#Hokkolorob: A Hope For Progressive Kolkata!

Posted: September 25, 2014

The recent attack on Jadavpur University students who were protesting against the harassment of a female student has shocked the country, but the #Hokkolorob campaign aims to keep the protest on.

(The term “hok kolorob”, is a Bengali term, which can be translated as, “Let there be an uproar”: An uproar, against women being molested and sexually assaulted on campus, uproar against beating up innocent students by switching off the lights, an uproar against the vice chancellor’s failure to provide the female students with security, and last but not the least, an uproar for justice for the victim, even if her family refrains from the protest.)

When the entire country is shaken by the brutal attacks of the West Bengal Police on the students of Jadavpur University, one finds a new trend among a chosen group of people, in our society:




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This picture here put up by some students supporting some political parties, suggests that students not only deserve to be beaten up, but they should be beaten up publicly!

They also claim that if you want to be featured in some of the latest magazines, blog posts or articles, all you need to do is – wear short dresses, half pants, carry a cigarette in hand,  or probably have a tattoo or coloured hair! Yes, that’s it!

You can be sure that you will be featured as an ‘indecent’, ‘shameless’, ‘infamous’ student of Jadavpur University, irrespective of your behaviour, nature, or code of conduct in the academic institution!

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A picture put up on Facebook, that asks: Is this a way of protesting?

Bravo, Kolkata! The same city which had been overwhelmed by the speeches of our beloved CM, when she promised to turn our city into London!

Well, my point is – exactly how does our CM plan to do the transformation? Is it only in terms of infrastructure, keeping constant the patriarchal domination? Or was she promising us a Kolkata free from the tyranny of those demons who treat women as objects?

I, being an ex-student of Jadavpur University, take pride in our academic institution. It respects individual rights and freedom (even if you are a woman)!

If cigarette smoking is injurious to health, it affects both male and female students in the same manner. I would like to request these people to please concentrate on Biology before coming out with such weird ideas!

Secondly, can these people please define a ‘decent’ dress? Does it essentially mean covering up our entire body, or do you mean loose fitting apparel? Well, I have seen women being harassed even if they wear salwaar kameez, I have seen teenagers getting molested, and a kid of five years getting raped. Would you suggest we burn our faces with acid so that we don’t get raped?

I have heard that in Miami beach, even if you lie naked in the sun, no one would ever dare to touch you against your will. Then, it is absolutely pointless to talk about adrenaline rush! Many people would scream, “This is Kolkata, not Miami!” My point is – these men are also human beings and I hope they won’t be considered impotent, because they don’t force women or molest them?

Moreover, when the professors, staff, and even the paanwalas of Jadavpur are not distracted by the dressing sense of the students, what exactly is their problem?

Thirdly, I really don’t understand the logic that a tattoo makes a woman ‘dirty’ or ‘slutty’. I find it to be an interesting and innovative form of art, which has been existing in our culture, since time immemorial. These days, it has also opened up new professional avenues for numerous youth, who are passionate about painting! I hope it is not better to be unemployed than being a tattoo artist?

The whole point behind the entire discussion is that – you, me, and everybody want a safe and secure Kolkata for women, so that we can set an example for others, even if you hate these students for being like this! So, why do you criticize our struggle by pinpointing illogical and irrelevant issues? Today it is an unknown student, tomorrow it could be your daughter, daughter-in-law or your granddaughter. If you can’t join in, at least don’t misinterpret our efforts this way, since we are free from all sorts of political issues! We want to see a safe campus, a safe Kolkata, and a safe India at the end of the day!

Pic credit: 11089605@N08 (Used under a CC license)

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