Sanjay Dutt's wife Manyata walked from St Xavier's College to the Radio Club in Colaba to reach the Gateway of India for the public protest rally organised by her, Maanyata, Farhan Azmi, Minica Chhabria, Jaspreet Singh Walia, Vijayta Gandhi and Rohini Vaki. Their organisation is called We The People.
In an interview, Manyata talks about her walking "shoulder-to-shoulder with the citizens of India." Read on...
When did you decide to walk?
Firstly, I would like to tell you that Mrs Sanjay Dutt wasn't visiting the Gateway of India. I went there as an Indian citizen. I was proud of see so many of us walk shoulder-to- shoulder for a common cause.
Did you expect to see such crowds?
I wasn't expecting anything. I would have stood there alone even if no-one would have turned up but every responsible citizen came to show his/her solidarity. There are so many rallies happening, so many people on the roads but it was just one voice, one objective, one goal.
Were you able to fulfill any of the objectives you set out to achieve at the event?
Yes, we wanted to show the politicians that we are too many in number but yet one. We have conveyed a message united we stand victorious.
Why didn't Sanjay go?
Sanjay was in Delhi with Bunty Walia but flew down to Mumbai specially for this. He was on his way to Gateway but got stuck in traffic for three hours between J J Hospital and CST. He wanted to walk from CST but the cops advised him against it and said it would pose too much of a security problem, so he turned back.
Did you meet and interact with people there?
Yes, I met many people and it was sad to hear what happened. After hearing their stories, I now want to go to JJ Hospital and meet their relatives who are fighting for their lives.
Have you presented the 10 pointers of We The People to the government?
Not yet. Right now, there's too much to ask from the government so we have to prioritise the 10 points, but obviously security and other security- related points come first. We know it can't and won't happen overnight.
How do you propose to follow it up and ensure that the government listens to the points?
We want the right to vote or no-vote and choose our own leaders. The right to vote not to vote, 49-0 was specially implemented in 1961 and we want that right to be given to us too.
What's the next step of We The People?
We The People is not an organisation, nor is it a registered group. We represent every citizen of India. The rally was a non-political movement and we had boycotted all politicians.
Aamir Khan has written in his blog that the youth of this country should start a political party. "A group that stands for strong, clean, honest and fresh leadership. A group that we can all support." Comment.
Yes I totally agree with him. We want young, energetic and dedicated leaders and if Aamir leads the way I will join his party.
Do you want Sanjay Dutt to join politics?
Yes, he should as he has mass appeal.
Have you ever thought about joining politics?
No. I have never thought of it. But as of now, I am sure I don't want to be part of a stagnant system. Politics sucks!
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