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'The Rapist is You': Women Sang the Bengali Version of the Chilean Feminist Anthem to Oppose the CAA

The powerful protest song has struck a chord with all those fighting against the establishment and patriarchy across the globe.
13 January 2020, 11:19am
The rapist is you now has a Bengali version that Indian women are using to oppose CAA
Photo: Screenshots of a video showing women in Kolkata performing the anthem posted by Twitter user @ShoaibDaniyal

Protest and music generally go hand-in-hand to unite in the fight against the establishment and the toxic men who’ve built it. Considering most of the world is currently busy trying to break the system and make it a more inclusive place, the age of social media also sees us borrowing inspiration from each other’s movements.

Now, Indian women have made a Bengali version of the famous Chilean protest anthem “Un violador en tu camino” or “A Rapist in Your Path”, to oppose the highly contested Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). The song, popularly known as ‘The rapist is you’, was originally composed by a Chilean feminist collective in an atmosphere of increased sexual violence and anti-establishment protests. It has then been adopted in various ways across the world, more recently with women chanting it in unison outside disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein’s rape trial in New York. But given that even India is struggling with issues of sexual crimes and a government that wants to drive home a controversial, anti-Muslim Act despite all the dissent around it, it seems only fitting that this feminist war cry would be adapted for the Indian masses.

The Bengali translation titled “Dhorshok Tumii” was crafted by a group of women who met on social media. They then began practising the song at Kolkata’s Jadavpur University and first took it to the streets on January 4, when they performed it outside the city’s iconic New Market. However, they decided to take it up a notch when India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi decided to pay a visit to Kolkata, repeating their performance of the powerful piece on Saturday, January 11. “We wanted to highlight the patriarchal violence that Modi’s idea of a Hindu Rashtra represents,” Aopala Banerjee, one of the women from the group performing the anthem, told Scroll.

Using lines like “The fault is not with me / nor where I was / nor how I was dressed / The rapist is you!” this song is set to challenge the misogynistic status quo and victim blaming through a medium that is relatable and accessible to all.

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