New Delhi: As part of the Bas Ab Bahut Ho Gaya campaign to end violence against women and girls, a concert was organised in Mumbai on November 21, 2017 by Population Foundation of India (PFI), Men Against Rape and Discrimination (MARD), and Feroz Abbas Khan. The performers at the concert included singers Sukriti-Prakriti, Harshdeep Kaur, Armaan Malik, Salim-Sulaiman among others. Farhan Akhtar and his band performed the finale.
Special invitees to the show were the real heroes of this cause- who have made changes in their lives and that of others with the message to end all forms of violence against women and girls. The real heroes included Ladkuwar, the first girl in her district in Madhya Pradesh who went for higher education, despite threats of violence and abuse; Raju Raikwar and Rajesh Gupta, who talk to men in their village about the ills of domestic violence, and Karminder Kaur, a Haryana police officer who has led initiatives against child marriage and dowry in the state. Hindi movie megastar, Shah Rukh Khan, who has previously lent support for the campaign, was at the event and recited the “MARD” poem on stage. The crowd cheered on while Shah Rukh read,”… He who venerates women for their mind, body and soul, who ensures that their dignity will never be compromised, who never ever forgets that like him, she is an individual..”
The anticipation that the concert created was palpable- passes to the event were booked within hours of the online booking announcement. The run-up to the concert was also covered widely in the media; including opinion pieces by Farhan Akhtar and Poonam Muttreja, Executive Director, PFI on why masculinity must be delinked with violence and Feroz Abbas Khan, co-authored by Ms Muttreja on how domestic violence negatively impacts public health..
The concert resonated with messages on the need to address male dominance and gender inequality. Episodes of Sex ki Adalat, a unique webseries that addresses serious issues related to sexuality and gender norms, were shown at the concert.
The campaign had held a digital film contest for college students earlier in the year, which received over 1700 entries from 600 colleges. The three winning films as adjudged by the eminent jury (of Shabhana Azmi, Feroz Abbas Khan, Kiran Karnik and Shekhar Kapur) were also shown at the concert, and the winners felicitated.
The concert was hugely successful in getting it’s core message of ending violence against women and girls to the audience. The core audience watching the live-stream of the concert on Facebook amplified the message- the video has a total of 10,10,00 views till now. Bas Ab Bahut Ho Gaya, the campaign will continue to work towards building awareness of gender issues using entertainment and mass media. You can watch the concert here.