There's some new news that requires you to take immediate thought and action:

A group of NGO's in Bangalore have gotten together to draft a people's manifesto for the city in context to the BBMP elections, addressing various issues like Health,
Transport, Environment, Rights of Transgenders, Public Education etc.
The idea behind this manifesto is to create a debate around these issues
amongst people in the 198 wards of the city and to get political parties to take a stand on issues and demands raised by civil society and include
these issues in their own manifesto's.

If you were to ask the state for change / in context to street sexual violence and molestation what would you ask for ?

It could be big, it could be small, think of the state as YOURS and contribute to the people's manifesto.
What do you want?

Add to the list in the comments section below or email us-blurtblanknoise at gmail dot com
subject titled " I WANT " (You can send in more than 1 want). Your email will be published on the blog. An edited document based on your response will form the people's manifesto.

You can also contribute by taking this idea outside of the internet- having a conversation or 2 with your neighbours about the same. Please do hurry with sending us your response- we're a little late in putting this message out! (sorry).


Ratna Apnender- I WANT- section 354, IPC to be publicized.

Jasmeen Patheja- I WANT- streets to be lit at night. lit streets make me feel safer. I want a pavement. The streets are for walking. I want a city I can walk in.

Zainab Bawa-I WANT-
better street lighting to get over, to some extent, the perception of unsafe-ness that we can feel at night? Can we also ask for improved public transport for lesser mortals like us who don't drive, specifically more buses that ply longer routes than simply point A to majestic/Market/shivajinagar?

Rushitha Samaveda-I WANT-STREET LIGHTS IN PROPER WORKING CONDITIONS IN EACH AND EVERY STREET. Though I am not from Bangalore, I suggest the need of street lights in proper working conditions in each and every street. Though most of our streets have street lamps,do they function?With proper lights, a girl can work more confidently and be alert even if something happens and shot for help.

Paramita Dutta- I WANT- the state to make self defense or martial arts compulsory in all schools and especially in girls' schools as knowing how to defend oneself gives one great confidence and helps one protect oneself from street violence and molestation.

Uma Chandru- I WANT- safer side walks with ramps and special buses/vans for disabled people to get from place to place and ask them to stop evicting the poor children from increasingly gentrified public parks?

Jasmeen Patheja
- I DON'T WANT- the state to 'CLEANSE' public parks by removing couples from there.

Rhea Daniel- I WANT-Since most if the street sexual harassment I experienced was as a school kid at a time when I was most vulnerable to it, I WANT compulsory education in schools that teach young girls their rights, improve their self-esteem and also tell them the best way to deal with common means of sexual harassment. Also educate parents not to ignore this problem and talk to their kids about it, and if something happens to them then LISTEN. I WANT other adults to step in when they see a little kid being harassed who doesn't know the difference and not just shake their heads and say --it happens.

Anonymous- I WANT- regarding ashutosh, I want more women officers everywhere! If we can't get more women officers, then get trained, uncorrupted, decent ppl(possibly from Blank noise) who will protect us. I want more women everywhere!! more female bus drivers, more female cab drivers, more female everywhere.. there are simply too many men out there.. we need to show these indecent men how to treat a women! Why do the women only need to be cleaning, why can't they be cab/bus drivers, more female cops.. n so forth.
sidewalks/pavement everywhere, even in private areas where there are only homes..i hate the pavements in blore, they are so hard to walk on.. why can't they just be simple enough for pedestrians to walk??
I want workshops where women are taught about their rights and how to defend themselves..
I want workshops in poor areas, where women are usually abused, they should learn to defend themselves & know their rights as a wife, mother, daughter or aunt or whatever. So they can teach their daughter how to defend themselves & teach their sons how to respect women.
I want the state to give harsher punishments to pedophiles, rapists, sexual assaulters. They should go through a course in jail about women, how they need to be respected and not be treated like a piece of shit!

Dianne Sharma Winter -I WANT- Decent lighting on the streets and suburbs so that women feel safe to walk. I want separate transport for women during rush hour.
I want women police officers who are trained in dealing with complaints of a sexual nature on every corner.I want male police officers to also receive training on how to deal with complaints of sexual abuse.

Chitra Badrinarayan
-I WANT- Compulsory education in schools and homes on the right way to treat/talk to/behave with girls/women.

