exhibition similar to the one the BJP had erected. We pointed out the disparity between the BJP apparently getting permission for their exhibition to even stay up at night at Jantar Mantar, while our group of survivors were denied permission based on ludicrous excuses about turning into a disruption of law and order. The policeman joined us in laughing at the irony of this, saying “Yes we understand your situation”.

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