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With a spate in crime against women and victim blaming, is it time to resume the Pink Chaddi campaign?
I can see that now there is an epidemic of criminal assaults on women in the name of Indian ‘culture’ or just for the ‘fun’ of it. There also is an equally viral epidemic of blame-the-victim disease.
In case we forget what our culture is all about, actor and local MLA Chiranjeet Chatterjee blamed “skirt size” for incidents of sexual harassment. He was reacting to the sexual assault on a girl in Barasat, West Bengal. He said, “Women are to blame for this to some extent. Their skirt size and dress are changing. Why? Must be for the entertainment of men, to earn their appreciation. People call it ‘teasing’ when someone uses a bad word instead of appreciating.”
He joins leading lights such as Pramod Muthalik, whose goons of the Sri Ram Sene had assaulted girls in a pub in Mangalore in early 2009. Muthalik had praised the incident, saying, “Whoever has done this has done a good job. Girls going to pubs is not acceptable. So, whatever the Sena members did was right.”
Muthalik did get what he deserved. In 2010, when he was busy warning couples ahead of Valentine’s Day on a televised show, a man ran towards him with an ink bottle and threw it in his face. (See video).
A more inspiring reaction to Muthalik and his goons was the Pink Chaddi Campaign organized by the Consortium of Pub-going, Loose, and Forward Women. One of the group’s founder-members, Nisha Susan had said, “The name of the group was tongue-in-cheek, but their cause wasn’t. They wanted to stand up for women’s rights…Our fundamental rights are not to be taken away, like gifts with strings.”
The campaign went viral on the Internet, but the campaign’s Facebook account was hacked repeatedly and for some reason, Facebook suspended the account later. Pramod Muthalik was sent over two thousand pink chaddis (underwear). He had the cheek to call the act of sending pink chaddis to him a “perverted act”!
I wonder how I can contact Nisha Susan and her friends. I, along with my friends will donate pink chaddis specially designed to be wrapped around those mouths that spew venom in the name of culture. If women wear short skirts to entertain men- as some seem to think- what stops me from entertaining myself by flooding certain kinds of insensitive people- men and women both, with pink chaddis?
Pic of the original Pink Chaddi campaign poster courtesy Gauravonomics (Used under a Creative Commons license)
I am a former bureaucrat, and have worked a lot on gender issues, disaster management and good governance. I am also the proud father of two lovely daughters. read more...
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Rajshri Deshpande, who played the fiery protagonist in Trial by Fire along with Abhay Deol speaks of her journey and her social work.
Rajshri Deshpande as the protagonist in ‘Trial by Fire’, the recent Netflix show has received raving reviews along with the show itself for its sensitive portrayal of the Uphaar Cinema Hall fire tragedy, 1997 and its aftermath.
The limited series is based on the book by the same name written by Neelam and Shekhar Krishnamoorthy, who lost both their children in the tragedy. We got an opportunity to interview Rajshri Deshpande who played Neelam Krishnamoorthy, the woman who has been relentlessly crusading in the court for holding the owners responsible for the sheer negligence.
Rajshri Deshpande is more than an actor. She is also a social warrior, the rare celebrity from the film industry who has also gone back to her roots to give to poverty struck farming villages in her native Marathwada, with her NGO Nabhangan Foundation. Of course a chance to speak with her one on one was a must!
“What is a woman’s job, Ramesh? Taking care of parents-in-law, husband, children, home and things at work—all at the same time? She isn’t God or a superhuman."
The arrays of workstations were occupied by people peering into their computer screens. The clicks of keyboard keys were punctuated by the occasional footsteps moving around to brainstorm or collaborate with colleagues in their cubicles. Most employees went about their tasks without looking at the person seated on either side of their workstation. Meenakshi was one of them.
The thirty-one-year-old marketing manager in a leading eCommerce company in India sat straight in her seat, her eyes on the screen, her fingers punching furiously into the keys. She was in a flow and wanted to finish the report while the thoughts and words were coming effortlessly into her mind.
Natu-Natu. The mellifluous ringtone interrupted her thoughts. She frowned at her mobile phone with half a mind to keep it ringing until she noticed the caller’s name on the screen, making her pick up the phone immediately.
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