Slutwalks and the state
The Mumbai Slutwalk had died when the police required us to provide an undertaking on the letterhead of an NGO with details of the walk. We could have falsified it, but the fact is that it was purely a citizen’s initiative, and there was no NGO involved enough for us to feel justified in representing ourselves on its letter head.
Other problems cropped up, and we decided to let things be.
Today, the Bangalore Slutwalk was cancelled. The update from the organizers says that their permission for peaceful assembly was withdrawn under objection and pressure from BJP and related organizations.
As the permission was withdrawn at the last minute, the organizers decided to land up at the venue to inform people arriving for the SlutWalk that it had been called off.
What followed is better than a hundred SlutWalks in making the point, but…. our media is oblivious.
This group of ex-protesters, now only updaters, dressed in jeans and T-Shirts, were arrested by the cops and taken on a long drive to some remote police station. Their phones were taken away and they were detained without explanation.
These people detained were directing people that the SlutWalk was cancelled. They were cooperating with the police. Some of those detained were walking away from the venue exactly as directed by the police when they were hauled back and arrested.
This, dear friends, was Bangalore’s SlutWalk. A live demo by the cops of the need for a SlutWalk.
- Moral Police had a problem with what they perceived as characterless behavior
- They pressurized the government with threats of illegal action
- As usual, the victim was suppressed to avoid a problem and permissions cancelled
- Organizers were arrested in spite of co-operating
- Protesters leaving the site were arrested because “they shouldn’t have been there in the first place”
THIS is why slutwalks happen. Moral policing in society. Character judgments about women/men based on what goes on in the minds of those thinking about them. Morality being rigidly defined by whoever is able to bully the others. Bullying leading to comprehensive silencing of women asserting their constitutional rights that have been deprived. Government and police making absolutely no effort to safeguard those rights. Police actively persecuting those who attempted to assert themselves, even if they are fully cooperating.
Shows a dead society that will not let others live because they are not able to face the dirt in their own minds and would rather blame someone for it.
In my eyes, the Bangalore Slutwalk is a success.
I think, we have gone beyond the time for protest walks. The time is for us to live our realities, and insist that the police maintain law and order.