Writer, Photographer, Story Teller. Social Media Consultant. Feminist Scholar
Founder, Samyukta Media, Social Media and Digital Communication Consultant for NGOs. Writer, photographer, story teller, feminist scholar. Blogging since 2005 breaking the wall between private and public. Awarded TED Fellowship for my blogs and related community leadership.
It has been just over a week since Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared in a surprise TV announcement that currency notes of ₹500 and ₹1000 would become invalid within four hours. The objective behin...
Salman Khan, 1988: Maine Pyaar Kiya; 2016: Sultan. Shah Rukh Khan, 1992: Dewaana; 2016: Fan. Aamir Khan, 1988: Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak; 2016: Dangal. It is not every day that angry activists, fierce f...
Co-authored by Kartikey Shukla* India has a long tradition of caste- and religion-based politics in which national constructs of masculinity and femininity are played up for political gains by all pa...
Human beings going on a jungle safari in a national park… what a ridiculous activity it is. I have been on quite a few of them myself and trust me I am not particularly proud. We love to create so much drama and suspense around the whole deal. We think of ourselves as great achievers if we manage to get a glimpse of the animal and feel utterly depressed if the mission fails.
Even candid shots, such as for bridal make-up, are often not actually candid. Most are taken after the make-up is already complete; the touch of the make-up brush is only for effect. Compare this to some of my bridal make up shots and you will see they are not always "pretty", because the bride is still half-dressed, the skin is not yet perfect and so on.
On a certain day I posted two things on Facebook, 1) A very sad feeling of being heartbroken and in need of a hug, 2) A stupid photo of me in a stupid hat. The hat got over 30 likes, but the sad post earned me a total of zero words of comfort. I was so frustrated I deleted the hat photo. People find it easier to cheer for pretentious, happy updates and feel totally clueless about what to do with your misery. And that's just so superficial it frustrates me.
Get logical. Motherhood doesn't complete a woman. Nothing does. Because you know what, a woman is not incomplete to begin with. She is born complete. She is complete because she exists. Because she was born a full human and is not waiting to be completed by a man, marriage or motherhood. These are mere personal choices a woman makes.
The surge prices charged by app-based cab services like Uber and Ola represent capitalism in its most brutal form. The message here is, "more power to the free market, leave no space for government's intervention, price regulation is an obstacle to growth, eventually leads to rationing, just let the demand and supply decide prices." So, let's apply surge pricing to hospitals. Limited beds, too many patients? Increase the price. What happens? The rich get the beds, the poor die.
A separation after two decades does not necessarily mean that the relationship was weak from the start and that the couple only figured it out now. I bet Malaika and Arbaaz had a true, loving and beautiful 18 years but with time things change. People change. Dreams, desires, expectations change. The best course then is to put to an end to a relationship that is getting stale and move on.
Our great nationalist politicians are trying to take young Indian minds back to the age of hatred, invasion, battles. As a proud Indian woman, I refuse to let my identity be dragged in this performance of violence and hatred, and I refuse to worship a dubious image of my country.
The answer given by Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi in Rajya Sabha on 10 March on the question of whether the government has plans to criminalize marital rape, is a word-to-word copy of the answer given by Minister of State for Home Affairs Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary in Rajya Sabha in April 2015. Essentially, the government is saying, "You are not allowed to rape strangers, but if you really need sex, go home and rape your wife."
As part of my continuing efforts to travel around India to explore questions of gender and space, and document my experience through photographs, I went to see the Basant Festival at Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah with the objective of capturing the gender representation there.
Suppose we had a Rajasthani woman's face with a caption of "I am Rajasthan, I am ready". Would that be odd? Is it almost impossible to imagine that scenario? Perhaps yes. For one, how could they have the image of a woman, with her head held high looking straight at the camera, when the majority of Rajasthani women are duty-bound to remain submissive and behind the veil? Secondly, how would it do justice to the gravitas of the Resurgent Rajasthan mission?
This November, Switzerland followed in the footsteps of France and overwhelmingly voted to ban the burqa in the region of Ticino, instating a £6,500 fine for women who continued to wear this garment. As expected, accusations of Islamophobia have started flying thick and fast, and my fellow feminists will probably soon be writing editorials on Muslim women's right to choose. I beg to differ. I don't think that wearing a burqa is a viable choice at all.
The other day, I went for a movie at the PVR Cinema in Saket, New Delhi, and had the most annoying experience of gender discrimination. The guards at security check stopped me and said I could not go inside with my backpack (a laptop bag, but sans a laptop) because it was not a "ladies' bag".
Modi's entire speech at the recent launch of three gold schemes was ridden with inherent gender biases and that's a shame. You don't expect casual banter from the nation's Prime Minister, you don't expect gendered language. But being conscious about using respectful language towards women is not on the priority list for Modi.
Inspired by author Emer O'Toole's article on the 10 things that feminism ruined for her, I decided to compile my own list. Because it's true that once you wear feminist glasses, you'll struggle to appreciate some of the simple pleasures of life.