A Film by Debalina Mow
On 22nd December, Feminists in Resistance (an autonomous feminist collective in Kolkata) held a mobile campaign from Ganguly Bagan to Baghajatin (refugee colony areas in South Kolkata). At 10pm as they reached Baghajatin I block, and were packing up, a group of 7-8 men, their faces masked with handkerchiefs and saffron tilaks on their foreheads, attacked the protesters with huge bamboo sticks while chanting ‘Bharat Mata ki Jay’ and ‘Jay Shree Ram’.
“They beat us with sticks, pushed one of us to the incoming traffic, abused us, manhandled us, called us ‘randi’, and threatened us that if one had to live in this country, one had to say ‘Bharat Mata ki Jay’. They claimed we are saying anti-India things by speaking up against NRC-NPR-CAA and these things will not be tolerated in that area”, said FIR activists. The women of FIR managed to capture one of the goons and chased the others away. “As a mob gathered, few of the goons infiltrated the mob and were trying to instigate the mob against us. But the local people stood by us and chased them away. While one of our comrades were taking those injured to the nearby hospital, they were followed and threatened on the way”.
When the women of FIR reached Jadavpur Police station and were lodging an FIR with the police their friends informed them that some men were suspiciously roaming around the police station and trying to gather information. “Two of us went out and identified them as the same men. Our friends chased them down and captured two of them. As our friends confronted them, one of them molested one of our female friends”.
The next day, activists and citizens in support of Feminists In Resistance gathered at that same spot, “with our bruised bodies, and with the strength of our friends and comrades and registered our protest.The incident has only made our resolves stronger. The bruises in our bodies have only reminded us what we are fighting for, and what we are fighting against”. Activists of FIR told Hillele.org , “There is no going back, no looking away. They can beat us up. We will resist till our very last breathe”.