The sultry afternoon of April 4 was delightfully different. Hundreds of women met at Ramlila Maidan in Kolkata’s Moulali and walked till Shyambazar. It was the Kolkata Chapter of Women’s March — organised by the city’s women and trans women’s groups. It was part of the march organised by women across India “to reject the current environment of hate and violence and to claim our constitutional rights as citizens of a democratic republic”.
There were posters, banners and slogans voicing the demand for change. One of the posters had lines from a poem by Shamsur Rahman. Others had quotes around social harmony and communal amity from poets and thinkers such as Rabindranath Tagore, Nazrul Islam, Lalon Fakir, and Begum Rokeya. The women were there as individuals, and not as representatives of any organisation.
There were over 150 marches across India on April 4 – rejecting “fascism, violence, hatred, communalism, patriarchy”.
Participants included the transgendered, transsexual, disabled, working class, Dalit, Muslim – and those irrespective of class, caste, gender, religious, linguistic identity. Here are some photographs taken by Smita Khator and another participant in the march.