Fight for right

‘‘This is not the doing of cities, This was committed neither by the day nor the night, this is not the doing of lonely desolate streets, neither are windows and curtains guilty of this crime...’’ This protest song was written by Swaang, comprising of a motley group of actors, writers, musicians and producers, after the Delhi gangrape last year. A member Ravinder Randhawa who penned the Punjabi-Hindi rhymes ‘Un chhe mein tum bhi shaamil the, ye kaam to hai humdardon ka’, speaks more about the protest songs and the launch of campaign ‘Jurrat’

Published: 13th December 2013 09:29 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th December 2013 09:29 AM   |  A+A-

All about Swaang

Around two years back, me and a few of my Hindi Film industry friends formed a group ‘Swaang’. The members of our group are actors, writers, music directors, musicians and producers, all working in different capacities in the industry, but whose common interest lies in progressive politics. We write and play protest songs, in fact I would like to call it political songs. We also perform on poetry based on the writings of some legendary progressive poets like Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Sahir Ludhianvi, Dushyant Kumar, Paash and Gorakh Pandey. Our group’s latest is a re-rendition of Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s classic Bekaar Kuttey. We raise different issues like communalism, politics, child labour and others through our songs. It’s our way to protest the mishappenings and wrong doings in society.

Jurrat campaign

We have named our campaign ‘Jurrat’ that is audacity, we are not talking about himmat (courage) but the audacity to stand and fight against the wrong. ‘Jurrat’ is a ‘show of strength’.

Now that the perpetrators have been convicted and a sentence pronounced, it is an effort to not to allow such incidents to fade into oblivion. We urge people to reclaim the streets from criminals. Our group Swaang, and Delhi-based cultural group Majma have come together for a week-long campaign marking one year of the Delhi gangrape incident.

Ideology behind Jurrat

Titled Jurrat, the campaign is cultural intervention and not a typical morcha. It is about the belief that yes we will dare and we will do it. Jurrat for us signifies the urgent need for women (and men) to both question and act beyond the oppressive gender norms. We will do so by foregrounding shades of violence experienced by women in both private and public spheres.

Our campaign will focus on selected themes like ‘love’ and violence (stalking, obsession, acid attacks, honour killings ) domestic violence. Besides, we will focus on violence in the city. Our aim is to change the mindset of pople.

The fight for right

Our campaign has begun on December 10 at India Habitat Centre in New Delhi. We will include music songs, TV shows, community campaigns during the Jurrat campaign. Musician Sona Mahapatra, lyricist Swanand Kirkire and Rabbi Shergill are part of the campaign. In the core crime areas, we will perform plays and engage their belief and try to break the myths related to crime against women.

Mobile concert

Our mobile concert will chart the route that Jyoti took on December 16. There were names for her like Damini, Nirbhaya, Amanat, Braveheart. But, for us, she is Jyoti and we call her by her original name because her father wants her to be named. Beginning Saket, the caravan with the artistes and other participants will move on to Mehrauli bus depot and stop at five or six other places. Must Bol, Paltan, IPTA, Barefoot and other organisations will join us as a mark of solidarity.

Change in mindset

We are trying to change the mindset of the society through our efforts. We want people to change their perspective. People use the term, ‘Izzat lut gayi’, but we want to ask whose honour is lost? One who committed the crime or one who stood against it and survived. The change has to come and it is only possible through social awareness by changing the mindset of every individual. Parents need to realise that by putting restrictions like, ‘go in a group’, or ‘go with your brother’, ‘return by this time’ and thousand other curfews will only increase the danger, not safety.

Women have to change the face of their city. Inkaar Karoon, Taqrar karoon, Bebaak chaloon, azaad chaloon, main bin koi pehredaar chaloon…Walk with head held high. The street is yours.

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