An image of a gender rights activist in an unconventionally draped sari from 2019 Kolkata Pride Walk is doing the rounds on social media with netizens misidentifying her as a Jawaharlal Nehru Univeristy (JNU) student protesting against Hindu culture during the anti Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) agitation in Delhi.
Netizens are sharing the image with the narrative that takes a dig at the person's unconventional attire; the narrative further claims that JNU students who claim to be progressive are protesting against Hindu women wearing saris, bindis and sindoor.
The image is being circulated with a Hindi caption that reads, ''You will not understand the photo. Let us explain-they are progressive students of JNU, they are opposed to why Hindu women wear sarees, bindi, and vermilion, to protest they have gone on the road. The story is not over yet , look behind, a boy is wearing a traditional dress (saffron dhoti, kurta) and has earrings in his nose. It is opposed that this dress is for women and men should oppose it. Do you know when this gimmick was done, at the time of CAA protest. What does this relate to CAA ?? What is its relation to JNU's education ?? Could you resist Hindu culture ?? This is a mental disorder that the leftists call today.''
(Original caption in Hindi: ''फ़ोटो आपको समझ नही आएगा....हम समझाते है...ये #JNU के प्रगतिशील छात्र है इनका विरोध है कि हिन्दू महिलाएं साड़ी, बिंदी, ओर सिंदूर क्यो लगाती है...इसका विरोध करने सड़क पर निकले है...रुकिए रुकिए...कहानी अभी खत्म नही हुए...पीछे नजर घुमाईये..एक लड़का एक शास्त्रीय ड्रेस (भगवा धोती, कुर्ता) पहने है और नाक में बाली ओर मांग में सिंदूर डाले है...उसका यह विरोध है कि यह ड्रेस महिलाओं की है ओर इसका विरोध पुरुषों को करना चाहिए...आपको पता है ये नौटँकी कब की गई....#CAA के विरोध के समय.....अब आप सोचिये इसका CAA से क्या सम्बन्ध?? इसका JNU की पढ़ाई से क्या सम्बन्ध?? इसका #हिन्दू_संस्कृति से क्या विरोध??यह #मानसिक_विकृत है जिसे आज #वामपंथ कहते है''
It is also being shared on Twitter with a similar narrative. One such tweet reads, ''JNU Progressive students oppose Hindu women who wear saree, bindi, vermilion. A boy wearing a saffron dhoti, a kurta, an earring in his nose, a vermilion in demand, men opposing Hindu women. JNU opposes Hindu culture. This is mental impairment like leftists say.''
BOOM ran a reverse image search and found a Bengali article by news outlet Khashkhobor, which identified the person in the picture as Panchali Kar, a theater practitioner, gender rights activist and intersectional feminist based out of Kolkata. The article is about Panchali's unconventional and controversial posts on social media.
BOOM then reached out to Panchali Kar who dismissed the claim that the incident took place at a CAA protest by students against Hindu culture.(Panchali Kar is an intersectional feminist and prefers to be identified with the pronouns they/them) Kar said, ''This picture is making rounds since 2019. It is from Kolkata Pride Walk. Yes, there has been anti-CAA slogans in pride walks because as much pride stands for LGBTQIA+ rights, it equivocally stands up against majoritarian oppression. This picture has got nothing to do with JNU.''
We also found an image of Kar wearing the same drape on their Facebook profile at Kolkata Pride 2019.
Kolkata Pride Walk is an yearly event that takes place in the city. Pride Walk celebrates the LGBTQIA+ preferences of people. Although anti-CAA slogans were raised in the 2019 event, the parade did not protest against the Hindu culture.
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