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Delhi Slutwalk renamed “Besharmi Morcha” or “Shameless Protest”

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Summary of story from Washington Examiner, June 22, 2011

Shifting blame from victims to perpetrators in crimes against women. It’s an idea which has inspired “SlutWalks” across the globe.

However, plans to arrange a protest in New Delhi have prompted questions about whether such marches are appropriate in India and if they change mindsets about women’s status in the conservative society.

India, a rapidly modernizing country, has a high incidence of rapes and sexual attacks against women. A government-backed United Nations survey found that about 85 percent of women in New Delhi are afraid of being sexually harassed while outside their homes for work or study.

Organizer and Delhi University student, Umang Sabarwal, said this week: “We want to focus on changing social attitudes toward women.

“Every time a woman is assaulted, people don’t blame the perpetrator of the crime. Instead women get a lecture about what they’re supposed to wear and where they can go or not go.”

Despite this, plans for the walk have also drawn criticism from many women who say the use of the term “slut walk” is derogatory.

“Naming the protest ‘slut walk’ degrades women even if it has shock value,” said Shobha De, a best-selling fiction writer.

As a result, the march, scheduled for late July, has been renamed “Besharmi Morcha,” which means “Shameless Protest” in Hindi.

“The idea is to reach out to a maximum number of people, and people in India are better versed in Hindi than English as opposed to other countries where the ‘SlutWalk’ has been a success,” said Mishika Singh, a college student involved in the campaign.

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