The brutal gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old woman in Delhi shocked the collective conscience of the country in a way that no other act of violence against women has in recent times. More such incidents increasingly being reported in the press are slowly but relentlessly revealing the ugly underbelly of modern times and its culture of misogyny that violently discriminates against women denying her dignity and autonomy. And many times her life.
Despite their visibility in public life, women from all classes and communities are facing and living with myriad forms of violence. Apart from rapes and sexual violence including sexual harassment in work places, domestic violence and wife murders, abductions, killing of girl children even before they are born; rapes of women from vulnerable communities in times of caste or communal conflict, or by the military and police in conflict areas be it tribal regions, North East or Kashmir; closer home in Mangalore, young girl molested and brutalised on public television by right wing goons in the name of culture; women from the recently razed EWS quarters in Koramangala beaten, dragged out of homes with their children and made homeless and desolate. This violence has many brutal faces.
But we can hear the wind slowly rising. The leaves rustling in the breeze.
There is a quiet revolution that is brewing. Both globally and locally. There are an increasing number of voices all across the world that are saying: Enough is Enough!
The streets of India and even Bangalore particularly after the horrific incident in Delhi last year have come alive with diverse voices that are beginning to speak out against violence against women. Another such voice is the global call for One Billion Rising. A call that has been initiated by playwright and author Eve Ensler to mark that fifteenth anniversary of ‘V-day’, a Global Movement of Grassroots activists in New York City, on February 14, 2013.
The Call for the Day is STRIKE! DANCE! RISE!
A call that groups all over the world are echoing in their own countries in an act of global solidarity. On February 14,there will be 13, 000 organisations in 190 countries around the world holding noisy, energetic events encouraging “activists, writers ,thinkers, celebrities, women and men to strike, dance and rise”. While in South Asia, across eight countries, more than 300 organisations have come together to launch the campaign in their respective regions, in India the One Billion Rising Campaign is being organised in more than 15 states by a wider spectrum of organisations including women’s groups, Dalit groups, human right activists, writers and artistes.
In Bangalore too, a broad coalition of women’s and human rights groups, concerned individuals, educational institutions and youth/professional/theatre groups are coming together in Cubbon Park, between 2.30 to 7.00p.m on February 14, 2013. We invite all those concerned with what is happening to come together and participate through song, dance, street plays, storytelling, poetry reading, painting…. and contribute to strengthening the incredible web of peaceful resistance that can be woven to make violence against women and indeed the violence of all wars, unthinkable.
Come and dare to defy the culture of violence that is consuming us and care to dream of a culture of peace and solidarity that will sustain and humanise us.
In Delhi a cultural event will be organized on 14 February evening 5pm-8pm at Parliament Street. The program will include the performance of a flash mob of over 100 people, a play on VAW by Asmita Theatre followed by an opening speech by Kamla Bhasin, songs by Vidya Shah, a choreographed dance on VAW by students of Kamla Nehru College, a monologue by Lady Shri Ram College student, a skit by Miranda House students, songs by community women and commitments by eminent activists. The evening will end with songs by Vinay and Charul from Ahmedabad and the lighting of candles to salute the spirit of Nirbhaya. There will also be an exhibition of posters and a performance by the Delhi Drummers group.
During the day on the 14th of Feb. there will be simultaneous programs in each of zone of Delhi. North campus program will be at Miranda with an inter-college street play competition (A music performance) and a rally to board public vehicles and reach Parliament Street. In East Zone, at Seemapuri around 1000 people will assemble at Community Park and pledge against VAW. In West Zone, Anhad (an NGO), IP University, National Law University and Bhaskaracharya College of Applied Sciences are organising a programme in Dwarka. Vrinda Grover will be one of the key speakers. In South Zone; LSR, and Kamla Nehru College Students are organizing a day long program at LSR campus. There will be dance on theme of women empowerment, street play and songs by Indian Music Society.
10-15 organizations are organizing a program at Dilli Haat. Around 250 people from the community, college students and member of Delhi Rising Group will gather there to spread message on ‘Violence against Women’. The program will start at 11:30 am with Flash Mob, street plays and other activities.
The community leaders from 4-5 organisations would march covering eight blocks of Bawana J.J. Colony, singing songs, shouting slogans and spreading the key message of zero tolerance to all forms of violence inflicted against women and girls. A Street Play (15 mins) Sangharshi, produced and directed by the youth collectives would also be performed in three central venues of Bawana J.J. Colony. The play would focus on a woman’s courage to rise in spite of the violence entrenched in all the stages of her life cycle. The event would be followed by a candle light pledge.
