Credits : Payan Basu

#hokkolorob: Protests continue during Durga Pujo @ Maddox Square

In a fitting response to the numerous rumors of the #hokkolorob movement dying out with the advent of the pujos, the students organised yet anther peaceful protest at Maddox Square, the epicentre of pujo culture, on Ashtami.With speculations rife with stories that the government was waiting for the pujos as a sort of diversion, to distract the discontent masses from such issues of gender violence, the protesters convened to keep flame of revolution alive during the 4 days of Bengali denial of societal breakdown.
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A gathering, organized on the 2nd of October,met at 5PM on the Square grounds populated with pandal hoppers. “We got to know from our friends that people had tried entering the pandal premises with the posters of hokkolorob and had been refused entry by the pujo committee members on the grounds that they had been showcaused by Lalbazar the previous night, chiding them for having agreed to let a demonstration of this sort take place in the premises of the ground” said a protestor. After learning of this, a discussion took place outside the pandal. This discussion led to the decision that a group of people would go in bearing posters to see how the authorities might react to the fact that the pandal was situated on public property i.e Maddox Square. The protestors had even agreed to not use slogans, restricting themselves to sitting inside the premises with the posters in hand. The authorities were of the opinion that any such demonstration would “disturb the sanctified atmosphere of the pujo”.

10712956_638257032961311_8475003404078999014_n waits 1013193_638257596294588_3524698415104542835_n The team which went in were met by a representatives of the pujo committee who were visibly agitated by the developements. The lawyer who was working for the movement accompanied the protestors and stated to them that a restriction of this kind was an open violation of human rights. This was promptly met with- “Dada, pujor shomoy fundamental rights maraben na.” (Do not bother us with fundamental rights during pujo) and “Amra ekhono gaayer jor byabohar korini, byabohar kortye baddhyo korben na.” (We have not used physical force yet, do not compel us to). However, they let the protestors know that they would support the movement, provided the demonstration was held outside the pandal.

1453392_638256132961401_4625268577136001422_n 1654247_638257526294595_8287811144513240051_nAfter such interaction, around 250 people gathered in the locale around the pandal and park. Intrigued, many pandal hoppers joined the demonstration, taking pictures while slogans were being chanted and songs were being sung. The demonstration continued for around 2 hours, and did not obstruct traffic flow. The protesters even ensured that traffic moved smoothly so as to avoid congestion. 1656169_638257579627923_2930691140352616706_n 1926786_638255279628153_684267347236643330_n 1972316_638255816294766_7687332790805494491_n 10151746_638255772961437_1173134935641620082_n 10304345_638257642961250_6504614008397419366_n 10469375_638256259628055_4459498902434525634_n 10534724_638257382961276_3131951838065511801_n 10592816_638257549627926_6478364940701725167_n 10612928_638255889628092_7437670833720631323_n 10626686_638256086294739_7047758791019659304_n 10628076_638257582961256_420174570265653575_n 10632738_638255986294749_3635741374612548299_n
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