Calcutta, a Sisyphean task

Calcutta is a city where one can drown. Not only during the monsoon period. Not only because of many people. But also because of the many problems, because of the many things that go terribly wrong – and the change we want so much. Rita Banerji lives in the middle. She spent 11 years working at a university in the United States. Perhaps the comparison of cultures has made her sharp-sighted for societal ills. Perhaps it is her strong but from birth inducted sense of justice, that she has become a political activist, a consistent and energetic women’s rights activist in her country. Therefore she produces not only photos while strolling through the streets of Calcutta. There are wonderful shots: 1) The rush of happy cyclists in the roaring monsoon rain, red buses going by. 2) Typewriter-owners have opened on the sidewalks their offices to help illiterate. 3) Foppish white-clad police officers, who seem to have been chosen as the only major task to protect themselves with a giant umbrella vs. the wickedness of the sun.
But Rita Banerji suffers under the knowledge, that the basic evil is not the sun, but that millions of girls (over the decades in India), which were killed after birth or have already been aborted as an embryo before. This does not disturb the officer with the white and clean clothes. The bigotry is, that (although legally there is equality between women and men) actually women still are second class human beings. That rule is based on longstanding marriage customs. This bigotry could pull us into a rage. Rita Banerji made many statements, petitions and resolutions (including to the UN) demanding, that the administration of the state India should more proceed vigorously against the murderous arrogance that prevails against women in India. She has written a book (“Sex and power”), organized discussions, posted websites about the topic DOWRY DEATH. One wishes to see her rather drowning in success than to discover, that she gets overwhelmed in her Sisyphean task. But it is not possible to succeed with the goal to change things during one generation, to eliminate things, which have accumulated many previous generations of feeble-mindedness.

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for to translate the German part into English
I’ve added an html-code (only google-machine):
translate good German to bad English

Kalkutta ist eine Stadt, in der man ertrinken kann. Nicht nur während der Monsoon-Zeit. Nicht nur wegen der vielen Menschen. Sondern auch wegen der vielen Probleme, wegen der vielen Dinge, die so furchtbar falsch laufen, – und die man so gern verändern möchte. Rita Banerji lebt mittendrin. Sie hat zwischendurch eine Zeitspanne an einer Universität in den USA verbracht. Vielleicht hat der Vergleich der Kulturen sie scharfsichtig gemacht für gesellschaftliche Mißstände. Vielleicht ist es aber ein ihr von Geburt an eingegebenes starkes Gerechtigkeitsgefühl, dass sie zu einer politischen Aktivistin, zu einer konsequenten und energischen Frauenrechtlerin in ihrem Land hat werden lassen. So macht sie nicht nur Fotografien, wenn sie durch Kalkutta streift, von fröhlichen Radfahrern die im prasselnden Monsoon-Regen neben roten Bussen her sausen.

balancing umbrellas
title=”balancing umbrellas” by Rita Banerji

Von Schreibmaschine-Schreibern, die auf den Bürgersteigen ihre Büros eröffnet haben, um Analphabeten zu helfen. Von geckenhaft weiß gekleideten Polizisten, die sich als einzige Hauptaufgabe auserkoren zu haben scheinen, sich mit einem überdimensionalen Sonnenschirm vor der Bosheit der Sonne zu schützen. Die Bosheit, die darin liegt, dass im Laufe der Jahrzehnte in Indien Millionen von Mädchen nach der Geburt getötet wurden oder bereits vorher abgetrieben wurden – dies sieht der Polizist scheinbar nicht. Die Bigotterie, die darin liegt, dass zwar gesetzlich eine Gleichheit zwischen Frauen und Männern herrscht, dass aber faktisch darüber hinweggesehen wird, dass aufgrund althergebrachter Heiratsbräuche Frauen Menschen zweiter Klasse sind – diese Bigotterie könnte einen in Wut ertrinken lassen. Rita Banerji hat viele Statements und Resolutionen (auch an die UNO) darüber verfasst, dass energischer gegen die mörderische Arroganz vorgegangen wird, die Frauen gegenüber in Indien waltet. Sie hat ein Buch darüber geschrieben, Podiumsdiskussionen organisiert, Webseiten darüber verfasst. Man wünscht ihr, dass sie eher im Erfolg ertrinkt als darin, bei ihrer Sisyphus-Arbeit entdecken zu müssen, dass in einer Generation nicht gelingen kann, zu verbessern, gar zu beseitigen, was viele vorausgehende Generationen an Schwachsinn aufgehäuft haben.
The fashion police + The Letter Writer
title=”The fashion police” by rita banerji + title=”The Letter Writer” by rita banerji

related websites:
http://ritabanerji.wordpress.com/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/rita_banerji/
http://50millionmissing.wordpress.com/
petition-to-stop-female-genocide-femicide-gendercide-in-india/
kampf-gegen-weiblichen-völkermord-in-indien/

About frizztext

websites: 1 - my daily wordpress blog "flickrcomments" at FLICKRCOMMENTS, 2 - my own photos at frizztext, 3 - flickr group group: BLOG IT!

27 responses to “Calcutta, a Sisyphean task

  1. Thank you dear Dietmar! You are the most marvelous and supportive friend I have!

    Like

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  4. http://eof737.wordpress.com/2011/01/30/practice-compassion-our-wellness-depends-on-it/#comment-2553

    opposite to the method of Gandhi is to use rage and thinking consequently – with peaceful results nevertheless: compare my article RAGE

    http://flickrcomments.wordpress.com/2011/01/26/rage/

    about the peaceful reunification of East and West Germany.

    Like

  5. Oh, I remember this…. yes I see the point of view but it is not the whole picture… :-)
    E
    By the way,
    Can you add a social network button to your blog. I wanted to tweet your post but the button is missing… WordPress has set it up for you; just have to add the widget to your blog.
    Go to Dashboard-> Appearance-> Widgets and you can hover and move them into your primary widget box. It should already be set up and you don’t need to do much but copy the URL for your sites and add them to the right box.
    Try it! :-)

    Like

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  9. IMG_9681a
    photo by by subhadeep mondal2010, on Flickr
    sent to my group BLOG IT!

    Like

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  15. related:
    Kamakshi

    Link: http://picturesqueworld.wordpress.com/

    Gravatar Profile: http://gravatar.com/kamakshiv

    not from: Guwahati, Assam, India
    but from: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

    Like

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