By OBR- Mumbai
Join us on 14th February 2013 from 5.30 to 8.45 pm, at Bandstand Amphitheatre, Bandra , Next to Taj Land’s end. Performances from artistes, singers, dancers, rappers and celebrities including: Farhan Akhtar, Zoya Akhtar, Rahul Bose, Mita Vashisht, Jhelum Paranjpe, Javed Akhtar, Tarana Raja, Swang Group, Violinist Sunita Bhuyan.
5:30pm – MC Manmeet Kaur representing Hip Hop and collaborating w/d BGirl Amb from Roc Fresh Crew
6pm – Flash dance: People who are going to dance furiously to make a statement of solidarity and protest against the atrocities on women…everyone can join in
6:30pm – An Open drum Circle for everyone (male and female) to partake in and let loose at Sunset. Lead by Aarti Sinha.
On 12th February 2013, between 7.00 p.m. to 10.00 p.m. around 1,000 people of Vadodara participated in Cultural programme to end the violence in Society.
People of Vadodara took pledge to work towards Violence Free, Equitable and Women Friendly Vadodara.
A month long programme like group discussions, Shibirs, rallies, meetings etc were conducted in various localities of Vadodara, the first city level collective programme was organized on 12-2-2013 at Muktanand Garba Ground, Karelibaug, Vadodara between 7.00 p.m. to 10.00 p.m. It was a programme of cultural expression. The idea was to reclaim the progressive cultural space of Vadodara, known as Sanskari Nagari or Cultural Capital of Gujarat.
The programme had started with the OBR song written by Kamla Bhasin and team, “Ye So Karod Ka Kahena Hinsa ko Ab nahin Sahena…”
A play “Let the daughters Blossom” was staged by adolescent girls from Nirmala Nursing school, Navayard, Vadodara.
A play “Lathi Katha” based on a Ethiopian folk story “A song of Sicky” was presented by activists of Sahiyar (Stree Sangathan).
A dance performance on Bhupen Hazarika’s Song, ‘Ganga tu Baheti hai Kyu … was presented by well known dancer Ms Parul Shah and her group.
United youth organisation and Olakh staged a short Play called “Akhir Kab Tak” questioning the society regarding, why the silence is maintained by the people on various forms of violence on women.
On the whole total 9 poems were recited by women poets and a person from third gender expressing beautifully inner feelings, anguish and desire to cross the boundaries of the society. They were the highlights and had touched the inner soul of the audience.
A beautiful display of posters, slogans, puppets, banners and paintings were made by well known artists of Vadodara, ordinary people, Youth and young girls from slum area.
Overall the presentation of plays, poetry, dance, Garba, Posters, etc, were witnessed and applauded by 1000 strong crowd cutting across all sections of the society. The audience was not just mere spectators but were thoroughly involved throughout the programme.
At the end every one young and old, men and women participated in jagruti garba (Gujarati Folk Dance with feminist songs) presented by Samanvay Musical group .
Earlier we had decided to reach out to at least 10000 people who will take pledge to end violence against women and working towards a ‘Violence Free, Equitable and Women Friendly Vadodara’ but after the experience of yesterdays program we feel that now more than 13000 people will take pledge to end the violence against women.
About 3500 people, students and teachers from several Schools, including Vinay Vidyalay, Surajba Prerana Vidyalay, Geeta Mandir School, Parivar Vidyalay, M.E.S. High School Yakutpura, M.E.S. High School Nagarwada, Shri Narayan Vidyalay, have signed the pledge to end violence after a discussion with the students, on the issue of violence against women, initiated by the activists associated with the campaign along with the teaches.
Schools associated with Navrachana Education Society, Jeevan Sadhna School, Lal Bahadur Shashtri Vidyalay, Mahasrshi Shri Arvind Vidyalay will signed the pledge on 14th February 2013.
Forth Coming Programmes:
14th February 2013
11.00 a.m. people will take pledge where ever they are, in their workplace, or educational institutions.
5.00 p.m. to 6.30 p.m. – Collective Human Chain with pledge to end violence
Venue: From the Faculty of Fine Arts Opp. Sayaji garden onwards
7.00p.m.- Flash Mob to be performed collectively after the human chain
Venue- Centre Square Mall For Joining the Collective Rising in Vadodara
A human Chain, public demonstration followed by flash mob is organized on 14th February 2013.