Delhi women adapt Chilean feminist anthem, join women across the world to protest against gender based violence
'The rapist is you!' they chanted, highlighting the rising violence against women in India.
Scores of women gathered in Delhi to stage a performance in protest against the rapes and killings of women that have shocked the nation.
The act was inspired by a Chilean feminist group called ‘Las Tesis’, whose song ‘A rapist in your path’ has become a protest anthem for women around the world.
Though the original song was in Spanish, the Delhi protesters adapted the song in Hindi that reflects the appalling state of Indian society.
The lyrics describe how patriarchy, caste, and religion together contribute to the systematic violence of women in India.
“The patriarchy is a judge
Who judges us for being born,
And our punishment is the
Violence you don’t see”
Another section echoes the original Chilean song which rejects the many ways that women are blamed for when they fall victim to sexual violence.
“It wasn’t my fault, where or
When nor how I was dressed”- it goes on before ending with “The rapist is you.”
Shruti, a graduate from National School of Drama, who created the Facebook event that led to the December 7 protest, wasn’t even sure if people would respond to her call.
“I would like to clarify here that we are not reacting to the incidents of violence that have happened recently, but we are responding to everyday violence, something that is intrinsic to the system of patriarchy, which looks at women and LGBTQIA+ as 'transgressive'.
And that is why, when we put the Chilean feminist intervention in the context of India, we cannot overlook the intersections of class, caste, gender and geography.” she said.
About 200 people consisting of men, women, and members of LGBTQIA+ queer community attended the event.
More than 32,000 rapes were reported in 2017 across the country, according to India's National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).
Over 20,000 instances of sexual harassment were reported in the same year, but the real numbers might be much higher due to the social stigma attached to reporting such incidents.