Published: 04th November 2019
Instagram group holds blindfold protest on Marine Drive to protest Walayar Case
Feminist social media page Too Much Equal called on their followers to gather for a blindfold protest to call out the rape case from 2017 and law enforcement's mishandling of it
Too Much Equal, the first feminist meme page in Kerala organised a peaceful protest outside the Ernakulam Shiva Temple on November 4, where all the protestors wore blindfolds - symbolic of their belief that justice had shut its eyes in this case. The protest was held under a code of peace to question the mishandling of the Walayar case and to highlight the frequency of such cases, The group reached the venue at 3:30 PM, each participant tied blindfolds onto their eyes and held up a placard that read 'Silence for Justice'. After 45 minutes of the silent demonstration, the group dispersed.
The page which is based on Instagram currently has more than 33,000 followers. Five days before they organised the event, they called on those who subscribe to them to gather at the venue with blindfolds and the appropriate placards. The idea was to hold a moment of silence in the name of justice to call out the rape case from 2017 and blindfold themselves to bring attention to the fact that law enforcement turns a blind eye to Dalit and women’s issues.
"When we first posted the invite, thousands of people responded,” says Rose Mary, Founder of the page. “Considering the reach that we have built as a group, we thought it was time to take that influence from social media and bring it to the streets. Too Much Equal was never meant to be a platform that simply makes people laugh, we thought humour was the only way to get people thinking. So this time, we are going to use silence as our weapon.”
On the day of the event, however, only eight people turned up to the venue. Rose Mary attributes it to a variety of reason. She explains, “From the very beginning, we had a feeling that people might not follow through on their online enthusiasm. Our invitations were given out on short notice. And we also had a last minute change of venue because of a few legal issues. The fact that these young people turned up at all in the middle of a working day, under on of the harshest suns is definitely cause for celebration. This is just a beginning for us.”
Linsha Watson, a Mechanical Engineering graduate from Mar Baselious College of Engineering and Technology, Trivandrum has been a follower of the page since it was first introduced and was one of the first protesters to show up. She says, “I was just waiting for an opportunity to respond to these shameful reports. I thought it was time to do something outside of social media, that was when the page put out a call for the protest. I was just grateful for the opportunity to do my part.”