OBR Himalayas Rising 2014: Just a little get together this time
SHIMLA-The One Billion Rising was celebrated all around the globe on Valentine’s Day. It’s a mass celebration where women and men gather to stand against the various discrimination they have been facing due to gender biases and crimes against women. India has seen the extremity of the insensitivity towards the females, and after horrific 26 Dec gangrape and murder, it was apparent to the whole world. One Billion Rising gained momentum in India since then, and is celebrated as a call of awaking for all women, and that of justice, respect, and dignity from the male dominated society. It’s not about shouting slogan, rather it calls women, young or old, to come and declare their rising to end the suffering. Dance, Strike, Rise is the weapon here, and is also the main motto of the campaign itself.
In Shimla, JAS India, a non-profit organization, organized One Billion Rising, and HW had the opportunity to promote it. However, the intensity and the comprehension of the concept behind the campaign was somewhat missing. OBR is the rise of women beyond laws, and it could be defiant to all the ridiculous mockery of the society they have been tolerating.
The Shimla was all set to dance and strike, and the event was scheduled to be held at Open Air Gaiety Theater on 14 February when the weather spoiled it. The snowfall not only snatched the venue but also prevented the people to attend it. Many guests, including the Chief Guest, DIG Shimla and Mayor of the town did not arrive but their apologies for their inability to attend the events did. Similarly, many groups which were to perform at the event had to cancel their performances due to the continuous rain and snowfall.
However, the event was held inside YWCA hall with a crowd that the space could accommodate. It was like a formality with a couple of dance performances by a group of young students, a wonderful play by Manish, and a couple of songs.
It was unfortunate to have come this far an end up with a small show, but for those who did come to attend it despite the odd weather, it was not all disappointment. Some of the performers did not give up their enthusiasm for the crowd is little; neither the cancellation of other performances discouraged them.
The performers did sing and dance. One of them was ‘Visthapan’, a wonderful play directed and written by Munish, a local theater artist. The theme pondered over the impact of villagers who migrate to the cities after selling their agricultural lands. A drastic change in the routine, which was earlier completely occupied with agricultural activities, and lack of vision on the part of males of the family (husband and son) who couldn’t manage the bulk of money they had received for their land, the inclination of the son to drugs that ultimately blinds him of all respect for his blind sister whom he later abuses.
The event was concluded with a pledge to impart all the respect to every female member in our society that they always deserved but didn’t ever received it. The event seems to have transformed into a sort of small get together towards the end, and in that instance, the real concept of One Billion Rising was achieved, miniscule however.