Communications and Business Development, Athena Infonomics
John Harvey works on Communications and Business Development at Athena Infonomics, an international policy research and development analytics firm in Chennai. His areas of interest include animal rights, religion and secularism, and gender. He has experience with UN Women South Asia, and has worked at the grassroots level with disadvantaged children in Delhi. John has completed his Masters degree at SOAS (University of London), in Development Studies.
Let's make this clear: jallikattu is animal abuse. No reasonable person who is able to step outside their cultural biases would be able to deny this. But the problem surrounding the banning of jallika...
It sounds contradictory. A liberal outlook is often associated with a kind of wimpery that seeks to create a neutral space where regressive, traditional, reform and liberal traditions and views co-exi...
Section 295(a) allows the government to dictate expression of religious identity according to what a populist or powerful element defines as hurtful – it is, in essence, a blasphemy law. It legitimizes traditionalist and conservative voices in the name of authenticity, and presents a threat to freedom of religion and the right to examine the claims of the faithful.
The government should give a clear secular 'talaq' to the Muslim Personal Law Board and all other laws and statutes that impose particular interpretations of religion on its citizens. Without this, it cannot claim to be completely secular.
The Bombay High Court recently said that no law in India bars the entry of women in any temple, and neither should it. What it said further on this matter should be of great concern to those who value freedom of religion and secularism. It said that anyone imposing this restriction contravenes the Hindu Place of Worship (Entry Authorization) Act, and may face a six-month jail term.
Menstruation is a natural process that is spoken about in hushed tones by girls and women as a "female issue"--after all, they dare not disgust or offend men. Negative attitudes surrounding periods are therefore relational to the opposite sex. With men occupying positions of power in society -- politically, economically and socially -- one of the steps to improving the menstrual experience of women means involving men in the debate.
Avoiding disgusting and embarrassing men, keeping purchases of sanitary products secret, and lack of discussion are all commonplace in wider British society. This bleak reality, which affects both the physical and mental well-being of women and girls everywhere, presents a unique opportunity on which we can unify. This is not limited to educating girls and women about menstruation. The stigma must be removed in the minds of both women and men, whose sensibilities some women are conditioned to appease.
It is the bleak reality that the vast majority of gay women and men in the world still marry opposite-sex partners. Legalisation of same-sex marriage is but a distant dream for most LGBT+ people. They desperately require societal change before any change in law - such as not facing the risk of alienation for coming out, or to not risk losing their job. It is then the failure of same-sex marriage advocates to consider the real life context and diversity of LGBT+ citizens that India's LGBT+ movement could learn from.