In India, it is apparently only through art or Twitter that we seem to protest. Meet Sujatro Ghosh who through his latest photo-series is hoping to put across the point of warped priorities and highlight the need to end the never-ending debate about cow protection -when there is so much more we can obviously pay attention to. That protection of cows has suddenly taken precedence over a woman’s life in our country, does not quite present a picture of a balanced (or even sensible) society. The debate over the continued consumption of beef has even claimed the life of people whose only fault it seems was to not guard their fridge / pantry.

Ghosh decided to photograph women from different parts of the society but with a twist – they all have to wear a cow mask. The photographer from Kolkata is nothing short of an artist as he has skillfully used the debate on cow protection and cow vigilantes in his photography project.

The parallel he draws between the growing concerns of women safety in India and the flawed loyalties of cow protection is commendable.

The 24-year old took up this photo series showcasing women from different age groups donning his new innovating fashion trend, a new moral safety helmet, a cow mask. Here are some of his exploits from the photo series:

My art comes as a form of protest. In my country Cows are more important than a woman’s life with more security. (Reference: Majority of Hindus believe cow as their holy animal and they worship it though Majority of Muslims consume it as a part of their daily meal.) The debate is never ending “Whether to consume or worship it” but gaining political benefits out of it is wrong. Why not let the people decide what they want to consume. I will be photographing women from different parts of the society. This is silent form of protest which starts from India Gate, one of the most visited sights in India. I would be more than happy if you reach out to me and want to get photographed or maybe join this form of protest. #RisingBeyondJingoism #WHPstandout #indiagate #cow #women #protest #womenpower #weekend #indiarising #workingwomen #live #animals #love #laugh #bluesky #standup #everydayeverywhere #indiaphotoproject #everydayindia #womenphotographers #myfeatureshoot

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My art comes as a form of protest. In my country Cows are more important than a woman’s life with more security. (Reference: Majority of Hindus believe cow as their holy animal and they worship it though Majority of Muslims consume it as a part of their daily meal.) The debate is never ending “Whether to consume or worship it” but gaining political benefits out of it is wrong. Why not let the people decide what they want to consume. I will be photographing women from different parts of the society. I would be more than happy if you reach out to me and want to get photographed or maybe join this form of protest. #RisingBeyondJingoism #maternal #cow #women #protest #womenpower #weekend #indiarising #workingwomen #live #animals @instagram #love #laugh #mortality #standup #everydayeverywhere #indiaphotoproject #everydayindia #womenphotographers #myfeatureshoot

A post shared by Sujatro Ghosh (@sujatroghosh) on

My art comes as a form of protest. In my country Cows are more important than a woman’s life with more security. (Reference: Majority of Hindus believe cow as their holy animal and they worship it though Majority of Muslims consume it as a part of their daily meal.) The debate is never ending “Whether to consume or worship it” but gaining political benefits out of it is wrong. Why not let the people decide what they want to consume. I will be photographing women from different parts of the society. I would be more than happy if you reach out to me and want to get photographed or maybe join this form of protest. #RisingBeyondJingoism #travel #cow #women #protest #womenpower #trains #indiarising #workingwomen #live #animals @instagram #love #laugh #mortality #standup #everydayeverywhere #indiaphotoproject #everydayindia #womenphotographers #myfeatureshoot

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My art comes as a form of protest. In my country Cows are more important than a woman’s life with more security. (Reference: Majority of Hindus believe cow as their holy animal and they worship it though Majority of Muslims consume it as a part of their daily meal.) The debate is never ending “Whether to consume or worship it” but gaining political benefits out of it is wrong. Why not let the people decide what they want to consume. I will be photographing women from different parts of the society. I would be more than happy if you reach out to me and want to get photographed or maybe join this form of protest. (Unable to disclose name for security reasons) says : “The mask instils a feeling of closure in the world of creepy gazes and lewd comments. This makes me feel empowered and safe. Empowered because I can raise my voice against these political miscreants and safe because it conceals my identity.” #RisingBeyondJingoism #WHPstandout #bedroom #cow #women #protest #womenpower #politics #indiarising #phonecall #live #animals #love #laugh #art #conversation #everydayeverywhere #indiaphotoproject #everydayindia #womenphotographers #myfeatureshoot

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My art comes as a form of protest. In my country Cows are more important than a woman’s life with more security. (Reference: Majority of Hindus believe cow as their holy animal and they worship it though Majority of Muslims consume it as a part of their daily meal.) The debate is never ending “Whether to consume or worship it” but gaining political benefits out of it is wrong. Why not let the people decide what they want to consume. I will be photographing women from different parts of the society. I would be more than happy if you reach out to me and want to get photographed or maybe join this form of protest. Suchismita says: “As a woman, the question of harassment and insecurity has been a part and parcel of my life. And even more so, as I left my home and went to another city for my higher studies. But in the past few years, this question has been at the forefront in every single discourse. Rather than addressing it, there have been repeated examples of sidelining it with more trivial matters. In a country with astounding levels of rape, molestation, abuse and other manners of crimes perpetrated against women, it is beyond sick that the matter of cow protection and religion has more traction. What use are protected cows and religious sentiments if half the population of the country needs to live in constant threat in order to facilitate it? When I saw the rather innovative idea used to engage with the cow protectionist camp, I decided I had to be on board. These last few years, I’ve realised injecting humour is the only way to tackle these idiots. If we take offence at everything they say and do, then there lies no essential difference between them and us. The campaign in that sense, is quite mooving.” #RisingBeyondJingoism #WHPstandout #market #cow #women #protest #womenpower #politics #indiarising #inquisitiveindian #live #animals #love #laugh #art #men #everydayeverywhere #indiaphotoproject #everydayindia #womenphotographers #myfeatureshoot

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One of his subject Nicole was quoted in his Facebook post:

At least if I walk down the streets in a cow mask, my chances of being harassed will probably be slim. No one wants to harass anyone who looks like a deity or a representative of a deity.

Also Read: This Canadian’s photo-series documents the longest train ride in India

From the beef ban to the cow vigilante groups, the language of extremism has transformed into a national debate. Ghosh’s photo essay ventures into the socio-political debate that is have been prevailing in the country. His project is an effort to create awareness of this issue and rope in as many women into the project as possible. It is a collaborative effort to bring in as many voices as possible, however, his project is nowhere near completion as he hopes to keep adding to his existing series. Considering the response of his work on social media, the encouragement resonates with a number of people who are willing to participate in the project now.

An alumnus of Jamia Millia Islamia’s AJKMCRC department, Ghosh has previously studied photography and is now a freelance artist.

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