Jasmeen Patheja- I DON'T WANT- separate transport for women because in the long run it only furthers the divide. IT IS NOT A SOLUTION. I admit it makes me feel safer in an immediate sense but I don't want separate transport for women. Instead I WANT the public transport system to communicate that street sexual harassment is a serious offence according to section 354 IPC. I want more women bus conductors, women bus drivers. I WANT the state public transport system to communicate that it will support women who experience harassment regardless of who they are (sex workers or an 80 year old), what they are wearing or where they are. I want the state to take responsibility through communication and not segregation. Blank Noise would like to work on communication with the state.

Hemangini Gupta- I do not want prostitution banned/ more CCTV cameras.
a follow-up of the request that we made to the DGP during the Fearless Karnataka/Nirbhaya Karnataka protests which was to make police stations less hostile to women who were attempting to file FIRs, especially when these were related to sexual assaults. We had asked for a posting of a memo on all police stations across the state to serve as a constant reminder to police officers that their role was to provide women with accurate information about the process of filing an FIR and to provide them with all assistance, rather than to discourage them or further intimidate them. The context might have changed but I think that the points are still relevant:



Sub: Violence Against Women

Post the Mangalore pub incident on 24.01.09, when women were attacked, there have been the increasing cases of attacks against women in public spaces. These attacks are crimes against women. They are legal offences. They are neither isolated events nor trivial incidents of ‘eve-teasing’. They are part of a series of attacks inflicted on women in the name of ‘morality’ and religious intolerance, attacks that are escalating as women resist and fight back. Women have been targeted for what they have been wearing, the fact that they were on the road late at night or that they should not have been in a particular location. The motivation behind the attacks is to compel women to subscribe to a narrow definition of culture and modesty. Moral and cultural policing of this nature is undertaken to restrict the freedom of women to live full and meaningful lives.

What has come to our notice is that often when these attacks happen and some women go to the police station to register FIR's police are reluctant and dicourage the victims from filing FIR's. In some cases NCR's are registered under the guise of it being an FIR. When women do come to police stations, they are often subjected to questioning which can be personal, invasive, demeaning and disprepectful under the guise of obtaining information relevant to the filing of the FIR.

In the above outlined context your police officers are required to :

1. Treat the issue of violence against women as a serious human right issue and do not dismiss it as a case of 'mere eve teasing' or an issue which does not merit the attention of the police.

2. Recognize the fact that it is not easy for a woman to come to the police station to file an FIR and provide her all possible support to ensure that the FIR is filed.

3. Register an FIR under the relevant sections such as Sec 354, 504, 506 and 323, 324, among others.

4. Understand that if the victim is unable to describe the perpetrator or give details of the attack it could be becuase of shock or fear and not immediately jump to the conclusion that the complaint is concocted.

5. Do not make the victim feel responsible for the violence she has undergone by asking her personal demeaning questions pertaining to her dress, her friends or what she was doing on the street.

Chaitanya Krishnan- I WANT fast track courts to be "fast track".
I WANT auto drivers to remove the stupid mirrors they put inside their autos, so they can stare at the passengers.
I WANT police stations to register cases and take complaints regardless of jurisdictional boundaries.
I WANT policemen to be accomodating to people who do not speak the local language.

Aparajita Sharma -I want- a more responsive approach from the state legal department to punish people who commit such atrocities on innocent people.

1) This includes a non-bailable arrest warrant for people who take the law on to their hands, all in the name of "Bharatiya Sanskar". This is total hypocrisy because Indian customs and way of life is to respect Women, first and foremost and not raise one's hand on them.

2) Stricter enforcement on part of the State Police, as they turn a blind eye to these acts of violence, fearing political wrath or some similar ridiculous notions in executing their duties. No one is above the Law. In this country we have High ranking judges and ministers arrested for corruption and mis-demeanor. What gives the political party members and the deranged youths to behave the way they do and get away scot-free because of their affiliation to some corrupted nut who thinks he is God to the State.

3) Social awareness amongst the people to realise that what is socially acceptable behaviour and decorum in public places, which all fall under the ambit of the legal machinery of our country.

