Valentine's Day 2020: 'Bury the hatchet, even if it's just for a day'

Updated: Feb 15, 2020, 07:57 IST | Gaurav Sarkar | Mumbai

India, My Valentine event to bring together people of differing political ideologies, promote love and harmony amid trying times

Women participate in a protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act at Nagpada on February 1
Women participate in a protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act at Nagpada on February 1

Over the past three months of protests and differences regarding the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Registry of Citizens (NRC), "a lot of us have lost friendships due to our political differences," said filmmaker Aditi Anand on Friday ahead of India, My Valentine performance. A pan-India cultural programme held across cities over the V-day weekend, the event aims to bring people across the political spectrum together for an evening of celebrating their common love: India. "Both sides are continuously fighting but one thing is common: that each side is saying it loves India more. We are going to love India together," Anand said.

The Mumbai leg of the event kicked off on Friday. The closing gala will be held on Sunday (February 16) at Sophia college auditorium (5.30 pm onwards) with the likes of Naseeruddin Shah and Ratna Pathak performing, along with Tanmay Bhat, Vishal and Rekha Bharadwaj, Swara Bhaskar, Aamir Aziz and more. India, My Valentine is also being celebrated in Delhi and Kolkata over the weekend.

Anand, who is one of the organizers of the event, said, "There has been a continuous sit-in protest at Mumbra for the past month. On Friday, a host of fantastic artists are going to perform there. It will be followed by a performance by Sufi folk singer Moralala Marwada and his troop at Native Places in Versova on Saturday evening. The final gala closing event will be held on Sunday at the Sophia college auditorium."

While there would be no "speeches", Naseeruddin Shah and Ratna Pathak are expected to perform monologues, while the others will be playing to their strengths of stand-up comedy, music, and storytelling. "The money collected from ticket sales will go towards two organizations - one that works with war veterans (since it's one year of Pulwama) and another that aids women in making space for themselves at national-level politics," she explained.

Art for engagement
"These are all artists who have been using art to engage with what is happening int he country right now," said Anand. "Music, poetry, and art are very powerful mediums that act as bridges between people with different political affiliations." She added: "There are people who feel very strongly and want to engage but these are not necessarily the ones who will go to a protest. People are also afraid that they might get lathi-charged at a protest, and are hence cautious. India, My Valentine is an avenue where people with all sorts of ideas can come together under one roof and engage with one another."

Tickets for India, My Valentine are available on Insider and BookMyShow.

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