Kolkata photographer’s series on women wearing cow masks protests India’s misplaced prioritieshttps://indianexpress.com/photos/lifestyle-gallery/photographer-sujatro-ghosh-images-of-women-wearing-cow-mask-protests-indias-misplaced-priorities-4714059/

Kolkata photographer’s series on women wearing cow masks protests India’s misplaced priorities

Here's why these photos of women wearing cow masks are going viral.

Over the past two years, the gentle cow has dominated national headlines and underlined political agenda, and in most of the cases, it's for all the wrong reasons. From Dadri lynching to beef ban that started in Maharashtra and Haryana, the bovine animal has become a pivotal factor in the running of the Indian nation. The cows, or gau mata, has conquered political and religious debates in the country. Be it politicians urging to make it the national animal or attacking students for consuming its meat, there's hardly anything in India right now that gains more attention than cows, sadly not even the safety of women and girls. (Or perhaps the 'celibate' peacock can be a worthy opponent.)

Picture taken at India Gate, New Delhi. (Source: Sujatro Ghosh)

All this talk around the four-legged mammal inspired photographer Sujatro Ghosh to come up with a brilliant series that imagines women (the mother, the wife, the sister, the procreator) in public spaces, but with a head of a cow! Yes, the 24-year-old photographer from Kolkata wanted to see if cow vigilantes and gau rakshaks have similar concern and thirst of protection for women if they wore a cow mask.

Picture taken at a school in Kolkata. (Source: Sujatro Ghosh)

Asked what led to this unique project that is still untitled Ghosh says, "The incidents in Dadri and the other cow slaughtering incidents made me ponder about what could I do to stand up for it. Physically Fighting against some extremists groups was never an option so I took the support of art and took the protest a step forward through social media to make myself heard."

Picture taken in Feroz Shah Kotla, New Delhi. (Source: Sujatro Ghosh)

The freelance photographer and an alumnus of Delhi's Jamia Milia University, who is overwhelmed by the response to his project, says he is not afraid if things take a bitter turn. "I haven't received any threats till now and I know this can take an ugly turn but I am not really worried about that now. I know I am doing something for the greater good and I am surely not doing something wrong."

Picture taken at Jadavpur University, Kolkata. (Source: Sujatro Ghosh)

With the mask procured from New York, he wants to continue shooting more women in different parts of the country and spread this form of protest. "As always there are few who never tend to agree with what you say and I don't wish to see everyone agreeing with the work I am doing, probably that is the force that keeps me going," the self-taught artist said.

Picture taken in a room in Kolkata. (Source: Sujatro Ghosh)

"I started off in Delhi as it's the hub of 'everything'. I photographed in Calcutta after Delhi. I have plans to photograph all over the country," he said talking to IndianExpress.com.

Picture taken near Rashtrapati Bhawan, New Delhi. (Source: Sujatro Ghosh)

Disclaimer: The photographs shared through this project are exclusively owned by the artist. The sole aspiration of the creator of this work is to raise awareness regarding important social issues. It is to be noted that the artist does not intend to hurt the religious/political/ spiritual belief of any individual, community, sect or religion. The artist does not intend to defame any individual, organisation, community or disregard any individual’s choice or opinion. (Source: Sujatro Ghosh)

(Source: Sujatro Ghosh)