4) Bangalore is an international destination and called the Silicon Valley of India. It is party to international businessmen and tourists. This image that it has created of late for itself sends out very wrong signals for business and What India stands for a hospitable country, which not only respects women but also upholds the dignity of the citizen of India. Public flogging if possible for people who commit these acts of violence and harassment, and full coverage by the Press should create the awareness that what they did was wrong as well as this kind of negative publicity will make each offender think twice or (hopefully) never again to do what they think is fun and a kick to their machochism or so called 'mardangi'.

5) Discounted training classes for women to learn

Avni Patel - I WANT- Severe Punishment for the eve-teasers.. Just a mere fine of 1000 bucks is not enough to stop these losers from eve-teasing.. A serious punishment is necessary to teach them a lesson and to scare them from doing anything of that sort again!

Hasina Hasan I WANT-

1) There is not adequate lighting at night on church St, Rest House Road etc etc. Some street lamps are on and some aren't. Low maintenance of this basic facility of street lighting has allowed for many trangressions to occur viz. eve teasing to me personally as well as men beating up women in cars parked on these dark spots. Needless to say even the patrolling cops wont be able to notice such acts due to the bad lighting. The poorly lit areas allow for such misdemeanors and hinder even the police from being able to do their job of securing the city well.

I WANT proper lighting at night on every street in my city.

2) Not all of us can afford private vehicles due to budget restraints. I have no budget restraints but choose to travel by public transport. My aim is to reduce pollution and traffic by travelling via public local buses and carpooling.

But there is list at bus stands that tells us the bus numbers that frequent the particular stand. There is no clarity and that allows for buses to come late or not turn up and we are forced to either goto main bus stands and start from scratch or catch autos (out of budget for some) or stand waiting for buses that are hours late. It is unfair to us who leave home an hour early to reach our destinations on time. When we can respect others time then the govt. should too and they hopefully will not allow for such laxity on Buses/drivers/etc by clearly listing maps/routes/times/bus numbers - all of that or a combination of that at every bus stand.

I WANT the public transport authorities to facilitate us with proper public transport.

3) Streets and parks are lit up at night but run on electricity. Of late some parks' nameboards have been replaced with lighted boards. While that is a brilliant idea and in keeping with the times, does all that run on electricity? Could we not aim for lighting that runs on solar power/alternate energy for park name boards? While this is a shot in the dark and is definitely something long term. It most definitely in the long run will lead to energy conservation from everysense viz solar powered energy will eventually lead to reduced costs, save energy etc.

I WANT solar powered energy saving technology to be used for Street lights and Park name boards etc.

1) I want early awareness workshops in schools encouraging frank , open discussions among kids, thier parents and teachers about sexual harassment.
2) I want real consequences for violating IPC 354
3) I want the police to be accountable for crimes against women who have to or want to stay out at night instead of saying ''Madam go home '' or ''Madam, walking at night not allowed''.

Decreased censorship.
Repression almost always has unhealthy ways of getting back at the society. Street sexual harassment is one such.


BN Meet Dec 13. Calcutta

Calcutta Action Heroes include: Insiya , Mandy, Dana, Sunayana, Saptarshi.
Saptarshi will be sharing the report.
photos by Saptarshi/meeting script prepared in collaboration with Saptarshi.
To read the meeting details visit here



Action Heroes got together across cities in India on Dec 13 with a common script.
One Action Hero per city had access to the script for the meeting. We thought of sharing the script to give you a sense of what the meet- up was about! Please note that some of the dates mentioned below have extended until further annoucement. To get involved towards actualizing any of the ideas mentioned below- shout out at blurtblanknoise@gmail.com


Dec 13 2009
Location: Delhi, Calcutta, Bombay, Dehradun, Chennai, Bangalore, Guwahati, Jaipur, Hyderabad, Pune

(read out)
Objective of the meeting
1. to meet volunteers from the city- and form a team
2. to discuss street sexual harassment in your city
3. to focus on the next 4 months and propose strategies for next the plan of action
4. to assign duties and responsibility towards the next 4 months. month by month

Please give this to the person sitting on your right and ask him her to read out the next 5 lines in bold:

Warning: This script may make you feel a bit like being in a reality tv show.
You are requested to put your phone on silent.

We need to identify the following people in our group today
photo documenter- (add name)
time keeper-
person who writes minutes of the meeting-
person to write a report after the meet-

Each of you should identify a stranger outside of this bn meet, sharing your immediate public environment and maintain eye contact with the person.

