For seven days in January 2004 Mumbai staged a kind of khumbh mela for the concerned and the sensitive souls. From across the world came scholars, activists, intellectuals, grassroot workers, and all others who wanted to associate themselves with an occasion that celebrated dissent. Mumbai, otherwise serenaded as India’s happening place where capitalistic enterprise finds a natural expression, became host for the World Social Forum, a self-designed rival and alternative to the annual gathering of corporate tycoons and finance ministers at the World Economic Forum at Davos (Switzerland). All those who gather at the WSF mela are inspired by the faith that a world other than the one scripted by the Wall Street Mob is possible. Rather becomingly the Indian contingent prepared itself adequately for the Mumbai mela. Talking New Politics documents how diligently a section of the Indian alternative-crowd motivated itself for the Mumbai show.
January 2006, volume 30, No 1