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    Self-expression and social networking websites

    Meena KandasamyHOW DO I WRITE an article that does not sound like a celebrity too much crying paparazzi, an article where I want to discuss issues that are political but have arisen out of experiences in my personal life?  How do I write an article about the dangers that women writing on gender and caste have to be well-prepared for, without sounding like somebody who wants undue publicity about unpleasant things happening to her? How do I sound genuine and serious when I discuss something that might appear as trivia(l)?

    Where do I begin after all? Continue reading


    Widening the Prism

    ApuA FEW DAYS AGO, when I thought about the conflict parents face when their daughters become “too liberal”, I was really thinking from my own perspective as an educated, young, urban professional. When a commenter mentioned that liberalism does not yet extend to accepting choices such as homosexuality, I was, at first, a bit startled. This was because, frankly, I had not thought about the issues faced by people different from me. Though I do support the rights of people to their own sexual preference, I honestly hadn’t given it much thought. In a sense, I am guilty of looking at the holy grail of equal rights through a very narrow prism. Continue reading

    Scavengers As Models: Exploitation Chic or Empowering?

    I FOUND this news story about Indian “sanitation workers” (scavengers, if we avoid the euphemism) modelling in New York pretty bizarre. I do hope you’ll read the article before proceeding to comment, but in a nutshell: 36 Indian sanitation workers were invited to a conference as part of the UN’s International Year of Sanitation. In New York, they took part in a fashion show called Mission Sanitation, walking the ramp beside professional models.

    Scavenging is deeply dehumanizing work, and an end to the profession would be truly welcome. But why modelling (not professionally, I must add, but as a novelty event)? Continue reading

    On Caste and Patriarchy: An Interview with Ruth Manorama

    Meena KandasamyRUTH MANORAMA (1964) IS winner of the 2006 Right Livelihood Award, widely considered as the Alternative Nobel Prize. She is President of the National Federation of Dalit Women and is widely known in India for her contributions in highlighting the precarious situation of Dalit women. Ruth has also contributed enormously to breaking the upper-class, upper-caste image of the women’s movement in India.

    In this interview with me, she talks of why its necessary for all Indian women to address the issue of caste. Continue reading