Smile after you make eye contact and when you're done let's start this meeting!

(questions to read out- who did you smile at? why did you chose that person? was the person smiling back? was the person comfortable? was it an exchange? was it seen as threatening? did you smile at a child? did you
smile at a woman/ if you're female? or male if you're male? did you feel comfortable doing so? did you feel uncomfortable?) time keeper- 7 minutes

Please return the script to the person who arrived with it.

(read out) Hello!

We are never too sure of how many people actually turn up,
but we should be able to conduct this meeting with a minimum of 2 persons.
Any number is a good start!

The person reading the script has volunteered to do so. There is no one definite BN representative here, nor
is there one word or one definition to describe Blank Noise. Ofcourse there are long time members and action heroes
who have built the collective, therefore contributed in varying capacities. Yet Blank Noise is interpreted by each of us in different ways;
and we hope to arrive on that over this meet.

It may help to think of it this way " I am not here to see what BN is doing in this city, but rather what can I do? How can I be involved?
How can I make it happen? How can we work collectively? What can I commit? How can I commit to actualizing some of the ideas I propose?"

But before jumping at how you can 'get involved it would be important to answer:

Person with script has to answer question first and then identify another person
in the group to answer the question next.

Who are you? and What brings you here? What makes you want to address 'eve teasing?'
Please make this as personal as possible
please add if this is your first bn meet or if you're an existing action hero?
( about 5 minutes per person)

What are the words that come to your mind when we say street sexual harassment/ violence/ teasing/ intimidation?
(group spends 7.5 minutes in total)

2. About Blank Noise:

a. What does Blank Noise mean to you/ what are the words that come to your mind when we you say Blank Noise?
One person should write down list of words mentioned. Each person at the meet to answer-
(group spends 7.5 minutes in total)
This segment will be discussed and blogged about further- thank you for adding the words.

(read out)
b. Blank Noise is also:
a volunteer led collective committed to addressing the issue of street sexual harassment/ street sexual bullying/ 'eve teasing'/ intimidation/ violence
b. our focus has been on generating public discourse to what was once seen as a non-issue i.e. 'eve teasing'
c. a large part of our work has been on seeking definition of street sexual harassment. is there a common definition when harassment for one
is flirting for another? or if in some cases stalking is seen as a way of flirting?
c. the collective is built on lived experiences. We collect testimonials and then disperse them back in the public through various forms- thereby generating public debate
d. every volunteer is an action hero. he/ she drives the project, gives it shape. the collective has been built on this person's enthusiasm and commitment.
there is an exchange- it's not so much about only doing something about 'those' victims/ survivors, but about understanding your own relationship with the issue and therefore with blank noise.
( older action heroes can share their experiences of volunteering- personal account)
e. at blank noise we are here to address the issue- and we don't we don't want to do so by attacking a group or a party. our approach is sometimes more investigative and about open spaces for
discussion rather than always concluding one stand.
f. bn approaches 'eve teasing' as an issue that concerns men as much as it concerns women. we need to address notions of masculinity and male behaviour to take any discussion forward.

Blank Noise is not:
is not anti men- atleast 50 % on bn is male. we have started archiving responses from men at blog.bnguy.org and will soon be announcing a call for project proposals.
is not only youth oriented- yes there are more youth linked with the project but that is because so far we have worked on the internet but we truly believe that 'eve teasing' and street sexual
violence is everyone's issue
is not about only one class of people- sometimes we get interpreted that way because of our choice of medium. our street actions and public interventions however break that idea

We are working towards a structure and hope to organize ourselves in a manner that allows us to work with volunteers from different communities and background and therefore kinds of media
appropriate to that community.


Hello person sitting opposite- please read the following out loud:

We need pen/ paper/ pencil for this

Please make a sketch of what you were wearing when you experienced street sexual harassment
for the guys- sketch a garment you think women would experience sexual harassment in.
unless you know someone who was wearing that particular garment- in which case sketch the garment you remember.
time (5 mins)

There are 4 letters in the group. 4 different people are to read them out loud.
12-15 minute discussion on the drawings each member has made and
group to share insights/ respond to each others drawings and experiences

suggested questions- What does it mean to say 'she asked for it'?

give the paper to the person sitting on your left.
please read out loud the text below

About I NEVER ASK FOR IT campaign:

'I never ask for it', will bring together garments worn by women when they experienced sexual harassment or were 'teased' via a public
installation. We intend to use the final installation to challenge the popular assumption that women 'ask for it' because of the clothes they wear.
The campaign seeks to address the notion of blame, shame and guilt that women experience besides being violated.

