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    Anindita SenguptaSOME OF YOU have asked how you can help in the campaign against the attacks on women in Mangalore and Bangalore. Running a poster campaign in your neighborhood, college or office is a quick and easy way.  Here are some posters I’ve received from different organizations. Click on the download link to get a large-size version which you can print out. Make copies and put them up wherever you can. Continue reading

    Weekend Protest Details

    Saturday, 7th March 2009, 3.30 pm – 4.30 pm
    Meet Director General of Police for Karnataka, Ajay Kumar Singh: A crowd will gather outside the DGP’s office while a delegation goes to in to present him with a memorandum. More details at Bangalore Aware.

    Sunday, 8th March 2009, 6 pm onwards
    Take Back the Night Walk: The main event will bring people together in different locations across the city between 6 pm and 9 pm. All groups will meet at Majestic at 9 pm where there will be a small performance and much boisterousness. More details at Blank Noise Project.

    Responding to the Bangalore Attacks

    By Maraa

    Seven attacks in the last ten days! In response to the recent attacks against women in the city of Bangalore, many individuals and organisations have come together to form FEARLESS KARNATAKA or Nirbhaya Karnataka to reclaim public spaces and promote safety for all.

    In the wake of a series of attacks in Mangalore (the latest one was reported on February 24, 2009), women have been targeted in the name of morality, culture and “public decency”. In Bangalore, the reasons for the attacks have been on similar lines — during the attacks, the girls were insulted for wearing jeans, sleeveless shirts and speaking English. We believe that the attacks in Bangalore then are a continuation of those that took place in Mangalore and coastal Karnataka regions even though the identity of the attackers (and the organizations they belong to) could have differed. Continue reading

    Something wicked this way comes

    THE ATTACKS have not stopped. I have received at least three emails about attacks on women in Bangalore for wearing jeans / drinking / being free individuals.

    One victim has blogged about the horrific incident:

    And as soon as they turn around in protest, the car doors are flung open, and a stream of 4-5 rabid men run out towards these women, screaming obscenities in Hindi and Kannada against women in general, fists flailing. Some of us who came in running at the sound of the screaming brakes now stand in the middle in defense of our women, and then blows start raining down. One of the goons make a couple of calls over the cellphone, and in seconds a stream of other equally rabid goondas land up. They gun straight for the women, and everyone – a few well-meaning bystanders, acquaintances who know us from the restaurant, basically everyone who tries to help the women – starts getting thoroughly beaten up. Continue reading

    What Lies Beneath?

    IT’S BEEN AMUSING to see the uproar around the Pink Chaddi Campaign over the last few days, with some of the ‘finest journalistic minds in the country’ pitching in with their opinions. This piece, ironically called ‘What Lies Beneath’, by Sagarika Ghose in Hindustan Times was particularly baffling, shallow as a frying pan and about as full of noise. I wish one could ignore such vapidity, but the piece was also disturbing at many levels. Some of us sent a rejoinder to HT. Unsurprisingly, they neither acknowledged it, nor responded.  Continue reading

    Understanding and Responding to the Mangalore Assaults

    By Sumi Krishna

    How should we in the women’s movement understand and respond to the cluster of assaults by the Rama Sene, Bajrang Dal and other fundamentalists; the targeting of minorities and their places of worship; the harassment and molestation of women of all classes in the name of nation, culture and religion; the fear and anger spreading through villages and towns in southern-coastal Karnataka?

    As Sandhya Gokhale of the Forum Against Oppression of Women, Mumbai, says in The Hindu, on one level the horrific abuse of young women in a pub is ‘a morality issue’, but it is also about the space and decision making power for which women have fought for years. Arvind Narrain of the Alternative Law Forum, Bangalore, writing in the Indian Express, sees the abuse of religious and sexual minorities as the ‘saffron’ challenge to ‘the legacy of the women’s movement in India’ and ‘the thin end of the wedge’ in re-establishing male dominance. Continue reading

    Joint Statement on the Barbaric Assault in Mangalore (please add your names)

    Editor’s Note: Please leave your name and location / affiliation in the comment space if you want to be added to the signatories and we will collect them and send them to Sumi Krishna, the coordinator.

    JOINT STATEMENT ON THE BARBARIC ASSAULT IN MANGALORE

    Bangalore: 9 p.m., 29 January 2009

    We, the undersigned, strongly condemn the horrific and unprovoked assault by a group of 40 hooligans, reportedly members of the Sri Rama Sene, on young women in a pub in the coastal city of Mangalore, Karnataka, during the afternoon of Saturday, 24 January 2009. We are saddened by the inaction of the public who looked on as the brutal attack unfolded.  But we appreciate the attitude and actions of the staff of the pub, who tried to intervene, and the young man who stood up to the attackers.

    We are shocked by the tardy action of the State administration, police, and political leadership, some of whom have dismissed this is as a “minor incident”. We believe that violent threats to the democratic freedoms and human rights of citizens, whether women or religious minorities, cannot be trivialised as “unfortunate”. Continue reading

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