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Sunday, September 26, 2021

‘It’s a walk against the besharam men’

Gender inequality,stereotyping and blaming the victim,were the main issues highlighted at the first protest organised under the banner of ‘Besharmi morcha’ in Delhi,on Sunday.

Written by Ananya Bhardwaj | New Delhi |
August 1, 2011 12:18:46 am

The first ‘Slutwalk’ in Delhi questioned stereotypical mindset and demanded gender equality,freedom to choose attire

Gender inequality,stereotyping and blaming the victim,were the main issues highlighted at the first protest organised under the banner of ‘Besharmi morcha’ in Delhi,on Sunday.

The protest walk started from YWCA and concluded at Jantar Mantar.

“The idea to organise a Slutwalk in Delhi was to create awareness. Through this event we are questioning the morality of men,and not women. It is a free country and it should be free from any kind of gender stereotyping or inequality. Women should be free to wear what they want,and still be safe,” said Trishla,an organiser.

The protest was attended by students,working women and housewives. Many men also participated in the walk.

Unlike the ‘Slutwalks’ held in other parts of the world,the participants of ‘Besharmi morcha’ were not dressed provocatively.

“So many people have turned up on a Sunday morning. Forty per cent of participants are men. This shows a beginning of change. The mindset of people needs to change. We never question how men dress,then why are women questioned? This has to stop,” Trishla said.

Nishta,a housewife from Manesar,brought her two-year-old daughter with her. “It is time for our society to evolve. I would never want my daughter to be a part of a similar walk. If we do not protest now,our kids will be victims of similar inequality,misbehaviour and hooliganism in future.”

There were a few who were against the idea of ‘Slutwalk’.

“It is too early to hold a walk like this in our country. Many youngsters do not understand that the concern is not whether they should be allowed to walk in short clothes,it is deeper than that. This is not our culture,they are just aping the West. Your security is in your own hands. It is a matter of debate and discussion,” said T D Singh,an RTI and social activist.

“I noticed today that many of the men who came to be a part of the walk,came for fun. To see how the women dress. It is not that they really feel for the cause. This has to change,” he added.

In support of the protest,Asmita group performed a street play titled ‘Dastak’ at Jantar Mantar. “It was a walk against the besharam (shameless) men in our society. Emphasising on that we did a play showcasing various problems faced by women in cities. It included eve-teasing,rape,sexual harassment,sexual abuse and kidnapping. It was meant to sensitise the men towards various issues,” said Marvin Gaul,director.

A band named Delhi Drums also performed at the event. Actress Nafisa Ali joined the march to encourage the participants.

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