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‘Global Citizens’ Leave a Royal Mess at Coldplay Concert in Mumbai

People acquired tickets by pledging to be ‘Global Citizens’ and care for hygiene, sanitation and cleanliness.

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Coldplay band member Chris Martin at the World Global Citizen event in Mumbai on Sunday, 20 November 2016. (Photo: Reuters)

It actually happened. Coldplay actually performed in Mumbai’s Bandra-Kurla Complex on Saturday night. And while amazed fans put up pictures from the concert (and quoted ‘Fix You’), there was another visual from the venue that has gone viral.

(Photo Courtesy: Facebook/<a href="https://www.facebook.com/jubin.jacob.792">Jubin Jacob</a>)
(Photo Courtesy: Facebook/Jubin Jacob)

Many of the nearly 70 thousand people, who attended the concert, had acquired free tickets by pledging to be ‘Global Citizens’ – a cause that talks about ‘eradicating poverty’, ‘sustainable development’ and ‘sanitation’.

(Photo Courtesy: Facebook/<a href="https://www.facebook.com/glblctznIN">Global Citizen India</a>)
(Photo Courtesy: Facebook/Global Citizen India)

Now, while these ‘Global Citizens’ were congratulated by the Prime Minister, other politicians, and a rather long line-up of Bollywood stars, the pictures above leave room to seriously question this arm-chair philanthropy.

It’s all good to get free tickets and a great concert, but will the Global Citizens take the cause forward? Or only pat themselves on the back and move on?

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In response to this story, Global Citizen India reached out to The Quint to say the organisers had carried out a cleanliness program after the event.

After the Festival, Global Citizen India executed plans to use the unused food and waste generated to give back to communities around Mumbai in a net-zero effort. Global Citizen volunteers cleaned up the grounds to leave it in the state it was found through NGO Swachhalay. All paper, plastics and metals were sent for recycling through NGO Raddi Connect, while all organic waste is being composted by Organic Recycling Systems.

The spokesperson added that the “five lakh Global Citizens in India are primed to make sure that leaders uphold and deliver on commitments.” But what of their personal commitment?

The same people who pledged to help eradicate poverty and improve sanitation, left litter behind, expecting that someone else – perhaps far less privileged than them – would clean it up.

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So while the organiser’s supposed efforts to make the event a ‘net zero waste’ one can be appreciated, given the nature of the event and the principle it espoused, the need should not have arisen.

Perhaps signing a couple of petitions or liking a page didn’t convert anyone. It only got a bunch of privileged people a free concert – and they were told they were better human beings for it.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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