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  • An Open Letter to the State Government from the Women of Karnataka

    We fear for lives of women in this state… is the Government listening? Is there a Government in this State at all? Or is it only a political party whose highest priority is its own regressive right wing agenda, which violates the responsibility of governance?

    In one of its latest acts of bigotry and intolerance, members of the Sri Rama Sene and the Bajrang Dal barged into a lounge bar on Balmatta road in Mangalore and viciously attacked the girls who were present there. Their crime: Firstly they were indecently dressed and second, despite being Hindu, they were daring to socialise with Muslim boys. Prasad Attavar, State Deputy Convener of the Sri Ram Sene said that it was “a spontaneous reaction against women, who flouted traditional Indian norms of decency.”

    And what was the spontaneous response from the government to this absolutely uncultured act of violence against young girls in the name of culture? Not surprisingly a studied silence from the powers that be and total inaction and apathy from the subservient police force in South Canara. Continue reading

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    Interview with Madhu Bhushan

    VIMOCHANA IS one of the oldest women’s rights organization in Bangalore. They have been part of the Indian women’s movement and have significantly contributed to the rights of women facing violence in Karnataka. They have a crisis intervention center for women facing violence called Angala and campaigns against dowry deaths, harassment and female infanticide. More on their website. I spoke to Madhu Bhushan, activist at Vimochana, about terrorism, fundamentalism and women’s rights in a two-part interview.  Continue reading

    Is It Post Feminism Yet?

    A LOT OF MEN and women in Bangalore proclaim that it is the age of post feminism. One gets more of the same from the woman’s supplements and the women’s magazines which showcase women who are the movers and shakers of the corporate world, who balance home and careers so well, courting success like never before. You can see them everywhere, holding important positions and visible in hitherto male-dominated jobs. They all refer to themselves as individuals who have had the grit and determination to make it and have made it. Continue reading

    Of Exports and Other Exits: Women in the Garment Industry

    GARMENT WORKERS dying in and around the premises of factories where they work reveal an extremely disturbing trend. Two days ago, 39 year old Padmavathi started vomiting at her workplace at 9.30 am. She requested her Production Manager at the Shalini Creations Factory for leave so she could go to a hospital. She was immediately shouted at and sent back to work. But a couple of hours later when the vomiting did not stop she was allowed to leave the factory. She left, only to collapse 50 meters away from its gates. Passersby carried her back to the factory and her colleagues then shifted her to hospital, where she died by 1.00 pm. Continue reading