Some of our readers have asked us why we have not written about Meher Bhargava. Or Jessica Lal. Or the fact that Sunil More - in a rare case of speedy, faith-affirming justice - has been given 12 years imprisonment for the infamous Marine Drive rape. Or several others, not so famous, beyond the headlines, outside of the soundbytes, who have been harmed by eve-teasing or any other form of violation. Or those who, in cases so infrequent they seem almost bizarre, have been arrested and punished for these crimes.
But mostly, we've been asked why we have not written about Meher Bhargava, the feisty 50-year-old who died after being shot while protesting her daughter-in-law being eve-teased.
Our silence on any of these issues has not been one of indifference. Or apathy. But Blank Noise believes - in all its evolving, collective wisdom - that merely to react to news with an impassioned, outraged blog post is not enough. Meher Bhargava - whose instance can only make us shudder as much with anger as with disbelief - cannot become one headline, one story, one post that attracts thousands of comments. She cannot be our poster-girl. Absolutely not.
Our silence, then, has only been one of introspection and deliberation. What do we do in these times? When hostile witnesses stall justice just as cooperative ones speed it along? When women like Priyadarshini Mattoo are remembered only when a Jessica Lal is brought back into collective public memory? When women have acid thrown on them for refusing a man's ardent overtures? Or for speaking up? When schoolgirls, adolescents, adults - every woman on every street in every city - is always in danger of violation?
Sounds overdone? Sounds exaggerated? Read the newspapers of the past month. Watch news channels hour after tiresome hour every day. I've just summed it up into one paragraph. But it still goes on.
Therefore, Blank Noise Project has decided to meet. In big cities and small cities. Whereever people can gather together to formulate action. To create performances of protest. To look up in anger and then do something about it.