“Cows are more important than a woman’s life” – cow mask photo protest in India


November 2, 2017

Photo: This is a snippet from one of Sujatro Ghosh’s photos. He told France24 this picture in front of the meat shop is one of his two favorites from the project (Sujatro Ghosh / via theweek.in)

Published on 02/11/2017

Earlier this year, the photographer Sujatro Ghosh started a photo project on Instagram, receiving widespread (social) media attention for addressing the status of women in India. In a contribution for “The 51% – A show about women reshaping our world”, France24 talked to him about his photo project.

Sujatro took pictures of women from different parts of society, sometimes posing in front of known monuments, other times simply in everyday situations – always wearing cow masks! Sujatro Ghosh stated that for him, this photo project was a silent form of protest and that he wanted to raise awareness for the issue. On his pictures on Instagram he writes: “In my country Cows are more important than a woman’s life with more security”.

Sujatro refers to the current social and political situation in India. An ongoing debate addresses the status of cows in India, where a lot of Hindus worship the animals while Muslims would eat their meat. Following the photographer’s statement, sexual assault and abuse of women on the other hand, are a severe problem, but should receive more attention. Though a rape is reported every 15 minutes (according to France24), waiting times for convictions are long and conviction rates remain low.

The photographer has not only received praise, but people have also sent him threats. Sujatro recognizes that such a deep-rooted problem “cannot change overnight” and points out that implementation of existing laws is difficult. But through his photos, he hopes to make people think about the issue and eventually contribute to change in India, in this generation or the next.

For more information and pictures, watch the whole interview (first half of the video) on YouTube or go to @sujatroghosh on Instagram.