BENGALURU: Around 300 students from various colleges in the city donning black outfits, and sashes of ‘#AmINext’ worn around their heads and hands flocked under the banner of Humanising India, a students’ initiative to stir awareness and protest against atrocities towards women.
Humanising India conducted a silent march from St. Joseph’s College (Autonomous), Shantinagar to the Town Hall, spearheaded by Arya Samaj supremo, Swami Agnivesh, on Thursday afternoon. The protest march took place in light of the recent horrific events of rape in Kathua and Unnao.
“What we are used to is, they see, they empathise, they sympathise, but they do not speak up; they are just like ‘it keeps happening’ but we need to start taking a stand, we need to speak up,” said Renita, a student of St. Joseph’s College who is said to be the brainchild of this movement.
On being asked why Swami Agnivesh was invited to head the protest, one of the organisers said, “He is the only person who wears a saffron outfit but does not have a saffron ideology. He has also very boldly stood out and spoken about atrocities not only against women, but also other sections of society.”
Swami Agnivesh highlighted the deplorable state of sexual abuse victims, speaking in the context of occurrences of communal violence and hate speeches perpetuated towards the minority communities and women at large. He cited examples of violence towards the Rohingyas, Bakarwal Muslims and the dreadful Unnao case in Uttar Pradesh.
The Arya Samaj scholar also alleged that most rape cases were reported in states ruled by the BJP, for which, justice keeps getting delayed.
The gathering ended with the lighting of candles and singing prayers, followed by a brief moment of silence in remembrance of the victims. Humanising India roped in 22 educational institutions for the silent protest march to provoke actions by pious and effective means.