Photos: Women don cow masks to show they are less safe than cattle

By  Reuters | Mumbai | Posted  05-Jul-2017

The photographs of woman in cow masks aim to highlight the growing violence against women in India, while also drawing attention to a wave of attacks on religious minorities accused of eating beef or slaughtering cows

Indian women don cow masks to show they are less safe than cattle
Photographer Sujatro Ghosh's project that aims to highlight growing violence against Indian women.

They are all pictures of women doing everyday activities: a woman on a street, a woman playing the piano in her home, a woman lounging in a boat, a woman at a table in a restaurant.

All unremarkable, except that they are wearing a cow mask. The photographs aim to highlight the growing violence against women in India, while also drawing attention to a wave of attacks on religious minorities accused of eating beef or slaughtering cows - considered sacred by many Hindus.

 

My art comes as a form of protest. In my country Cows are more important than a woman's life with more security. (Reference: Majority of Hindus believe cow as their holy animal and they worship it though Majority of Muslims consume it as a part of their daily meal.) The debate is never ending "Whether to consume or worship it" but gaining political benefits out of it is wrong. Why not let the people decide what they want to consume. I will be photographing women from different parts of the society. I would be more than happy if you reach out to me and want to get photographed or maybe join this form of protest. #RisingBeyondJingoism #travel #cow #women #protest #womenpower #trains #indiarising #workingwomen #live #animals @instagram #love #laugh #mortality #standup #everydayeverywhere #indiaphotoproject #everydayindia #womenphotographers #myfeatureshoot

A post shared by Sujatro Ghosh (@sujatroghosh) onJun 14, 2017 at 8:31am PDT

 

The cow will start to travel soon. Thank you so much for the love and support. In the meantime you can extend your support to us by contributing in our crowdfunding campaign to take this project across the country.(The link is in my bio.) < https://www.bitgiving.com/cowmask > I will be in Bombay, Delhi, Goa and Bangalore soon. Anyone and Everyone willing to be a part of this project can reach out to me via Email (given on my bio) or maybe contact me through the social media platforms. @bbcnews : http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-40404102 @ajplus : https://www.facebook.com/ajplusenglish/videos/991685670972940/ @theweekmag : http://www.theweek.in/features/lifestyle/Why-this-photo-artist-from-Kolkata-is-making-women-wear-cow-masks.html @qz : https://qz.com/1016684/a-striking-photo-project-asks-why-india-is-better-at-protecting-its-cows-than-its-women/ @elleindiaofficial @elleusa : http://elle.in/culture/women-cow-mask-photo-series-sujatro-ghosh/ Metro UK : http://metro.co.uk/2017/06/28/women-in-india-wear-masks-to-prove-theyre-just-as-important-as-cows-6739624/ #women #womenrights #humanrights #RisingBeyondJingoism #artist #journalist #red #altenativeart #silent #misplacedpriorities #joinus #cow #protest #women

A post shared by Sujatro Ghosh (@sujatroghosh) onJul 1, 2017 at 7:03am PDT

"People are getting lynched in this country to protect cows. But women's safety is neglected and violence against women is rising," photographer Sujatro Ghosh said of his project. "If we can protect cows, then why not women?"

Violence against women has been under the spotlight since a fatal gang-rape of a student on a bus in New Delhi in 2012 sparked nationwide protests about entrenched violence against women and the failure of authorities to protect them.

India has enacted tougher jail sentences for rapists and promised to try those accused through "fast-track" courts but rape, acid attacks and domestic violence remain common.

More than 327,390 crimes against women were registered in India in 2015, an increase of more than half since 2010. But activists say many crimes go unreported because women are afraid of reprisals from their attackers, or because they are ashamed to report them.

 

Pianist Calcutta'17 It's been a rollercoaster ride with this project of mine and it's been appreciated in almost all the platforms in the country. Thank you so much for everything the cow will keep travelling 🎭 If you're interested in it, it's on out on @thetimes on Saturday. Read here - http://bit.ly/2rMwlNl?cc=1dfe314dc3fc79fe958b905b28e5df16 TYT Video too - https://www.youtube.com/embed/iwL05-MKqQA and many other national and international publications 🚣🏼‍♀ï¸ÂðŸŽ—🏆 I will be photographing women from different parts of the society. I would be more than happy if you reach out to me and want to get photographed or maybe join this form of protest. I asked the woman whom I photographed "How do you feel safe when you wear the mask?" Aanya said : "When I came across Sujatro's first post, I was intrigued. It is such a different concept and I fell inlove with it immediately. I feel that this is a fun and effective way to bring to light the whole 'cows being safer than women' issue and I agree with it completely." #RisingBeyondJingoism #musician #piano #artist #home #art #altenativeart #silent #misplacedpriorities #bengal #calcutta #kolkata_igers #cow #protest #women

A post shared by Sujatro Ghosh (@sujatroghosh) onJun 25, 2017 at 9:48am PDT

There has also been a surge in violence against people accused of harming cows.

