One step at a time
Pallav Patankar, of the Queer Azaadi Mumbai Collective said that the organisers were happy that permissions for the Pride Parade were through, "We have got the traffic control permissions, now we have to get a No Objection from the S Mumbai police.
Even when we were denied permission earlier, we did not lose hope and continued to knock on doors.” This time, the Parade is set to begin at August Kranti Maidan go upto Opera House and return to the starting point, according to Patankar. “We have permissions from 3 pm to 6 pm.” For an event that began in 2008, the Parade is now in its sixth year, “And is evolving in its own way. From Gay Pride Parade, we now have Gay Pride Week, which is a step ahead,” said Patankar. The Collective member also stated that, “Internally too, some of the old-timers or old hands have stepped back a bit and let younger, fresher faces take the forefront in organising, which is an evolution in itself.”
When asked whether one would see changes in the Pride Parade structure itself one day, maybe floats could come in like there are in some cities in the West, Patankar stated, “We have had this discussion at QAM meetings, but we do not want to ape the West blindly. Also, to make this more over the top, you also need higher budgets and then corporatisation and brands come in. I do not know if we are ready to mix politics with commerce. Here, the community is still fighting for very many basic rights and against discriminatory practices, so we need to take all this into consideration before completely upping the ante so to speak.”
Parade Timings: 3 pm to 6 pm
Date: Saturday, February 2
Route: August Kranti Maidan to Opera House and back to starting point