photo by Smriti Chanchani

may 27 friday. section 354 was handed out and plastered on the streets of bangalore. may 31st, ofcourse it is not there anymore.

section 354 will also be printed in Kannada

thanking Romal, Payal, Rahima for running around and doing the dirty fun work of pasting the posters on city walls.


Marine Drive May 2005

At Mumbai I met with Shilpa Phadke fromPukar. Shilpa brought up the idea of the night walk/ One Night Stand with various women's groups in Mumbai. Their enthusiasm and willingness to 'just do it' brought me to Mumbai. The

PLAN: We were to wear reflector badges and stand on Marine Drive after sunset. We were also meant to appear at the traffic signals, when the traffic would stop and form a sentence that would read, WHY ARE YOU LOOKING AT ME? Each person was to become an alphabet. The blinking orange traffic light would be the exit signal for the group.

MORE PLANS: The public would be invited to write testimonies of street sexual harassment on the city's walls, pavements. In contrast Section 354 on 'outraging the modesty' of the woman were to be pasted on the walls.

WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED: There were atleast 1oo women from various activist social groups. Posters, banners and women shouting slogans. Along with this were the cops on duty. The 'protest' started at 4 30 pm, on May 21st 2005 marking exactly one month of the Marine Drive Rape Case. I chose to be the passive documenter of this protest event. I was also hoping that by atleast 7 pm we could try another form of asserting ourselves there. (the performance described above.) my stand: control freak: intervention/ passive participant. Am I trying to control a situation or am I seeing where I fit in? Its not about arts vs activism excluding the real people - public from the 'issue'.

AND THEN: 7 PM. The cops are still on duty. There is still lots of singing, shouting, screaming. The women cops speak with Sandhya and Shilpa about the 'law' and about how the group cannot disturb the traffic. There were lock up threats which meant people would be locked up through the weekend. There was no group consensus on the lock up issue. Numbers trickled down. Deepa, an artist and writer based in Mumbai put a section 354 poster on one of the rocks by Marine Drive. Natasha, my friend from fotolog (www.fotolog.net/50mm) was doing the still documentation of the event while I shot the video. We had dinner at Leopold.

Good night.



Time: 7 pm- 9pm

Date: MAY 21ST 2005.

Location: Marine Drive/ by the fly over

(Entry: Women only.)

You are invited to participate in a public arts event ‘One Night Stand’ at Marine Drive.
Jasmeen Patheja, practicing artist in Bangalore is choreographing the event. The performance event is centered around issues of reclaiming the street and confronting the public.



What are you permitted and not permitted to wear in college/ office/ any institution?

Can YOU send me an email as attachment or photocopy :

The rules and regulations for appropriate clothing as specified and stated by the college, school or office, any other insitute that you belong to?

(For example: some colleges say that
women should not wear a sleeveless garment
no lady is allowed to wear skirts only salwar kameez- full sleeve

(Back in school, on sports day the uniform skirt had to be six inches above the knee.)

You could also email me notes on:

What your family thinks is appropriate for you to wear in different places
(School days: my mother insisted I wear a slip under that white uniform)

and finally what you think is just right/ appropriate for you to wear.

" I have been a conductor for 30 years now. Earlier the uniform was only saris. Now we have salwar kameez and pants as well." "My father was very angry with me when I started the job. " Mera baap bahut gussa kiya......but I convinced him to let me be a conductor."


March 2005:

photography and interviews with women bus conductors of Bangalore.

On their uniform:

" I feel more safe in this. People see me as a conductor and respect me."

" Earlier, I used to travel only from college to home. I did not know Bangalore. Now I am always on the bus, meeting so many different people. I used to be very scared. I did not want to attend my first day of job, my brother brought me here, "tumba bhaya aithoo" ( was very scared.)I could not blow the whistle!"

thanking Harneet for sending this in/ Times of India may 17 2005

'Aprons must for good teaching' Principal: Exposure By Lady Teachers Distracts Students
By Basant Kumar Mohanty/TNN
Bhubaneswar: Remember young Rishi Kapoor in Mera Naam Joker peeping at his beautiful teacher, Simi Garewal, emerging from behind the bushes after taking a bath? The scene may be part of Bollywood folklore, but it does the cause of education no good. So believes the principal of a city-based school, who feels such scenes get enacted even in classrooms.

