On a sunny afternoon in the city, a group of women in traditional garb and white chadors gathered to talk about the future of their community.
The men gathered for a discussion on the future.
The conversation was interrupted by a woman shouting: “This is what is happening here.”
A few minutes later, a man with a bullhorn was shouting: “No more girls here.
No more girls.”
He was talking about the construction of the new villas and the imminent demolition of the older villas.
The women in the room, however, didn’t take this threat lying down.
They started chanting “we are not being silent” and “no more girls”.
They went on to demand the removal of the old villas from their properties, which had been demolished, and the re-construction of all the remaining homes.
The issue has been bubbling since May.
The development has caused anger and anger over the city’s reputation.
It has also led to complaints against some of the developers and the city authorities.
As the discussion rumbled on, a passerby stopped them.
“I’m a journalist,” he said.
“You can’t say that to me.”
“I have not received any complaints,” the woman replied.
“But I will ask the local police.
If there is any violence, you should not talk to the media.”
The woman also took the initiative to call up the police commissioner, S Raghavan.
A few days earlier, the Commissioner had expressed his concern over the demolition of two villas on the edge of the city that were reportedly being used by a few men for sexual activity.
The Commissioner, in a letter to the city administration, said that the building of villas in such a way, especially on the outskirts of the metropolis, was a violation of social norms.
“The situation is getting out of control,” he wrote.
“If the development is going on, we must stop it.”
A week ago, the women in this meeting had called the commissioner.
“They were protesting the demolition,” the one woman said.
The woman said the Commissioner was “stunned” by their efforts.
“He was very worried,” she said.
She added that the woman was “a woman” who “had been silent”.
The Commissioner’s letter to residents of the neighbourhood was also met with anger.
“He didn’t ask for any input,” the man in the conversation said.
The woman, however.
had a different view.
“We should have called the police,” she replied.
She was also angry with the Commissioner for not having done more to stop the demolition.
“I don’t want to live in the same house,” she complained.
“Where do we go?
What do we do?
We will not be silent.”
A few hours later, the woman called up the women from the meeting.
“Now you have reached a point where you are saying things like ‘we will not tolerate this anymore’,” she said, gesturing at the meeting room.
“And now we are saying, ‘no more’.” The conversation then turned to the issues surrounding the eviction of the villas by the developers.
The women agreed with the commissioner that the eviction should not be allowed.
When the group spoke about the situation in their neighbourhood, they talked about the eviction and the eviction as a community.
“How many people are left here?
How many people do we have left?” the woman asked.
“One woman said: ‘We have lived here for two years’,” the woman said, “and it is still the same.
They will have to demolish the whole neighbourhood.”