Breaking the silence – Aritry Das

Breaking the Silence: Sometimes we repress our experiences because of trauma. This one day I was running out of a homestay in Dover Lane feeling violated. Much later I had managed to forget what caused that and lock the memory up in a distant silent box. A certain event has brought back those silenced memories now and age has taught me to see them in a new light.
Almost three years back I was interning for Emaho Magazine. I was recruited by its founding member Manik Katyal who was a facebook friend of mine. This one time when he came down to Calcutta for some work, he wanted to meet me and had asked me to go to where he was staying (in Dover Lane). Even after I had let him know that I was not comfortable going to his place as I did not know him much, he insisted that I do so. Being a timid, young girl at that point, I did go. Did not want to offend him – I took him as someone superior to me in rank.
When I was in Manik’s room he offered me a drink. I did not want to drink, but he coerced me into drinking anyway. Then, without asking for my permission he started to get physical with me and chose to ignore the fact that I have said NO a several time. A NO is a NO is a NO. But I gave in after a while. I failed to fight back in a strong manner back then. Do I regret it? Yes, I do.
I managed to stop him after a while and left his place. Later on whenever I thought about it I felt disgusted. I knew something was wrong about all of that. Then I was enlightened by the concept of “CONSENT” and structures of sexual harassment and gender oppression.
All of this came back to me with a critical understanding as I saw Emaho has now created a committee to prevent Discrimination and Sexual Harassment. The hypocrisy of all of it is just too much and I have also got to know that fact that he has done this shit to a lot of women. I was not the only person. It just pissed me off and I decided to share my experience.
Sharing the story of your oppression, I believe, only empowers you, and others who have faced the same. I am writing this for all the women whom he has done similar things to, and this is to let you know sister, we all stand together in this and we must stand tall. There’s no shame. However, there is much anger and let’s spread that anger.
#SurvivorsAgainstEmaho #ShameManikKatiyal

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