Tag Archives: Kiss of Love

‘Radical’ Critics and KaBodyscapes

What does it mean to dissent in a world in which everyone claims to be a dissenter? What does it take to build a critical vantage-point, one that is not merely the easy pastime of fault-finding, when we all seem to already know what will be truly critical? Ever since the oppositional energy generated against Hindutva fascism in and through the Kiss of Love campaigns dissipated into the rival folds of the Human and the Anti-Human in Kerala, these questions have troubled me. The prospect of being sucked into one side of such a binary formation is terrifying enough to scare one away from  engaging with either side; but worse is the pain that follows the realization that the unique moment of hope – the hope that the diverse groups that populate the anti-Hindutva civil society may well be able to form a bond of trust, however tentative and fragile, more than merely strategic connections – is well and truly in the past. Both sides have indulged in belligerent and damaging caricaturing of each other’s positions, as if the annihilation of the other was the very condition of the survival of the one. Continue reading ‘Radical’ Critics and KaBodyscapes

Save Yo Drama for Yo Mama :യഥാർത്ഥരക്ഷകർത്താക്കളോട് കലിപ്പ് തീർത്തുകൊള്ളുക

എസ് ഐ ഒ നേതാവിനോട് ഒരു ചോദ്യം ചോദിച്ചതും, അതാ ‘നിങ്ങളുടെ രക്ഷാകർതൃത്വം ഞങ്ങൾക്കാവശ്യമില്ല‘ എന്ന ആക്രോശം മുസ്ലിം റാഡിക്കൽ സ്ത്രീപുരുഷ ആക്ടിവിസ്റ്റുകളിൽ നിന്നുമുണ്ടായിരുക്കുന്നു. അവരുടെ കൂക്കിവിളിക്ക് ആക്കം കൂട്ടാൻ ചില ദലിത് സിംഹങ്ങളും സട കുടഞ്ഞെഴുന്നേറ്റിരിക്കുന്നു. അവരുടെ തന്ത്രങ്ങൾ പരിചിതങ്ങളാണ് – മുൻപ് ചുംബനസമരം നടന്ന സമയത്ത് പയറ്റിയ ചില അടവുകളാണ് അവ. എന്നെ ‘അധികാരത്തെ മോശമായി പ്രയോഗിക്കുന്ന പവർഫുൾ സ്ത്രീ’ എന്നും, ഷാഹിനയെ ‘ചീത്ത മുസ്ലിം’ എന്നും, അരുന്ധതിയെ ‘സവർണ്ണസ്ത്രീശരീര’മെന്നുമൊക്കെ ആദ്യമായല്ല മുദ്രകുത്തുന്നത്. അങ്ങനെ ചെയ്താൽ ഞങ്ങൾ പറയുന്നതു മുഴുവൻ തെറ്റാണെന്ന് മറ്റുള്ളവർ ധരിച്ചുകൊള്ളുമെന്ന ശുദ്ധഗതി കലർന്ന പ്രത്യാശയിലാണ് ഇതു ചെയ്തു കൂട്ടുന്നത്. മുസ്ലിം സമുദായത്തെ ചില വാർപ്പു മാതൃകകളിലേക്കു ചുരുക്കുന്ന രീതി സ്വീകാര്യമല്ലെന്ന് വാതോരാതെ കരയുന്നവർ തന്നെയാണ് ഈ പണി ചെയ്യുന്നതെന്നത് തീർച്ചയായും കൌതുകകരം തന്നെ. Continue reading Save Yo Drama for Yo Mama :യഥാർത്ഥരക്ഷകർത്താക്കളോട് കലിപ്പ് തീർത്തുകൊള്ളുക

