February 25, 2013


Indian feminists/activists respond to Harvard kids attempting to help the less fortunate ‘third world’ feminists
February 25, 2013

Globally, from the U.S. to the developing world, rape and other forms of violence against women remain at shockingly high levels. Focusing on the horrifying case of a 23-year-old Indian student who was gang-raped and beaten to death in Delhi in December, the Harvard College Women’s Center announced it would create a Beyond Gender Equality task force, “convened to offer recommendations to India and other South Asian countries in the wake of the New Delhi gang rape and murder.”

The group ignored the long history of Indian activists themselves fighting to end rape and sexual violence—including recent mass protests of South Asian women and men calling for a systemic fight against rape. And the Harvardites had nothing to say about the ample evidence of the problem of rape in the U.S.—from the sickening gang rape and subsequent cover-up at Steubenville High School in Ohio, to the systematic downplaying of rape and sexual assault at Amherst College and other universities.

In response to this “white (wo)man’s burden” take on the issue of sexual violence in South Asia, a group Indian feminists wrote the following response, first published at Kafila.org, detailing their own years of work fighting to end rape and gain justice sexual assault victims.

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Dear sisters (and brothers?) at Harvard,
WE’RE A group of Indian feminists and we are delighted to learn that the Harvard community—without doubt one of the most learned in the world—has seen fit to set up a policy task force entitled “Beyond Gender Equality” and that you are preparing to offer recommendations to India (and other South Asian countries) in the wake of the New Delhi gang rape and murder.

Not since the days of Katherine Mayo have American women—and American feminists—felt such a concern for their less privileged Third World sisters. Mayo’s concern, at that time, was to ensure that the Indian state (then the colonial state) did not leave Indian women in the lurch, at the mercy of their men, and that it retained power and the rule of the just.

Yours, we see, is to work towards ensuring that steps are put in place that can help the Indian state in its implementation of the recommendations of the Justice Verma Committee, a responsibility the Indian state must take up.

This is clearly something that we, Indian feminists and activists who have been involved in the women’s movement here for several decades, are incapable of doing, and it was with a sense of overwhelming relief that we read of your intention to step into this breach.

You might be pleased to know that one of us, a lawyer who led the initiative to put pressure on the Justice Verma Committee to have a public hearing with women’s groups, even said in relief, when she heard of your plans, that she would now go on holiday and take a plane ride to see the Everest.

Indeed, we are all relieved, for now we know that our efforts will not have been in vain: the oral evidence provided by 82 activists and organizations to the Justice Verma Committee—and which we believe substantially contributed to the framing of their report—will now be in safe American hands!

Perhaps you are aware that the Indian state has put in place an “Ordinance on Sexual Assault” that ignores many recommendations of the Justice Verma Committee? If not, we would be pleased to furnish you a copy of the Ordinance, as well as a chart prepared by us, which details which recommendations have been accepted and which not.

This may be useful in your efforts to advise our government. One of the greatest things about sisterhood is that it is so global—feminism has built such strong international connections, such that whenever our First World sisters see that we are incapable of dealing with problems in our countries, they immediately step in to help us out and provide us with much needed guidance and support. We are truly grateful for this.

Perhaps you will allow us to repay the favor, and next time President Obama wants to put in place legislation to do with abortion or the Equal Rights Amendment, we can step in and help, and, from our small bit of experience in these fields, recommend what the United States can do.

Source (with signatures)

(Source: thepeoplesrecord)

February 19, 2013
"The West tends to be proprietorial about Modernism, treating it as a Euro-American invention copied, in inferior versions, by the rest of the world. But more and more this view has come to look parochial and wrong. In recent years historians have been studying the reality of multiple (sometimes referred to as alternative) modernisms that developed in Africa, Asia and South America parallel with, or sometimes in advance of, what was happening in Europe.
Viewers coming to these works for the first time, knowing little about their history or context, may well see traces of European Modernism in them before anything else. It takes some looking and exposure to information to get beyond that and see what is really happening in these paintings. They aren’t about copying; they’re about artists making choices, trying out options, pursuing some, rejecting others, taking what they know and adding to it, editing it, blurring lines between South Asian and Western, shaping something distinctive from the sources used.
It’s great that the Rubin, a small institution with limited resources but imaginative thinking, has brought us exhibitions like ['Radical Terrain'] and its two predecessors. Even together, though, these shows can only hint at the full history of global modernism, or modernisms, that everyone now knows is the true story of modern art. It’s a story that has yet to make its way into our big museums, but surely that day must come."

Holland Cotter, South Asia Through Modernist Binoculars: ‘Radical Terrain’ at the Rubin Museum of Art, December 27, 2012

September 30, 2011

Rare photo of The Jallianwala Bagh Massacre 1919


Rare photo of The Jallianwala Bagh Massacre 1919

(via kadalkavithaigal)