"The unconscious exposure of body of a lady teacher during teaching could be an object of amusement for male students inside a classroom," observes Dr K C Satapathy, principal of DAV Public School at Chandrasekharpur here. And disturbed over its effect, the school has decided to make all teachers, irrespective of gender, wear an apron while teaching from the coming academic session.

The decision, incidentally, came in the wake of a two-year study undertaken by the school, which concluded that boys in higher classes were "losing concentration" inside the classroom when the body of women teachers was getting even slightly exposed during teaching. The study, conducted by some counsellors and teachers of the school, stumbled upon this conclusion after intimate interaction with students, Satapathy said.

"Adolescent boys are most inquisitive about sex, especially after beingexposed to sexually explicit scenes in the mass media. And they tend to lose attention when lady teachers unconsciously expose body parts during teaching," said the principal. "By wearing an apron, the quality of teaching could improve," he pointed out.

Another benefit of using aprons, according to the school authorities, is that teachers can screen themselves from chalk dust. "The dress of teachers look grey with chalk dust all over. Now the apron will act as a shield," Satapathy remarked.

"The common dress system will also help curb competition among women teachers for wearing costly sarees and garments," he argued. There are about 130 teachers, including 65 women teachers in the school.


eg rules for the kentucky state reformatory/ for visitors.

1. Any visitor, child or adult, shall not be admitted if barefooted.
2. For female visitors, underclothes (bra and panties, and a slip with a dress) shall be worn.
a. Clothing which does not completely cover the midriff, cleavage or bosom shall not be acceptable
b. Blouses shall be buttoned so that the cleavage cannot be viewed
c. Halter tops, hot pants, short skirts, wrap-around skirts and see through clothing shall not be allowed
d. Dresses and skirts shall be allowed to have a two (2) inch split in the back only and the skirt or dress shall be no shorter than four (4) inches above the knee.
e. Sleeveless garments shall not be allowed
3. A male visitor shall be expected to wear underclothes, long or short pants, long or short sleeve shirt.
a. Bermuda or mid-thigh shorts shall be permitted b. Sleeveless garments, cutoffs, or see through clothing of any type shall not be worn by male visitors over twelve (12) years of age
4. A visitor’s shorts shall not extend more than four (4) inches above the middle of the knee.
5. A visitor shall not wear spandex clothing.
6. Each visitor shall dispose of trash in the waste containers.
7. The use of tobacco products is prohibited in the visiting building and the visiting building waiting room.
8. Profane, vulgar or sexually suggestive talk shall not be allowed during a visit.
9. Physical contact with an inmate shall be limited only to a brief hug and kiss at the beginning and conclusion of the visit.
10. Each visitor and inmate shall act in a dignified, responsible manner while on a visit. Any visitor or inmate who does not act in this manner or follow the visitor dress and behavior guidelines shall be denied entry or have his visit terminated early by the Shift Supervisor at the request of the Visiting Room Supervisor
"The former Australian boxing champion said rape victims had no one to blame but themselves."



p a r t i c i p a t e

Hi every one,

thanks for sending me emails. They are very encouraging indeed.

'I live in bombay - anyway I can get involved in the project ? let's discuss this...." - Charu

" best of luck in your efforts . Would like to help in whateverway I can. Please do let me know if I can be of any assistance." - Runa

To those who live across different cities and in Bangalore I would be extremely grateful if you could help me build testimonies by gathering clothes as a part of the " Did You Ask For it Project."

The clothes can be sent to me. I will bear the cost of courier delivery.

The project demands extensive research...do feel free to send in relevant articles.

(Am currently also working with a group here on a one off newspaper..that seeks to re look at public perception of news/news worthiness/ street sexual harassment and rape reportage. )

There is lots more coming up....

Do keep reading...

and mailing!

Ph: + 9198868 40612

You could mail the clothes to the following address:

PO BOX 6430