Before last year’s gangrape incident, Delhi Police had put up posters and boards outside police stations to spread awareness about various measures taken to protect women and children. Featuring portraits of five women at different stages of life — child, teenager, woman, working woman and an old lady — the brightly coloured posters grabbed the attention of passersby. Police wanted to project a “protective and caring” image towards the city’s women. The message on the poster was: “Jeevan ke har mod par, hum aapke saath hain (at every step in life, we are with you)”. The official email address of then Police Commissioner B K Gupta and numbers of women’s helpline and anti-stalking cell also featured on the billboards. However, after the December 16 Delhi gangrape, the billboards have been removed from most police stations. Police has hired celebrities, including actor-director Farhan Akhtar, to improve its image. In the Delhi Police advertisement, Akhtar’s message is: “Indians and Delhiites, protect and respect women”.
Valentine’s Day celebrations in Delhi University were somewhat subdued. The annual tradition of Hindu College, involving worship of Damdami Mai (Goddess of Love), believed to reside on the college premises at the V (virgin) Tree, witnessed a change this year. Every year, an actress is worshipped as Damdami Mai. A few days before February 14, students said apart from an actress, a Hindi film actor will also be worshipped this year. However, following protests by some students who called the tradition discriminatory, they decided not to portray
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