ചീത്തകളെ തള്ളിക്കള: നഹാസ് മാളയ്ക്ക് തുറന്ന കത്ത്

പ്രിയ നഹാസ് മാള

‘ഓൺലൈൻ പെൺവാണിഭം:  വിശദമായ അന്വേഷണം വേണം – എസ് ഐ ഒ’ എന്ന തലക്കെട്ടോടു കൂടി താങ്കളുടെ സംഘടന പുറത്തിറക്കിയ പ്രസ്താവന ഇന്നത്തെ മാദ്ധ്യമം പത്രത്തിൽ കണ്ടു.  അതിൽ പറയുന്നു:

“കേരളത്തിലെ ചുംബനസമരം അടക്കമുള്ള സമരങ്ങളിൽ മുഖ്യപങ്ക് വഹിച്ചിരുന്ന രാഹുൽ പശുപാലനും രശ്മി നായരുമാണ് റാക്കറ്റിൻെറ പിന്നിലെന്ന പോലീസ് ആരോപണം ഗൌരവമുള്ളതാണ്. കേരളത്തിലെ രാഷ്ട്രീയ മാധ്യമമേഖലയിലെ പ്രമുഖരുമായുള്ള ബന്ധങ്ങൾ ഇത്തരം റാക്കറ്റുകൾ മറയായി ഉപയോഗപ്പെടുത്തുന്നുണ്ട് … വിദ്യാർത്ഥികളെ അടക്കം സ്നേഹം നടിച്ചും പ്രലോഭിപ്പിച്ചും തങ്ങളുടെ വലയിൽ കുരുക്കി ഉഭയസമ്മതപ്രകാരമെന്ന് പറഞ്ഞ് ചൂഷണം ചെയ്യുന്ന ഇത്തരം റാക്കറ്റുകൾക്കെതിരെ സമൂഹം ജാഗ്രത പുലർത്തണം.”

കഴിഞ്ഞ ദിവസം മനോരമ ചാനലിൽ യുവ മോർച്ചാ നേതാവ് രാജേഷ് ചുംബനസമരത്തിനെതിരെ തൊടുത്തുവിട്ട പൊട്ടശ്ശരങ്ങളോട് നിങ്ങളുടെ പ്രസ്താവന അടുത്തസാമ്യം പുലർത്തുന്നു എന്നു കണ്ടതുകൊണ്ടാണ് നിങ്ങൾക്ക് കത്തെഴുതാൻ തീരുമാനിച്ചത്.

Continue reading ചീത്തകളെ തള്ളിക്കള: നഹാസ് മാളയ്ക്ക് തുറന്ന കത്ത്

Two Trees Don’t Make a Forest: Leave KOL Alone

The latest assault on the Kiss Of Love movement, the last in the long list of assaults against its activists over the past one year in Kerala, involves the arrest of two former KOL activists, Rahul Pasupalan and Resmi Nair, over sex trafficking charges. While the media has been mixing up this case with that of a pedophilia FB page in a rather unwarranted way , the media has been screaming about the pair’s connection with KOL and some reports almost imply that their actions were because of their associations with KOL. Others, including the arch-conservative newspapers, have asked whether the KOL was a cover for sex work markets! Continue reading Two Trees Don’t Make a Forest: Leave KOL Alone

‘Kiss of Love’ in Delhi, confronting the RSS: Vasundhara Jairath and Bonojit Hussain

Guest Post by Vasundhara Jairath and Bonojit Hussain 

In the first of its kind in India, youth in Kochi launched a campaign called ‘Kiss of Love’ to challenge the moral policing of the Hindu Right. While that protest was attacked by right wing thugs and suppressed by the police, this form of protest has since spread to different parts of the country like Hyderabad, Bombay and Calcutta. Today, the ‘Kiss of Love’ protest was held at nowhere short of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) head office in New Delhi. A few individuals took the initiative and gave a call for this protest on Facebook with the title, ‘Sanghi Gunde Hoshiyar, Tere Samne Karenge Pyaar’ (Sanghi thugs beware, we will love in front you). Continue reading ‘Kiss of Love’ in Delhi, confronting the RSS: Vasundhara Jairath and Bonojit Hussain

This is What Frightens Them….

