Are cows safer than women in India? This photographer seems to think so

Sujatro Ghosh started a protest by asking women to wear a cow mask in public places

News Desk June 24, 2017
PHOTO: TIMES OF INDIA

India has seen a rise in cow protection laws in the last few years. Lengthy sentences and harsh punishments are given to those who kill the animal. At the same time, crimes against women have gone up with widespread reports of rape and sexual harassment.

Surprisingly, cow protection laws are better enforced than laws that protect women, which got 24-year-old independent artist Sujatro Ghosh wondering, "Are cows safer than women in India?"

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My art comes as a form of protest. In my country Cows are more important than a woman's life with more security. (Reference: Majority of Hindus believe cow as their holy animal and they worship it though Majority of Muslims consume it as a part of their daily meal.) The debate is never ending "Whether to consume or worship it" but gaining political benefits out of it is wrong. Why not let the people decide what they want to consume. I will be photographing women from different parts of the society. I would be more than happy if you reach out to me and want to get photographed or maybe join this form of protest. #RisingBeyondJingoism #maternal #cow #women #protest #womenpower #weekend #indiarising #workingwomen #thecowmaskproject #animals @instagram #love #laugh #mortality #standup #everydayeverywhere #indiaphotoproject #everydayindia #womenphotographers #myfeatureshoot

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Gohash thus started a protest by asking women to wear cow masks in public places. "The incidents in Dadri and the other cow slaughtering incidents made me ponder about what could I do to stand up for it," Ghosh told BuzzFeed.

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One of the participants, Reetwija Chakraborty, said that while she didn't feel safer in the mask, she enjoyed engaging with crowds.

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My art comes as a form of protest. In my country Cows are more important than a woman's life with more security. (Reference: Majority of Hindus believe cow as their holy animal and they worship it though Majority of Muslims consume it as a part of their daily meal.) The debate is never ending "Whether to consume or worship it" but gaining political benefits out of it is wrong. Why not let the people decide what they want to consume. I will be photographing women from different parts of the society. This is silent form of protest which starts from India Gate, one of the most visited sights in India. I would be more than happy if you reach out to me and want to get photographed or maybe join this form of protest. #RisingBeyondJingoism #WHPstandout #indiagate #cow #women #protest #womenpower #weekend #indiarising #workingwomen #live #animals #love #laugh #thecowmaskproject #standup #everydayeverywhere #indiaphotoproject #everydayindia #womenphotographers #myfeatureshoot

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"While sporting a cow mask in the middle of a crowded street or in front of some of the busiest tourist places meant that you attracted more attention than usual, being inside the cow mask was powerful," she told BuzzFeed.

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Another participant, Suchismita, said, “As a woman, the question of harassment and insecurity has been a part and parcel of my life. In the past few years, this question has been at the forefront in every single discourse. Rather than addressing it, there have been repeated examples of sidelining it with more trivial matters. In a country with astounding levels of rape, molestation, abuse and other manners of crimes perpetrated against women, it is beyond sick that the matter of cow protection and religion has more traction."

View this post on Instagram

My art comes as a form of protest. In my country Cows are more important than a woman's life with more security. (Reference: Majority of Hindus believe cow as their holy animal and they worship it though Majority of Muslims consume it as a part of their daily meal.) The debate is never ending "Whether to consume or worship it" but gaining political benefits out of it is wrong. Why not let the people decide what they want to consume. I will be photographing women from different parts of the society. I would be more than happy if you reach out to me and want to get photographed or maybe join this form of protest. Suchismita says: "As a woman, the question of harassment and insecurity has been a part and parcel of my life. And even more so, as I left my home and went to another city for my higher studies. But in the past few years, this question has been at the forefront in every single discourse. Rather than addressing it, there have been repeated examples of sidelining it with more trivial matters. In a country with astounding levels of rape, molestation, abuse and other manners of crimes perpetrated against women, it is beyond sick that the matter of cow protection and religion has more traction. What use are protected cows and religious sentiments if half the population of the country needs to live in constant threat in order to facilitate it? When I saw the rather innovative idea used to engage with the cow protectionist camp, I decided I had to be on board. These last few years, I've realised injecting humour is the only way to tackle these idiots. If we take offence at everything they say and do, then there lies no essential difference between them and us. The campaign in that sense, is quite mooving." #RisingBeyondJingoism #WHPstandout #market #cow #women #protest #womenpower #politics #indiarising #inquisitiveindian #thecowmaskproject #animals #love #laugh #art #men #everydayeverywhere #indiaphotoproject #everydayindia #womenphotographers #myfeatureshoot

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Gohash shared the pictures on his Instagram where he said, "My art comes as a form of protest. In my country cows are more important than a woman’s life with more security. (Reference: Majority of Hindus believe cow as their holy animal and they worship it though Majority of Muslims consume it as a part of their daily meal.) The debate is never ending - whether to consume or worship it - but gaining political benefits out of it is wrong. Why not let the people decide what they want to consume.”

The message he wanted to make was loud and clear. “If we can protect cows then why not women?”

View this post on Instagram

My art comes as a form of protest. In my country Cows are more important than a woman's life with more security. (Reference: Majority of Hindus believe cow as their holy animal and they worship it though Majority of Muslims consume it as a part of their daily meal.) The debate is never ending "Whether to consume or worship it" but gaining political benefits out of it is wrong. Why not let the people decide what they want to consume. I will be photographing women from different parts of the society. I would be more than happy if you reach out to me and want to get photographed or maybe join this form of protest. #RisingBeyondJingoism #travel #cow #women #protest #womenpower #trains #indiarising #workingwomen #thecowmaskproject #animals @instagram #love #laugh #mortality #standup #everydayeverywhere #indiaphotoproject #everydayindia #womenphotographers #myfeatureshoot

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COMMENTS (1)

Traveller | 3 years ago | Reply | Recommend India the only country on earth where females are less in numbers then males. Female infanticide is still practised in India. Rape is common as well in Incredible India. Ladies & Gentlemen, meet India the rising and shining superpower of future,very soon this country will change decision making of other countries.
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