Women in Black Actions
Women in Black, India began as a protest against the Babri Masjid Demolition in 1992 and the chain of events that triggered decades of stigmatisation and the violence that ensued thereafter. The strategic usage of the idea of the 'other' instilled fear of terrorism in the majority and Women in Black, India recognised the consequences of such polarisations and have protested against the above over the years.
The state and non-state actors over stepping their boundaries as 'protectors' is questioned by the Women in Black, India in their vigils. Such paternalistic labels legitimises these institutions to be defenders of the hegemonic 'Indian' culture. Over the years, the Women in Black, India have stood protesting the misogynistic attitudes towards women that exacerbated the violence on women. Such attitudes pushes women back into the private sphere and reiterates the claim that men rule the public. To dispel that myth, Women in Black, India have stood protesting in public spaces, claiming the public space to be a platform for women to voice out, to bring out their voices that are expected to remain silent and within the confines of the home.
Women in black, India by reclaiming the space of the public and standing for women and marginal groups has tried removing the silence around violence and abuse women experience at home. They have challenged the notion of the home as a 'safe space' and attacked the bed rock of moral policing: women's morality, modesty and honour- terms used by society to legitimise the perpetuation of violence against women in the name of culture, nation and community.
By claiming space in the public, the vigils highlight the atrocities of state and non-state actors that breeds terrorism: actions that sponsor genocide that masquerades itself in the form of war; State violence against 'anti-nationals' and 'unpatriotic' persons who have been voices of dissent; voices against fascist ideologies, voices from the margins; voices of victims of the violence of dominant ideas like mainstream development.
Women in black, India have stood in solidarity with several women and organisations from within the country and around the world: against militarisation; military occupation, hyper masculinised politics of peace and conflict; nuclear and chemical warfare; psychological and social trauma; women's bodies as weapons of war.