On November 26, 2010, the second anniversary of the Mumbai terror attacks, news channels will air a music video in commemoration of the victims. Titled Azaad 26/11, the video has been directed by filmmaker Manish Jain in collaboration with Whistling Woods International.
The lead character in the four-minute video is a kid running past the worst-affected areas with a rose in his hand symbolising peace. It also features a victim of the attack, a French woman named Laetitia de Montalembert, playing the violin. The video was shot last year, mostly at real locations, and released on November 26, 2009.
Jain says he thought of shooting the clip during the peace march organised a few days after the attacks. "My route back home from work matched the one the terrorists took. Had I not gotten delayed that day, I could’ve been a victim," Jain says.
A chunk of Azaad 26/11 has been shot outside the Taj and Trident hotels, Cama Hospital, Nariman House, Cafe Leopold and CST. Pasted on a board outside each location are messages such as ‘peace’, ‘hope’ and ‘love’. "The kid is running around the city with a rose in his hand trying to clean up all the blood stains left behind by terror. These are the messages he’s spreading," Jain says.
However, they don’t only apply to 26/11 terrorists. “This is as much an appeal to stop internal terrorism,” Jain adds. The song in the video has been composed by Rahul Bhatt, and has special appearances by Eesha Koppikar Narang, Gul Panag, Celina Jaitly and Javed Jaffery.
Azaad 26/11 won Jain the Karmaveer Puraskaar in 2009 soon after it was first aired on 15 news channels including Aaj Tak and CNN-IBN. This year, he says, the video will be played across the same channels after 30-minute intervals.