So What Will We Wear For the Slutwalk?


So What Will We Wear For the Slutwalk?

Publicity is a vile beast. Especially if it is premature and excessive. It could make purposes go awry and overburden accidental rebellions. Delhi’s new spice-The Slutwalk or the Besharmi Morcha is in the jaws of that beast. And, 19-year-old Umang Sabharwal, a final year college student is suddenly surrounded by a slew of opinions. Some defend slut dignity; others charge it with elitist agendas, alleging that the Toronto Slutwalk where women walked in skimpy clothes held in March this year has provoked our besharmi gene. By simplistic deduction, sluts are Canadian, besharm women are Indian. But if you take the “hundreds of responses on Facebook” to it, with a bag of salt, and look at the reality on the ground, the hysteria is presumptive.

Sabharwal and her small group of friends — that’s the core group behind this maha rally against male immoralists — are awaiting police permission for the event. What’s more, they don’t have a confirmed date, or a venue. Neither do they have a clue of how this unoriginal idea will live up to the expectations of the high and mighty among India’s Second Sex. What they do have is at least three spam pages on Facebook with faux posters titled the Besharmi Morcha and a spamster’s cooked up date — July 24. Don’t believe it, till you check out Sabharwal’s own plea. “I did not foresee such a huge response even before everything has even been decided,” admits Sabharwal who has been rather busy with interviews. “Things are being communicated even before we have communicated them and people already have pre-conceived notions about the walk,” she adds. Sensible girl.

We must support her both in her walk and in her talk. But not before some questions clear the air. Is this about women of Delhi vs men of Delhi? Or, is this about people of Delhi vs police of Delhi? Is this about rape, eve-teasing and molestation — serious problems in the capital? Or— now that there’s the wannabe clone Studwalk — it is about Studs vs Sluts? Nobody is really sure. Only when the event takes place and we see who and how many turned up for this short walk to freedom, will we rationalise whether we squabbled for liberal dressing rights or a crime intolerant city for women. Till

then, the story is being

told backwards.

PS: Message from Umang Sabharwal: Wear what you want, salwar kameez will do.

With inputs from Somya Lakhani