Earlier this month, a 16-year old Muslim boy was stabbed to death on a train on suspicion of carrying beef, the latest victim of an estimated 28 people killed in cow-related violence since 2010.

Most were killed after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Hindu nationalist party won elections three years ago. Modi last week broke his silence and condemned the violence by so-called cow protection groups, some of which have links to his party.

 

My art comes as a form of protest. In my country Cows are more important than a woman's life with more security. (Reference: Majority of Hindus believe cow as their holy animal and they worship it though Majority of Muslims consume it as a part of their daily meal.) The debate is never ending "Whether to consume or worship it" but gaining political benefits out of it is wrong. Why not let the people decide what they want to consume. I will be photographing women from different parts of the society. I would be more than happy if you reach out to me and want to get photographed or maybe join this form of protest. Nicole says : "At least if I walk down the streets in a cow mask, my chances of being harassed will probably be slim. No one wants to harass anyone who looks like a deity or a representative of a deity." #RisingBeyondJingoism #classroom #cow #women #protest #womenpower #politics #indiarising #studying #live #animals @instagram #love #laugh #art #standup #everydayeverywhere #indiaphotoproject #everydayindia #womenphotographers #myfeatureshoot

A post shared by Sujatro Ghosh (@sujatroghosh) onJun 16, 2017 at 8:57am PDT

Ghosh, who began by photographing his friends and family in Delhi and Kolkata wearing the cow mask, said he has been flooded with offers from women to pose for his project since he began posting the pictures on social media.

 

Holy Animal meets the Holy River Calcutta'17 It's been a rollercoaster ride with this project of mine and it's been appreciated in almost all the platforms in the country. Thank you so much for everything the cow will keep travelling 🎭 If you're interested in it - @catch.news http://www.catchnews.com/national-news/cows-over-women-a-unique-photo-series-protesting-india-s-misplaced-priorities-66021.html @times_of_india https://www.facebook.com/TimesofIndia/posts/10155503200257139 @timesnow http://www.timesnow.tv/the-buzz/article/whats-trending-in-town-gai-mask-the-new-moral-safety-helmet/63420 @wionews https://www.facebook.com/WIONews/videos/671912879686017/ Read the whole story here : http://www.wionews.com/life-fun/if-the-cow-is-our-mother-then-so-is-a-woman-16903 InUth http://www.inuth.com/trends/social-virals/this-photo-series-has-women-in-cow-masks-since-cows-are-greater-than-women/ Ebela https://ebela.in/national/kolkata-guy-protested-against-misplaced-priorities-of-india-using-a-photo-series-dgtl-1.630782?ref=national-ft-stry%3Futm_source%3Dfacebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=fb_mab The Quint https://www.thequint.com/india/2017/06/20/sujatro-ghosh-photo-series-cows-masks-women-safety @indiatimesinsta http://www.indiatimes.com/news/india/23-yo-artist-uses-a-cow-mask-to-point-out-the-flaws-in-our-society-this-is-why-it-s-brilliant-324167.html The Indian Express (Web) http://indianexpress.com/photos/lifestyle-gallery/photographer-sujatro-ghosh-images-of-women-wearing-cow-mask-protests-indias-misplaced-priorities-4714059/ @buzzfeedindia https://www.buzzfeed.com/soniathomas/women-wore-cow-masks-to-question-if-cows-are-safer-than?bffbindia&utm_term=4ldqpgp#4ldqpgp @allindiabakchod https://www.facebook.com/IndiaBakchod/posts/1492152207495435:0 Indian Express (Print) http://epaper.indianexpress.com/m/1254019/Indian-Express/June-22,-2017#issue/25/1 and many more 🚣🏼‍♀ï¸ÂðŸŽ—🏆 I will be photographing women from different parts of the society. I would be more than happy if you reach out to me and want to get photographed or maybe join this form of protest. #RisingBeyondJingoism #misplacedpriorities #cow #protest #women

A post shared by Sujatro Ghosh (@sujatroghosh) onJun 22, 2017 at 8:33am PDT

He has taken about 30 photographs so far, and is raising money via crowdfunding to take the project across the country. But he has also been attacked on social media for the project, which some people see as belittling the cow.
"I hope people get the message and realise we need to
protect women with at least as much zeal as we protect cows,"
Ghosh said.
(Reporting by Rina Chandran @rinachandran, Editing by Emma
Batha. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the
charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian
news, women's rights, trafficking, property rights, climate
change and resilience. Visit news.trust.org to see more
stories.)

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