Introducing Jurrat: Aazaad Chalo, Bebaak Chalo! to mark one year since the horrific inhuman gang-rape of Jyoti Singh on December 16, in Delhi. Mumbai based theatre and protest music group/band ‘Swaang’ and Delhi based cultural group ‘Majmaa’ together bring you this initiative against sexual and gender violence set to take place in Delhi, from December 10-16, 2013.
Jurrat is week-long campaign which is an outcry of citizens to claim back the streets of the national capital. It is an effort to remember Jyoti’s fight and not allow it to fade into the oblivion of a statistical record or a number in a list of crimes that were committed in a particular year in a particular city. Jurrat is the decision that from now on there shall be no more victims, only survivors and a promise by ‘We the Citizens’, unto ourselves and our world, that ‘We shall fight’. It is the collective cry of ‘No more’.
According to a statement, the campaign begins with the launch of ‘JURRAT KARO’ at Habitat Centre, Delhi on December 10. The launch will be followed by performances by renowned artists, talks and interactions facilitated by experts of Sociology and women’s rights activism/law closing with a mobile music concert ‘Jurrat’ on December 16. The mobile music concert will chart a ‘Rape Route’ through Delhi. It will move through the city and stop at six to eight spots in Delhi, where in the last five years rape cases have been reported.
At each spot Swaang will be joined in performance of protest music by other prominent artists like Rabbi, Sona Mahapatra and Swanand Kirkire. It will also include student volunteers and performers from the colleges of Delhi and a permanent set of members that will makes up the moving caravan, carrying posters, banners and artwork on motorcycles and bikes making a strong visual statement as well.
Talking about ‘Jurrat’, actress Swara Bhaskar who is part of the cultural group ‘Swaang’ says” “The heinous gang rape in Delhi on 16th December 2013 jolted the country out of a lazy slumber and forced society at large to open its eyes to the dark truth Jyoti’s brutalised body told. And though the brave-heart succumbed to her gruesome injuries her memory will and should survive. Survive because she fought! Survive because she spat in their faces because their monstrosity could not violate her sanctity, because her desire to live outdid their hate. Jyoti’s legacy will survive because we will not forget her. Jurrat is an endeavor to mark one year to Jyoti’s fight and to keep her story, memory and fight alive. And to keep alive and stand in solidarity with the ordeal and fight of the countless other Jyoti’s that our country unfortunately continues to produce”.
Pritpal Randhawa, a founder member of Majma points out: “Jurrat is an endeavour to contribute to the ongoing discussion and momentum of protest on gender violence and inequality. Through Jurrat we are urging people to break their silence and complicity in the various forms of violence experienced by women. We are expressing the same through a range of cultural forms such as poetry, music concerts, street andstage plays, poster exhibitions and installations, as we think these are powerful mediums of addressing the complex nature of issues involved”.
Musician Rabbi Shergill, expresses in a poetic turn of phrase about his involvement with Jurrat: ‘This is a time to cure, a time to heal. Glad I can contribute’.
Sona Mahapatra added: “I came to know about Jurrat from my dear friend Swanand Kirkire and knew immediately that I had to be part of this. What is happening to 50 percent of our population, the women, on a daily basis is nothing short of a different kind of genocide and we need to stand up together with men and women to show that we will speak up, take action and that we will claim our place in free society and not be scared. This country stands no chance in progress of any kind, emotional or financial without us doing so”.
Swaang is a Bombay based cultural group, whose members are actors (including Swara Bhaskar of Raanjhanaa fame), writers, music directors, musicians and producers all working in different capacities in the Bombay film industry, but whose hearts continue to pull towards progressive politics.
Swaang is best known for its song Maa Nee Meriwhich was created to protest the Delhi gang-rape and in solidarity with the braveheartJyotiSingh who fought her attackers against all odds and whose spirit to live and survive has been an inspiring lesson for women and men across the world. ‘Maa Nee Meri’ is a song that celebrates Jyoti’s fight: youtube.com/watch?v=95kwpSLeDsE
Swaang presents evenings of protest songs and poetry based on the writings of some legendary progressive poets like Faiz Ahmed Faiz, SahirLudhianvi, Dushyant Kumar, Paash, GorakhPandey, as well as some original writings of members of the group.The group’s latest is a re-rendition of Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s classic BekaarKuttey : youtube.com/watch?v=M5MZOXsCnxg.
Majma is an emergent collective of diverse artists and activists committed to progressive arts and media. Its vision is to create and promote music, films, theatre and other cultural forms that challenge existing hierarchies of class, caste or patriarchy. It seeks to bring together these forms in the shape of thematic cultural festivals and issue based campaigns.