Friday, 20 February 2009

Pink Chaddi Campaign

I am hijacking my own post today.

It was a protest that spawned a movement. Fed up with moral policing by radical Hindu groups who had attacked women in pubs and targeted unmarried couples celebrating Valentine's Day, a group of women decided to fight back – with pink knickers.

The result was a remarkably successful dirty dissent. Not only did 40,000 items of rose-tinted underwear, much of it apparently unwashed, end up flooding the offices of the Sri Ram Sena (Lord Ram's Army), the non-violent act defused much of the tension surrounding the acts of vigilantism by self-appointed guardians of "Indian culture".

Spearheading the new movement is "A Consortium of Pub-going, Loose and Forward Women", a group of young female journalists, lawyers and academics, who began with a Facebook group protesting at the attacks on several young women last month in a pub in Mangalore, a university town in the southern state of Karnataka. Yesterday it had nearly 50,000 members.

Please click on the link above to see the full article.

As well as sending underwear, women were encouraged to go for a drink (not necessarily an alcoholic one!) on Valentine's Day and raise a glass to women's freedom.

But it isn't 'just' women's freedom, is it? These women are standing up to extremism and the bullies that want to impose their biggotry through violence. There are terrifying examples around the world of just where violence imposed in the name of 'morals' can lead.

In case you still need a reason to support women who live maybe thousands of miles from you in a different culture where you might think different rules apply, remember that human rights are without borders.
Please also remember this poem written by Martin Niemöller about the inactivity of German intellectuals following the Nazi rise to power. The weakest groups in society are often victimised first.

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I was not a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

Please visit their blog and Facebook page for more information.


LL said...

There are two levels to view this. One, as a man (and therefore a pig), where I am in full support of pink knickers being worn by women daily.

On the next and more serious level, I wasn't aware of the problem until I read your blog. Thanks for raising awareness.

Jenzarina said...

Just for the record, I am in full support of pink knickers (or knickers of any colour), men and pigs. Also of women wearing pink knickers, men wearing pink knickers and indeed pigs wearing pink knickers, if that is their inclination.

Knickers, men and pigs are all wonderful and may have posts dedicated to them at some point in the future.

LL said...

Knickers don't have to be pink to be evocative.

Little cupids and hearts can be over the top. They send a message though...

Loose trousers can reveal more of the knickers than one may wish to display and may also lend insight to personal preferences (or lack thereof). Workmen are often the worst offenders (bad moon rising).

And there is a trend to display a brand name on the rump of the trousers - such as "juicy" that lends speculation to the adequacy of the knickers.