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Delhi SlutWalk didn't quite walk the talk

The low turnout of women at the Delhi SlutWalk, raised several eyebrows since the event focused on the emancipation of women.

delhi Updated: Aug 01, 2011 01:49 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times

When constable Michael Sanguinetti outraged students of York University with his remark, "Women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimised", the butterfly effect it would have across the globe was least anticipated.

SlutWalk then took shape in Toronto to spread across to the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Britain and ultimately Bhopal in India.

"The idea to conduct a SlutWalk in Delhi was conceptualized in April after we drew inspiration from the Toronto SlutWalk. We went to a lot of places, spoke to people, held street plays and started communicating through Facebook. That was how the entire leg work was done," said Mishika Singh, organiser of the Delhi SlutWalk chapter.

The march was flagged off at Free Church and culminated at Jantar Mantar. The organisers spared no efforts to make SlutWalk a success, with the same being punctuated with performances by the Delhi Drum Circle, and a finale that saw a street play performance by the Asmita Theatre Group.

"We are here to support the cause, because this is not just a walk. It is a drive against eve teasing and sexual violence against women," said Shilpi Marwaha, member of the Asmita Theatre Group.

However, among participants, the low turnout of people drew much concern. "It is clear that people don't really care. Men get away by passing lewd remarks and women ignore these subtle signs of abuse. There may be parents who may have warned their children against participating which explains the low turnout," said Sheril Rachel, a student who was among those participating.

The low turnout of women, especially, raised several eyebrows since the event focused on the emancipation of women.

"It is very typical of women to not show up, fearing trouble. I asked a few friends to join me but they refused saying that it would create a lot of hassles for them. One of my friend's husband refused to let his wife attend. Women are not used to coming out in the open in this country and fight against what is wrong," said Hemal Sringla, another participant.

The crowd present comprised largely of the participants, media persons, police personnel and spectators. It also saw Actor Nafisa Ali extend support to the cause.

First Published: Aug 01, 2011 00:14 IST