Delhi's men on Delhi SlutWalk

Delhi's women will come out tomorrow demanding a safer Delhi, but what do the men have to say about that? We spoke with some prominent men of the city to give us their two bits about the initiative on the eve of Delhi SlutWalk.

india Updated: Jul 30, 2011 21:10 IST
Anjali Nambissan
Anjali Nambissan
Hindustan Times

On the eve of Delhi SlutWalk arthaat Besharmi Morcha 2011, Umang and the gang are hardpressed for time with so much to do. So we asked a couple of prominent male personalities of the city to give us their two bits about the initiative that is demanding a safer Delhi for its women.

Some like hairdresser Javed Habib had good things to say.

"Delhi toh badnaam hui padi hai. (Delhi is defamed anyways.) I think it's the duty of every Delhiite to join in an initiative like this. It doesn't make a difference whether you're a college student or working professional, every one who lives in Delhi should come out in support tomorrow."

Apprehensions were raised about the name and reach of the initiative though.

"It's a great initiative, but I wish they would have chosen the name a bit more carefully. Planting a foreign name in an Indian context might not be the smartest thing to do. For people to warm up to the idea, it should have been named something better," said Vivek Pareek, editor, Maxim India.

"My good friend Gul Panag is totally supporting the walk. So I wish her and the rest of them good luck. I hope it will bring about a positive change. But I really think that for any concrete change to happen the administration has to take things like women's security and urban education up very proactively. Hopefully, it will raise some awareness about the plight of women in Delhi in the minds of men."

Restaurateur Marut Sikka had something similiar to offer.

"Getting a message across is no issue, but you must understand the sensibilities and the nature of our country. We cannot blindly ape the West. A message meant for the people of this country must be put forth in the language of this country. There is something called India's sanskaar - that's what we're known for. When McDonald's bought it's burger to India, they had to Indianise that also."

"I think the 'slutty' part aside, which a lot of people might find hard to accept, women demanding a safer Delhi is a commendable thing," said Jamal Shaikh, editor, Men's Health.

It seems some of our menfolk are not so impressed.

"Let's see what the walk is going to be like before we can discuss whether it'll be helpful or not. See as far as predators are concerned they're not going to be deterred by a walk. If a walk would change something like that, then that would be awesome," said designer Siddharth Tytler.

"According to me, forms of protest must be gentle, non-shocking and non-violent. Otherwise, you're fighting, not protesting," said Sikka.

"In a city where the CM openly says that women should not venture out late without male company and the Commissioner comments about what clothes women should wear to not get assaulted, there is something wrong with the thinking of that city," said Shaikh.

"I don't think the incidents of rape and uneducated men teasing and assaulting women would necessarily go down because of something like this, but everyday guys like me would become more aware. Hopefully, now men on the road would step up and do something if they see a women getting teased. Unlike Mumbai, men in Delhi fear that the guy doing the teasing might shoot them if they intervene."

But some extended their congratulations to the young people of Delhi for taking the step to bring SlutWalk to Delhi.

"I think it's a good thing that young people are coming out and demanding their rights. Hats off to this young girl, I'm sure she faced a fair share of opposition and criticism when she decided to do something like this. Congratulations and good luck to her," said Pareek.

"It's heartening to know that young girls in Delhi today will not cow down and stay at home. They don't want to have to call a brother or a male friend just because they need to go out at night," said Shaikh.

And how many of these gentlemen will we see at the Delhi SlutWalk tomorrow?

"I would have loved to be there, but I have a family emergency in Jaipur," said Pareek, "If I would have been in Delhi I would have come in my Maxim T-shirt saying, 'Maxim supports Delhi SlutWalk'."

While Habib was more forthcoming with, "I support anything that makes Delhi a better place. Yeah, yeah, I'll walk tomorrow. Why not?"

"I'm not in town so I cannot make it. I heard about a new Mocha opening in Civil Lines on the same day. So that'll be two things that I'll be missing," chuckled Shaikh.

While Sikka said, "I extend no support and no opposition. I'm somewhere in the middle."

And Tytler concluded with, "I'd help out if someone calls me, but I'd not really join in. Considering the position my dad is in, I don't really take part in rallies and processions."

What about you?

First Published: Jul 30, 2011 19:21 IST