From being a group of fishing communities in the natural harbour of seven islands to becoming one of the most important ports of the British empire, from being a major manufacturing and industrial hub to serving as the financial capital of the country – Mumbai certainly has seen its share of change and transformation. Over the years of its evolution into India’s most populous metropolis, people have consistently migrated into this ‘city of dreams’ to fulfil their own aspirations and desires. But while Mumbai is more often than not welcoming to whosoever chooses to embrace it, it can also be cruel. It discriminates, it denies its poorest housing and many basic facilities, it routinely takes away open space, it overcrowds and gets jammed, it often excludes.
Mumbai, however, has a long history of resistance. From the freedom movement to the trade union movement, from the mobilization of women to protests affirming the rights of sexual minorities – all these struggles have contributed to making the city what it is today. It is this cosmopolitan, inclusive fabric that is under threat from various quarters.
But Mumbaikars don’t give in. Collectively and individually, they try to make their voices heard. Some shout louder, some let their actions speak out, all attempting to contribute in their own unique way. Few seem to cave in.
The articles featured in this edition of Footnotes (2013-14) are stories of some such attempts by individuals, groups and communities, for whom the city is not only the oppressor but also the enabler. The city that subjugates also allows its mortals the space to resist, of course some more than others.
Thus, Mumbai Resistance!
Footnotes is a web magazine produced by the students of the 2012-14 batch of the School of Media & Cultural Studies at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.
DEPUTY PHOTO EDITOR
K P Jayasankar
K V Nagesh
Staff of SMCS
This web magazine was made possible by a grant from the Jamsetji Tata Trust.