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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

    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

    Saturday: Protest in Bangalore

    DEFEND THE RIGHT TO LOVE

    Date: Saturday, February 14, 2009
    Time: 12:00pm – 2:00pm
    Location: Mahatma Gandhi Statue on MG Road at 12 o’clock. We will walk through MG road and Brigade road Continue reading

    Fri and Sat: Protests in Delhi

    AISA and AIPWA organised protest on Valentine’s day in Delhi.
    Say NO to the ‘Morality Police’!

    On February 13, on the eve of
    VALENTINE’S DAY Continue reading

    The Power of Pink Chaddis

    IT’S COOL. It’s cheeky. It’s clever. I’m talking about the Pink Chaddi Campaign. Women all over the country are gathering pink chaddis and sending them to Muthalik as a Valentine’s Day present. The plan is to strike disgust in the teensy little non-heart of our chief moral guardian — and to loudly assert the fact that the bogeymen of morality, dignity, chastity etc cannot be used to take our freedom away. Gifting panties may seem like a softer option than dung bombing his house but it makes a strong statement on our collective lack of ‘shame’, the one quality he’s trying so desperately to instill in us. Continue reading

    Nothing Moral About It

    By Anuradha Prasad

    When I first heard about the Mangalore pub incident, I was not surprised. Ever since the BJP came into power, as glad as I was to see the Gowdas go, I felt some apprehension. ‘Moral policing’ and communal conflicts always seem to ride on BJP power.

    However, it was later, when I watched the videos that captured this disgusting act, that I was horrified, angry and sickened. The government’s lack of immediate action, the speeches against ‘pub culture’, the lack of remorse about what they are doing in the name of ‘morals’ left me indignant. Continue reading

    The Weighty Burden of Honourable Names

    By Shilpa Phadke & Sameera Khan

    Clearly Sanjay Dutt hasn’t read his Shakespeare for he doesn’t seem to recollect the Bard’s pronouncement, “What’s in a Name?” But then perhaps for one with his nose in all kinds of things rotten, nothing smells sweet to him at all.

    We allude to Sanjay Dutt’s recent assertion of his and his wife’s right to the Dutt name, simultaneously questioning his married sister Priya Dutt’s right to the same name, thereby annoying not just his sister but all women who choose to keep their birth names. The annoyance of course is mild. In any case, most of us don’t rate a convicted criminal’s approval very high on our list of priorities. Nonetheless since the issue has come up, its worth not just reiterating rehearsed arguments on women’s rights to their birth names but also asking Sanjay Dutt ke banyan ke peeche kya hai? Continue reading

    Sunday: Say, I am – a performative walk.

    Students of Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology, Bangalore, have organized a choreographed demonstration against the mangalore attacks and the statements that made after that. This walk is on Sunday, 8th Feb, 4 pm onwards. Continue reading

    Protest against Mangalore incident in Delhi

    Protest against Assault on Women in Mangalore Pub and State Inaction

    We condemn the brutal assault by members of the Sri Ram Sene on young women in a pub in Mangalore, Karnataka, on Saturday, 24 January 2009. We are shocked by the response of the State administration, police, and political leadership, some of whom have dismissed this as a ‘minor incident’, while others have blatantly justified the violence. We believe that such threats to the democratic freedom and human rights of citizens, cannot be treated as ‘minor’. This incident, and the unabashed justifications of it are part of a larger trend to curb the freedoms of women in the name of a regressive and distorted notion of Indian culture and tradition.

    To strongly condemn the disturbing trend of violence against women and ‘moral policing’ as a means to enforce a particularly regressive interpretation of culture, there will be a protest on Tuesday 3rd February, outside Karnatak Bhavan, Chanakyapuri (near Samrat hotel), Delhi, at 3 pm.

    Jagori, Nirantar, Saheli, Sama