And the struggle continues, image courtesy Manorama online
And the struggle continues…Kochi, image courtesy Manorama online
“If conservative elements can capture our public spaces and impose their diktat on us, we will do the same in retaliation. Our university spaces, parks and roads are not free any more. We are reclaiming them now. We live in an age where a Dalit man is hacked to 40 pieces because he fell in love with a woman from a higher caste. This Kiss of Love campaign is a defiance of moral policing and a struggle to uphold the spirit of love in all its forms and for everyone,” said Zareen, a campaigner.
Kiss of love Delhi, image courtesy, DNA
Kiss of love Delhi, image courtesy, DNA

‘Downtown’ – Where the Kiss of Love Began: Sudha K. F.

Guest post by SUDHA K. F.

[This article was written in response to the recent incident of vandalism and violence meted out by BJP- affiliated Yuvamorcha activists against a restaurant called Downtown in Kozhikode, Kerala. This was the incident that led to the protest – the Kiss of Love at Kochi, Kiss of Love in Kolkata, and now, most audaciously outside the RSS Office in Jhandewalan. Wherever it goes, it acquires a flavour of its own. Thus in Kolkata, hokkolorob (let there be turmoil) mutated into another set of slogans – hokchumban (let there be kiss – or, let us kiss) and now, Sanghi gunde hoshiyar, tere saamne karenge pyar (beware Sangh goons, we will (make) love right before you. Sudha K. F. gives a sense of what it felt like after the goons attacked, the sense of indignation that subsequently burst forth.]

Kiss of love, Delhi
Kiss of love, Delhi, from the official facebook page

The now “notorious” Downtown restaurant is 5 minutes away by foot, from my home in my hometown Kozhikode. During my schooldays, that place was an old workshop. The restaurant came up after I had been away from my hometown for quite a while for my higher education. I remember being thrilled at the sight of this fine looking restaurant/coffee shop with glass windows, near my home during one of my visits. Earlier a few establishments had replaced the old workshop but didn’t do well commercially and closed down hastily. As I passed Downtown one evening, its busiest hour, my father remarked that this might have a longer life because it is so crowded with so many people frequenting the place for dinner. Still I remained a stranger to that place. Continue reading ‘Downtown’ – Where the Kiss of Love Began: Sudha K. F.

Challenging the Empire of Chicken Littles – Kiss of Love at Kochi

So the Kiss of Love event in Kochi did make waves that will stay in our memories for long. A very small group of young people did manage to publicly express affection and love at Kochi as planned despite all kinds of intimidation in the days leading up to the event. The lead organizers were constantly heckled and harassed; the event was grossly  misrepresented; there were attempts to stop it legally; threats galore were openly brandished against anyone who dared to participate; the police and the media, who ought to have been neutral, participated in the general hysteria that painted the event as a law-and-order problem. The core group was arrested and removed before the event to prevent trouble, apparently. Yet they did not back off; this event will indeed be remembered in the history of twenty-first century Kerala.

No one who knows life in Kerala would have expected it to ‘succeed’. The right-wing troll brigade has been celebrating obscenely, but then they clearly can’t see beyond their precious noses, because anyone who knows the strength of the united tightass coalition in Kerala and the depth of their irrational fear of touch (which, no doubt underlies much of the everyday mental and emotional pathologies in Kerala, the subject of much hand-wringing among the tightasses themselves) would know that there is no victory worth the name there. But of course they are also devoid of basic moral sense which would have made it evident that it is no big deal for an idiotic bully of a child, many times the size of a firefly, to kill it in a single swat. Nor can they be expected to have any inkling of the fact that the stupid hulk might crush the firefly with its sheer weight but is incapable of producing that speck of light which the firefly alone can ignite. Continue reading Challenging the Empire of Chicken Littles – Kiss of Love at Kochi