Kolkata: Kolkatans, comprising, theatre activists, painters, cartoonists and common men gathered at the entrance of Academy of Fine Arts on Friday to protest against the current trend of children as young as two-year-old being sexually abused and violated.
“It is so shocking to witness such brutal incidents taking place periodically in our country. We have gathered here with the sole intention of protesting against this trend and demanding justice for these kids. Ours is an ongoing protest,” said Debshankar Mukherjee, a theatre activist and organiser of the protest.
Placards expressing anger and demanding justice had been placed in front of the Academy, while many of the participants had slogans pinned up on their back.
Students of the Academy of Fine Arts also became part of the protest and did a street painting titled ‘Humanity for All’ at the entrance of the Academy. The protest meeting gained support from the passersby, who even captured glimpses of the protest on their phones.
“We all are shocked. First Kathua, then Unnao, then Indore and now Mandsaur, this menace has to end. New laws and amendments won’t help till there are mass awareness and sensitisation programmes,” said Kajari Chatterjee of Basdroni who was there with her family. Mitul Dutta, a poet, who came to know about this artistic protest, recited a self-composed poem and talked about the decaying moral values of the society.
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Cartoonist Subhendu Sarkar, said, “There is a need to raise our voice of dissent. Wall of resistance needs to be put up. The change will not occur overnight. We have to strive hard.”
Senior theatre activist Shyamal Chakraborty blamed internet penetration for the sudden rise in the number of violence against women and children. He said, “Ethics is fast decaying. The young generation is going haywire. There is no ideology. Capitalism is the root cause. As a result, such incidences are growing in number.”
Uniting for the cause
A similar protest march was taken out by the National integration forum of India (NIFI) in association with Youth Foundation and Woman Times.
Speaking to eNewsroom, Ruhail Choudhary, President, NIFI, said, “We felt that it has become necessary for to raise our voices and protest against the increasing number of crime and atrocities on woman and children all over India. Hence, we organized this march.”
Around one hundred people from various professions and area of the city participated in this rally. Senior citizens, students and young professionals, men, woman and representatives from the transgender community, Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians participated in this rally supporting the cause and demanding attention of government, law enforcement agencies, lawmakers and entire society in order to deal with this important issue.
Kolkatans will continue their protests..
Choudhury has also confirmed that they would also continue to protest against this increasing number of crime and atrocities on woman and children both on streets and in social media till this problem addressed and justice is delivered.
Adding vigour to the movement is the Bangla Sanskriti Manch (BSM), a Kolkata-based NGO, working for human rights issues. Speaking to eNewsroom, Samirul Islam, President of BSM said, “We are organising a series of silent March across West Bengal, to demand justice for the eight-year-old girl who has been brutally raped in Mandsaur, Madhya Pradesh. On Sunday and Monday (July 8 and 9) we are organising the Kaliachak Rally and the Malda Rally, respectively. Later we will be organising similar marches across the state, demanding – Rape free Bengal, Rape free India.”
He then added, “We have been witnessing an alarming rise in the number of case of rapes. We need to create pressure on the government to ensure that the laws are implement in the best possible way so that the victims can get justice. We are requesting everyone to participate in this rally so that we can strongly demand justice for the Mandsaur rape survivor.”