Now, Kolkata walks the slut-talk

Kolkata The eastern metropolis resonated with slogans of "Jaa porechi, besh korechi (I don't care what people think of my dressing sense)" as over a hundred women, men and children, including foreign nationals, took to the streets as part of the Kolkata Slutwalk to protest against any form of sexual harassment.

Eschewing any particular dress code, a procession of about 150 people -- school and college students, teachers, office goers, slum dwellers and social workers from the US -- artistically covered in body-art and donning a variety of dresses from saris to shorts, began the march from Jadavpur University in the evening amidst slogan shouting.

 Now, Kolkata walks the slut-talk

Kolkata jumped onto the slut-walk bandwagon this week.

What started in the city as a virtual movement on Facebook by a first year M.A. student, Sulakshana Biswas, became a reality when eight like-minded youngsters got together and pooled in their resources and started distributing pamphlets and spreading the word for the walj.

Explaining her agenda, Biswas said: "Sexual harassment has got nothing to do with the clothes one wears or with gender. We are also against victim blaming"

One of the organisers, Shreya Sen from Tata Institute of Social Sciences at Mumbai, explained: "SLUT is expressing oneself verbally, physically, sexually. We intend to use our bodies as canvasses, and distribute pamphlets on the way to the citizens, and express ourselves through slogans. Since it is gender inclusive, there will be members from the transgender community as well".

The walk saw lots of men who have been victims of sexual harassment in the city. Soumek Chowdhry, one of the victims, an aspiring actor and Salsa dancer, said: "This is one small step, hopefully it will make an impact,if not an immediate change".

"Statistically Kolkata ranks second after Delhi in sex crimes. Kolkata needs awareness", said Priyardishini, an Mphil student at the Jadavpur University.

A faculty member at the varsity's English department, Rimi B.Chatterjee supported the cause, saying: "What remains hidden needs to come out now. We need to take a stand and not shy away from these issues".

Joining the Kolkatans were Hemley Gonzalez and his volunteers of the Responsible Charity from US which has a branch in Kolkata as well. "I respect women and have seen what they face and therefore I am participating".

A Polish participant pitched in: "I am labeled as a slut because I am white. I needed to do this".

Slutwalk is a global movement that started in Toronto. It came to India last year with cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Bhopal and now Kolkata holding such rallies.

IANS

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Updated Date: May 25, 2012 15:13:17 IST