Category Archives: Feminism

Bar Association in Kerala suspends woman lawyer…

…for her Facebook post on the “silly” behaviour of her male colleagues, who

address women as ‘sugar candy’ ‘dear’ and follow them with comments such as ‘you are so beautiful’ and the like. All of them follow the ‘Prem Nazir’ style of old Malayalam films. They dont seem to be familiar with newer films. It’s the same old way of making women either lovers or sisters; destroying them either by ‘caring’ for them or ‘keeping’ them. I pity all those who follow such a style.

Anima Muyarath’s Facebook post in Malayalam here.

Ah, would that Calicut Bar Association had acted with such alacrity to discipline and re-train its male members.

In Tragic and Tough Times – Thoughts in the Wake of A Rape Charge and a Suicide: Sucheta De and Shivani Nag

Guest Post by SUCHETA DE and SHIVANI NAG

In Tragic and Tough Times, Let Us be True to Our Democratic and Gender-Just Principles.

We are confronted by a painful episode involving a rape charge and a suicide, that poses many tough and tangled questions to us – as the JNU community and also as individuals and activists committed to secularism, democracy and gender justice. Let us, for a moment, reiterate what one of the late Khurshid Anwar’s friends has said in his recent post on Kafila: the suicide does not prove him guilty of the charge of rape, and it does not prove his innocence either.

The suicide is a horrible, tragic occurrence – and it is a tragedy we should not compound with irresponsible utterances. A charge of rape does not necessarily turn the accused into a convicted rapist. True. And equally truly, it does not turn the woman making the charge, overnight, into a slut, a murderer, or a communal/political conspirator. Continue reading In Tragic and Tough Times – Thoughts in the Wake of A Rape Charge and a Suicide: Sucheta De and Shivani Nag

On the Death of Khurshid Anwar: Kalyani Menon Sen and Kavita Krishnan

Guest Post by KALYANI MENON SEN & KAVITA KRISHNAN

(Find Hindi translation below the English statement)

We are deeply shocked and saddened by the death of Khurshid Anwar.

As activists committed to ending violence against women, we have been trying to ensure the due process of law and justice in relation to the allegations against Khurshid Anwar. Continue reading On the Death of Khurshid Anwar: Kalyani Menon Sen and Kavita Krishnan

Ganguly Must Go – Chairs of Rights Bodies Must be Above Reproach

Statement from Women’s Groups Across India on 16 December 2013

Exactly one year ago, the gang-rape of a young woman triggered immense outrage across the board, putting freedom from rape and sexual assault at the forefront of public debate. From law reform to overhaul of institutions of justice delivery, from media sensitization to public awareness, women’s safety is now squarely on the public agenda, thanks to mass protests. Ironically, during those very protests, on 24 December 2012, a young lawyer revealed that a retired judge of the highest court in land had sexually harassed her while she was working with him as an intern, and that she was unable to speak about it only ten months later.

According to her statement, Justice (Retd) A.K. Ganguly currently the Chairman of the West Bengal Human Rights Commission said, “’You know that I’m attracted to you, don’t you? You must be thinking, what, this old man is getting drunk and saying such things. But I really like you, I love you’. When I tried to move away, he kissed my arm and repeated that he loved me.” This is not merely inappropriate behavior by a senior over junior staff or interns; it is not merely over-stepping of boundaries; it is not merely friendly overtures: such acts constitute a clear case of abuse of power and sexual harassment at the workplace.  Continue reading Ganguly Must Go – Chairs of Rights Bodies Must be Above Reproach

Suresh Koushal v. Naz Foundation: Pratiksha Baxi

Suresh Koushal v. Naz Foundation directs law’s violence on the body of the Constitution of India. Proclaiming colonial law as constitutional, the Supreme Court negates its role in the making of postcolonial constitutionalism. It departs from the theatres of comparative constitutionalism in the post–colonies, which used Naz to strengthen their battles against Macaulay’s legacies. Today the Supreme Court is cited amongst the infamous precedents of injustice that mark Indian legal history. Dubbed as ADM Jabalpur 2, the judgment declares sexual emergency on LGBT communities. By breathing life into s. 377, the Supreme Court attaches a badge of stigma on the body of Constitution.

Taking a jurispathic turn, the Supreme Court asserts that equality is subservient to scale by claiming that the LGBT community is a “miniscule fraction of the country’s population”. Inventing the category of a miniscule minority, the Supreme Court implies that equality provisions will apply only to numerically preponderant body populations. Thereby, overwriting equality jurisprudence by the insidious politics of numbers.  Continue reading Suresh Koushal v. Naz Foundation: Pratiksha Baxi

The Anti-Rape Movement -The Political Vision of ‘Naari Mukti/Sabki Mukti’: Kavita Krishnan

Guest Post by KAVITA KRISHNAN

Anti Rape Protest at CM Shiela Dixit's House, Photo by Vijay Kumar
Anti Rape Protest at CM Shiela Dixit’s House, Photo by Vijay Kumar

A year ago, a massive movement erupted on the streets of Delhi and the country – against the brutal gangrape of a young woman on a bus, leading to her death. Looking back at that movement a year later, it is clear that the questions, concerns and above all the tensions and debates embedded in that movement are with us still – and are quite crucial to the political discourse around us.

Continue reading The Anti-Rape Movement -The Political Vision of ‘Naari Mukti/Sabki Mukti’: Kavita Krishnan

Petition to Withdraw the ‘Golden Mother’ Award by the University of Calicut

To
Prof. M. Abdul Salam, Vice-Chancellor, University of Calicut
Members of the Syndicate, University of Calicut

The University of Calicut has recently announced the institution of a ‘Golden Mother Award,’ with the stated objective of highlighting “the contribution of mothers to societal development and nation building and to provide exemplary models to youngsters.” Mothers in the age group of 50+ and who are actively contributing to their domains of service will be considered for awards in eighteen categories such as Art, Literature, Teaching, Social work, Politics, Administration, Media, Sports, Agriculture, Entrepreneurship, Engineering, Medicine, Research, Law and judiciary, Police and Banking, Nominations from educational institutions, trade unions, LSGIs, NGOs and other organizations or from individuals themselves are to be submitted to the Director, Centre for Women’s Studies at the University.

Firstly, this attempt to glorify motherhood is blatantly patriarchal, anti-woman, anti-democratic and a move that pulls society back to the mores of a traditional morality. It implies that a woman’s place is at home and that her principal responsibility (and hers alone) is giving birth to children and rearing them. It pays little heed to contemporary feminist critiques of motherhood as not primarily a biological destiny, one that is made problematic by conditions of poverty, deprivation and societal violence. In ignoring new forms of motherhood and parentage such as adoption, single mothers, and so on, it also upholds elitist, casteist, and patriarchal conceptions of family and womanhood. Continue reading Petition to Withdraw the ‘Golden Mother’ Award by the University of Calicut