From 14-16 February 2020, citizens around the country will gather in their respective cities to celebrate “The India we know and love—the India of tolerance, the India of acceptance, the India that strove to be a better place for even her most oppressed children, the India that was a dream,” as part of an umbrella India, My Valentine festival.
“The idea is to celebrate India as your Valentine. You love your country, don’t you? The idea is to celebrate that. So…we’ll do some India-loving,” comedian Aditi Mittal told DeadAnt when we asked her about her participation in this unique festival that will be held simultaneously in 10 cities over Valentine’s weekend.
In December 2019, protests against the controversial amendment to the Citizenship Act and the National Register of Citizens erupted in multiple parts of the country, such as the anti-CAA and anti-NRC sit-ins at Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh and at a protest site in Mumbai’s Nagpada area, now historically dubbed ‘Mumbai Bagh’. Two months in, the movement has gained considerable momentum, as more and more prominent artists and celebrities have also joined in and are using different platforms to express their dissent against the CAA-NRC-NPR.
India, My Valentine is one such platform.
With spoken word, stand-up comedy, music, rap and story-telling events on the line-up, participating artists will be collaborating at different venues (including important protest areas) all over India to show their love for their country—a massive act of non-cringey PDA, if you will.
Given their relentless opposition against what’s happening in India today—from making memes, writing special YouTube bits, showing up for protests and raising funds for various organisations that organise nationwide protests against the CAA-NRC—it’s not surprising that so many stand-up comics will be performing at India, My Valentine as well.
Organised by actress Swara Bhasker, the event’s opening ceremony will take place in the national capital on 14 February and the closing concert will be held in Mumbai on 16 February.
Aditi Mittal (who will be in Hyderabad and Delhi), Varun Thakur (who is part of the Delhi leg), Kaneez Surka, Tanmay Bhat, Sanjay Rajoura, Anirban Dasgupta, Sumukhi Suresh, Abbas Momin, Sriraam Padmanabhan and Kajol Srinivasan are the comedians on a list of performers that is steadily growing every day. Just like the line-up for the recently-concluded ‘Artists Against Communalism’ did.
And you can get involved too! The team helps curate line-ups and bring artists together while the logistical duties are carried out by locals in the city (i.e. YOU). To help organise one in your city, reach out the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s better than booty-calling your ex, honestly. Or crying into a tub of low-fat ice-cream.