In 2016 alone at least 12 molestations and 6 rapes were reported daily in India. The increasing violence against women has sparked several campagins across the nation. However, one has stood out – Kolkata artist Sujatro Ghosh has taken photos of herself and several other women across India wearing a cow mask.
Historically, the Indian cow is considered sacred and beef is not eaten in most parts of the country. Through her campaign, Ghosh is trying to convey the irony of how the cause of protecting the Indian cow is being given so much importance yet the cause of protecting indian women is being given very little. The conviction rate for those who sexually offend women has dropped 50% since last year. However, in the last year the government has turned a blind-eye towards the lynching of civilians. Hindu fundamentalists have attacked and even lynched individuals who they believed had harmed a cow in any way.
Ghosh argues that women should at the least be given some level of respect comparable to that of the cow by the Indian government. Ghosh along with many other women continue to wear these masks in the hope that some day these patriarchal attitudes and violence will come to a halt.