Monday, July 23, 2012

SILENCE IS VIOLENCE - against apathy

In lieu of the recent cases and cases we have been hearing forever and after, of incidents of violence against women, a few of us have decided to come together to raise our voices. Express dissent. For how can you not see the evil, hear it, speak of it when it exists all around you? How can there so much apathy when Pinki Pramanik was humiliated? How can you raise again and again questions of character of the victim when a minor gets assaulted on the streets of Guwahati by 20 men, all who's faces we have seen on Facebook but the police have been unable to reprimand?

We have decided to show our dissent on a working day, working for office goers, homemakers, freelancers, all of us in various roles. We will drop everything we are doing at 10 am and head for the venue to reach it by 11 am in the middle of the week on 26th July, a Thursday. We think enough is enough and this one day we refuse to contribute - to productivity in our offices, to the food larder at homes, to our clients or our children.

So, we will leave our 'work' and go to the venue to spend time with each other, sharing, sloganing, singing, telling stories, teaching each other what we know, learning from each other what we don't. And then from all of us in Bangalore we will write a note to the police in Assam to take action on the attackers of the victim of the Guwahati incident. We will sign our demand - not an appeal or a petition and send it. How long can they remain silent if women from every city, town and village do the same? How long? And if nothing happens still, we will do this again. And again.

Let us gather as women, as men who understand, as citizens, as humans, to show that even SILENCE IS VIOLENCE. Raise our voices. Be heard!

Organisations Joining hands for Silence is Violence:

Citizens Against Violence

(Waiting for more)


How to make a placard: Get some old cardboard box and flatten it to cut out the size of placard you want. Stick chart paper on it. Write/ paint the slogan/ pics you want on it in any language. make it large so people at least 15 feet away can read it. Make two holes on the top two corners with eyelets. Tie a string and hang it around your neck.

Date: 26th July 20122
Time: 11 am
venue: Town hall, Bangalore
Organised by  By Neelima Prasanna Aryan, Srimatha Ramanand and Arundhati Ghosh.
I think this is a great idea, and a good first step to take - I hope to see some of you there.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Story of a modern disease.

You are going to read about a girl. Can we address her as ‘she’? Oh yes, I think you can.

Call her ‘ she’ or actually, call her whatever you want, she just want to know that you are listening.

She likes feeling good, just like you do, but sometimes it’s impossible. She still manages somehow. She will love you a lot but that can’t evade a major problem she has. She is suffering from a bizarre disease and has been picked on for it, ever since she spilled into her mother’s womb.

She likes to be herself.

Disgusting, right? She has been told that.

Wherever she goes, she bares herself. She talks she like would, she spews out thoughts in cups, she lets her tongue wring on papers, she wants her mother to see her disease. You should understand how disappointed her parents are with this deformity. Clearly, she has no morals or sensibility to understand them. She is outrageous and has dared to love too. A man. A strange man. Skank, did that too.

Loving, desiring someone while being ‘yourself’, she is in a desperate need of therapy. You must agree. So on a sunny day, her parents took her to a hospital to remove that ‘yourself’. People in her family thought that she stank of ‘yourself’. She started hiding it in longer shirts and drab shoes, people say it would help her become better but still, how sad, ‘yourself’ sprung over her face like fire.

Worse, she stopped hiding it.

It had a distinct smell that her house hated, people questioned and only a very few people, captured it in tiny bottles to store in their heads. Doctors frisked her pants for the cause of her ailment. She writhed on the stretcher.

It leaks through the skin like puss, her mother thinks. Being ‘yourself’ is the worst thing a good child should do. It's mortifying, Oxford dictionary can add-flabbergasting, blasphemous, horrendous. It's so fucking obvious and why can't she choose something better? Earn money and let this down die down. Walk freely on streets and let this die down.

She is still ‘yourself’ after countless storms in hospital rooms, therapy rooms, family rooms, rape rooms, doomed rooms, class rooms, temple rooms, roomless rooms and she has to be helped.

If you have any constructive feedbacks or numbers of helpful doctors, please inbox her parents.

They will acknowledge your effort.

(Want more of this- Winks, poems, whispers and doodles like the one of top? Come over at,

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Karnataka Police Acts criminalises the hijra community

Reposting here with permission. The matter in question is the amendment of the Karnataka Police Act, with provisions (lifted from Acts set down by the British a century ago) that criminalise the hijra community. The Amendments have been passed, and the last CSMR meeting was held to address the new concerns raised.
Dear All

Here are the brief minutes of yesterday's CSMR meeting on the Karnataka Police Act: (next meeting on Wednesday, 25th July at 6pm)

There were around 20 people present including individuals representing from Aneka, Sangama, Karnataka Sexual Minorities Forum, PUCL (Karnataka), Lawyers Collective and ALF

The Amendments to the Police Act have been passed despite our efforts last year petitioning the government, and the Governor. These amendments are very dangerous and need to be struck off the statute book, we cannot depend on the government's assurance on whether they will use these laws or not. The law specifies that hijras who kidnap children, indulge in unnatural offences, and offences of this nature will be listed in a register, and this register can be used to summon those listed. This is based on the model of the Criminal Tribes Act that has been repealed.

The consensus from those present was that we need to work towards more awareness about these amendments within the LGBT/sexual minority community, and that we need to respond to the law at parallel levels -- talking to government officials, protests, media advocacy, and preparing for a possible challenge in court.

The first step will be a public meeting that we have planned where we will invite representatives of the BJP, Congress and JD(S), including the Law Minister Mr Suresh Kumar. The date we will suggest to the Minister is August 1st. We will finalise the date depending on his availability. We will also invite Motamma/Manjula Naidu from the Congress, Ramesh Babu/Narayanswamy from the JD(S) and the singer and Member of Parliament B. Jayashree as the Chief Guest. We will finalise a moderator and one person from the hijra and jogappa community to speak at this event. BT Venkatesh and Arvind Narrain will speak about the legal aspects of the amendments.

The suggested venues were NGO Hall and Rotary Club, depending on availability

We will also organise a Press Conference on the day before the meeting

We also discussed the possibility of getting an MLA to ask a question on this issue during zero hour in the Assembly session

Arvind and Siddharth from ALF  will work on a pamphlet that will be translated into Kannada (Sangama to do this)  and Tamil (Niruj will be requested to translate) - this pamphlet can be distributed to the LGBT community and also during the events we organise.

There will be a follow up meeting next Wednesday on 25th July at ALF at 6 pm to finalise the date and details related to the public meeting, Please do try and make it for this meeting since we need to mobilise as much support as possible to put pressure on the government to repeal this black law.

In solidarity