Over the next 3 months starting Jan every fortnight we will working towards a clothes collection drive.

We would like a clothes collection drive on Jan 9 ( date changed. will be announced soon)

Proposed plan of Action

Jan 9 : I NEVER ASK FOR IT clothes collection drive
who will collect clothes- everyone
how will each of you collect clothes?( ask friends/ family / develop your own strategies)
how will you collectively collect clothes? ( choose a location/ community/ college/ office)
decide on 2 venues- where you will collect clothes at for the next month
letters- i never ask for it- the letters you read out nee to be translated to the local language.
permissions etc


Please appoint the following persons-
event co ordinator:
event co ordinating team:

things to prepare at our end
kit- posters/ info

Please give the paper back to the person who arrived with the script:

Another immediate Plan of Action- 15 minutes
One of our all time fave actions involves being idle women.

Jan 2nd - (date changed. will be announced soon)
street action- on being idlestreet action- on being idle
This intervention is created simultaneously across cities in India. It based on the simple premise of being idle and 'without purpose' on the street. The event is announced on the blog and any one can participate, thereby becoming an Action Hero. The Action Hero challenges her comfort level and establishes herself as someone who belongs to city without apology. At some interventions Action Heroes are asked to come wearing clothes they have always wanted to wear but not worn because they felt they might be 'asking for it'. It becomes challenging for both the Action Hero to be there and not look preoccupied or anxious, but instead leaning back and doing nothing. It becomes challenging for the street to witness women relaxed, looking back and doing 'nothing'. Testimonials are privately dispersed in the form of letters to the public via which the public is invited to participate. Reactions vary from families joining in, to people tearing up the letter, or a row of men waiting for something to happen often walking up to an Action Hero and asking her why she is standing, whether is she waiting for someone? or if she wants a cigarette?

if someone has been part of the intervention before please share about the event

May we propose this action for Jan 2nd? It would kickstart a series of events for 2010 and would be an important event before the first clothes collection drive.
it is important that we try and have the events on the same day across the country. ofcourse smaller core team meets dont need to happen on the same day.

To build on the street action of being idle
1. name location + why
2. time + why
3. do not bring bags or anything you think 'protects' you
4. carry a whistle/ appoint one person to purchase whistle
why whistle? incase of emergency only.
5. letter- the team has to print letters/ photo copy letter and
6. TRANSLATE the letter to the local language/ languages of the city

The team should decide who will co ordinate the next event.
The co ordinator has to put together a team/ assign responsibilities towards materializing the next event
please note down all phone numbers
Before leaving the team should list all names. take each participants photos and make a list of skills people think they can bring to the table.
Prepare a list of colleges, schools, possible allies in your city. Maintain a city specific directory.

5 minutes- recap/ reflection/ any thoughts/ insights?


Script was prepared by Saptarshi Chakrabarty- super Action Hero and Jasmeen.

Meeting reports + photos are shared on this blogsite. ( links with the cities named below)
Action Heroes on facebook have added the meet photos to the Blank Noise community group:


Fined for wearing a burkha?

Women wearing burkhas in France will be fined 750 euros.
Male members of their family could be fined double the amount for persuading them to wear it.
Reports say that the fine applies to anyone on the street whose face is entirely 'covered'.



New Bill for Sexual Offence:

The proposed law makes it mandatory to end the trial of cases relating to sexual offences within a 6 month period.

The sexual offences (special courts) bill is almost finalised and is awaiting a Cabinet nod.

The new law proposes:

  • Sexual abuse is defined to include not just physical but also mental harassment. Punishment for both to be similar.

  • Sexual abuse to be treated on par as rape, which means punishment for both to be equally stringent. Until now, maximum punishment for sexual abuse is one year.

  • Onus to prove that suicide was not due to sexual harassment lies with the accused.

  • All cases of sexual harassment to be dealt with special courts and cleared within 6 months to a year.

Source: ibn-live