Monday, 28 January, 2008

South Asian Women's Day for Peace, Justice, Human Rights & Democracy




I landed up in the South Asian Women’s day only because our coordinator for Women’s Justice Initiative (WJI) was away in some meeting in Mumbai. So it fell on me to take a small delegation to this programme which was being held in Connaught Place’s newly opened Central Park. We started off from office a motley bunch of lawyers, social activists and interns. We were carrying our WJI material to be distributed. When we landed up there around 5 in the evening, there were some women’s groups standing there displaying posters protesting again domestic violence, sex selective abortion and other such inhuman practices. After showing our solidarity with them we proceeded a bit further where the bands were playing. The same venue was also holding SAARC Band Festival. When we reached there was a band from Bangladesh playing called the Bangla. Their lead singer Anusheh has a tremendously powerful voice. The band played alternative rock - folk and baul songs with western instrumentization. Nikhil Chinappa from MTV was hosting the show. The crowd was huge but very welbehaved and it seemed just like a college festival with mostly college crowd hanging around. Later in the evening there was a silent candle light protest by women's groups.
South Asian Women's Day was celebrated on the 30th of November but the cultural band festival went on for 3 days and Shankar, Ehsaan, Loy, Strings and Stigmata from India, Abhaya and Steam Injuns from Nepal, Bangla Fusion Band from Bangladesh, Zero Degree Atoll from Maldives and the Aryan Band from Afghanistan to name some performed there.
I attended only the 30th evening. It was a great event with good music, great environment and best of all it was all free!

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