Didi, I Want to Learn the Harmonium and Roam Around Freely: Samhita Barooah

Guest post by SAMHITA BAROOAH

During a visit to the Kishori Mandal at Apne Aap Women Worldwide’s Uttari Rampur Centre in Forbesganj I met some lovely girls. They stayed in the community near the red light area. They were eager to learn new things. They asked me my story of life, “Didi aapki kahani sunao? Aapne kaise yaha tak sangharsh kiya?” I was again very surprised to encounter the subversion of queries. I should have been the one to ask those questions to the girls, but they wanted to know more about me. Perceptual understanding is a perspective rooted in feminist standpoint theory which could apply to any context from the onlooker’s context. For the young girls from the Red Light Area in Forbesganj, I was trapped in some realities which connected me to them. That was why she asked me to share my story of struggle. When I said education enabled me to survive the world around me, they laughed and said that was not their story. They said, “For us we have to get married as soon as we are 18 years old but sometimes even earlier. We just want to enjoy our freedom now in this centre till we get married. After that we do not know what holds true for us.” As women whether we are in the Nat community of Bihar or we are in the liberated spaces of North East India, our identities get defined by our marriage, cultural practices and socialisation. Unbound freedom for women seems to be a misnomer which should be forbidden for women as the evolved souls say.

Continue reading “Didi, I Want to Learn the Harmonium and Roam Around Freely: Samhita Barooah”

Six Dead Villagers and a Lost Road: This did not happen at Baba Ramdev’s ‘Yoga Camp’ at Ramlila Ground in Delhi

Sometimes, thankfully, one does not need to write an over-long post to make a point.

Everybody knows how the entire television media has been giving enormous airtime to BJP and its allies giving vent to their outrage on the condemnable police action on Baba Ramdev’s ‘Yoga Camp’ in the Ramlila Maidan in New Delhi. One woman, named, Rajbala is still seriously injured. No casualties have been reported so far.

Though it must be said that Acharya Balkrishna, Baba Ramdev’s right hand man, seems to have had the pitch of his voice transposed a few octaves higher, giving his heartfelt statements at press-conferences the timbre of a dulcet castrati. I suppose, depending on how you look at the fate of Acharya Balkrishna’s vocal cords and other organs, that is a casualty. Continue reading “Six Dead Villagers and a Lost Road: This did not happen at Baba Ramdev’s ‘Yoga Camp’ at Ramlila Ground in Delhi”