On any ordinary afternoon, in most cosmopolitan spaces, it is ok for men and women to go out for a drink and ‘chill out’. Most of us do not live life with the concept of ‘morale policing’ breathing down our back. However, in India, as liberal and free a woman is, there’s never a guarantee that she will be safe. Recently, some 3 weeks ago on India’ republic day, January 26, in Mangalore, South of Mumbai, a bunch of Hindu fundamentalists of the Ram Sena party attacked young college girls who were just chilling out having some drinks at a local pub. The girls were harassed and completely scared off, without any warning… luckily, no one was killed, but I’m sure the emotional trauma is just as bad. As a reaction to this event, on February 5, the Pink Chaddi campaign kicked off by a few people who posted up a Facebook group online called “Consortium of Pub-going, Loose and Forward Women”. It’s a sassy, bold move to send pink colored women’s panties to the Ram Sena party as a ‘valentines gift’. More than the actual physical action of couriering underwear to a political party office, it is the concept alone which is buzzing on the minds of everyone in India. Pink Chaddi poster Check out this video of a pile of underwear’s and the ‘love letters’ to the Ram Sena party. This is just a sample of what the campaign is planning, so we will have to wait for Valentines day to find out what really happens in terms of action. Advertisements such as the one below have kicked off since the campaign was announced earlier this week, and people are curious to know how the Ram Sena party will react. On the pink chaddi campaign official blog, it is said that: We have heard that Mr. Muthalik has decided to send pink saris "with love" in response. We greatly appreciate this and hope he continues to choose similar, non-violent methods to get his point across, just as we have chosen to be non-violent and loving in response to the brutality of the attacks on lovers and women in Mangalore and other parts of Karnataka. Nevertheless, women from all over India, especially in Bangalore, where the campaign began, are preparing to send their personalized ‘chaadis’, underwears, to the Ram Sena party leader, Mr. Muthalik, who has been the man in charge. The irony is that in a ‘land of Kamasutra’, women all over India have to fight for their rights, for their security, for their freedom and sexuality. One woman, Patrcia Chandrashekar, posts on the Facebook group this photo of a pink underwear with kamasutra written on it and comments: can't believe this is happening in the land of KamaSutra. Send these guys on a trip to Khajuraho. Let them see for themselves. The erotic statues are not even wearing chuddies! On the otherhand, women who come from a completely different socio-economic background and region of India also document stories of women’s empowerment. Navsarjan NGO community media group, Apna Malak Maa present this video proudly profiling a local Women's Village Council in a village in Gujarat, which has taken care of unprecedented development work and solved many of the issues of their village, some issues which had not been solved for more than 20 years!!! Please do send your support to this campaign and let’s wait for post Valentine’s day to hear of the events which unfold as the reaction towards this reaction. Written by VV’s online manager Ruchika Muchhalla.
Aparna Marandi / June 5, 2020
A group of migrant labourers working in West Bengal have decided to walk their way to home in Bihar.
Soriya Banu / June 3, 2020
Labourers returning from other states have been quarantined in deplorable conditions in West Bengal's Malda.