WHY DO YOU CREATE STRONG WOMEN CHARACTERS?
A question Joss Whedon (creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer) gets asked every single time by reporter after reporter (a question that Indian reporters may be spared from ever having to ask any man – or anyone – in TV or cinema here?)
This video gives you Whedon’s answer:
Guest post by PRONOY RAI
The serene, picturesque campus of the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati has been witnessing some very noteworthy events in the recent past. According to reports in the popular media, a professor at the institute’s biotechnology department was accused of sending obscene text messages to his PhD student over her phone. Though the professor pleaded innocence, claiming that messages were sent from his sim card that was stolen, the local police found this hard to believe. The professor has also been accused of harassing the student during other instances on campus. Upon receiving the advice of the ‘Working Women’s Committee’ of the institute, the professor was recently suspended. This narrative constructs for us a simple, fair story of a just state-society system. A person breaks the law, and he is disciplined, as one would expect in a fair democratic society. If only that was the case.
The suspension of the professor was not immediately followed by the submission of the report, let alone the filing of complaint at the institute and with the local police. On August 13, Amingaon police in Assam arrested the professor for sending obscene text messages to a student. The arrest happened because the student had to file a FIR in order to request a telecom company to reveal the identity of the owner of the phone, from where the obscene messages being sent to her, were emanating. The delay in the inaction of the institute administration is unjustified, but perhaps not very inexplicable. Continue reading Storm in a Calm IIT Campus Over a Sexual Harassment Case: Pronoy Rai
Guest Post by AMRITA NANDY
I have recently come to the US for a year. My “settling down” has happened under the viral shadows of the Rose Chasm debates. (See HERE and HERE)
Personally, the online exchanges struck a chord for me because I too, like Rose, am a student who is new in a foreign country and to its culture, trying to feel at home, adjust, mingle, accommodate and, most of all, make sense of some new experiences.
Before you point out that this juxtaposition of Rose’s context with mine is too simplistic and reductive, allow me to say “of course”.
Of course! A comparison, contrast or parallel of our respective experiences is not where I am headed to.
This is merely my account of being an outsider in America. More precisely, this is my attempt to engage with the articulation of fear in its many avatars and contexts.
Continue reading The Many Avatars of Fear: Amrita Nandy
Sri Lanka’s top UN Human Rights award winner Sunila Abeysekara died at a private hospital in Colombo on Monday afternoon after a long battle with cancer.
A founder of Sri Lanka’s feminist movement, Ms. Abeysekara was a leading socialist activist for minority rights, women’s, workers and peasants rights. Recently she was prominent on Lankan human rights issues at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. She was also a noted Sinhala folk and opera singer. Ms. Abeysekera, daughter of the late Charles Abeysekara, a noted human rights and social activist, founded Inform, a rights-based NGO. – Ends-
(Sunday Times ,Sri Lanka, Monday, 09 September 2013 19:02)
It was late 2002 when Delhi witnessed a public meeting of a different kind at Rajendra Bhavan. Hundreds of people from different walks of life – activists, writers, political workers, young students – had gathered there to witness the unveiling of an interim report prepared by an international panel of feminist activists which had visited Gujarat between 14th and 17th December, investigated the violence – particularly the physical and sexual – inflicted upon women since 27th February 2002.
The interim report prepared by the ‘International Initiative for Justice in Gujarat’ unequivocally stated : “this violence, which reflects a longer and larger genocidal project, in our view constitutes a crime against humanity and satisfies the legal definition of genocide, both of which are crimes of the most serious dimension under international law.” (http://www.onlinevolunteers.org/gujarat/reports/iijg/interimreport.htm)
The panelists included leading feminist scholars and activists from different parts of the world.
It was the first time that one had a chance to listen to Sunila Abeysekara. Continue reading Goodbye Sunila Abeysekara