The Women of Shaheen Bagh: A Revolution to Change Everything

Rohitha Naraharisetty writes about the women of Shaheen Bagh – who have become what governments have almost never had to contend with: a community forged by shared lived experiences standing before the might of the state without a leader to speak for them. ‘The women of Shaheen Bagh’ is a refrain that has, for many, become representative of the shining beacon of resistance against all odds in what is arguably India’s most existentially terrifying moment. In the leaderless protests that have was

Inside the Lakshman Rekha: Domestic Violence During Lockdown

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought much of the world grinding to a halt; with several countries and their states in a weeks-long lockdown in an attempt to strictly follow the practice of social distancing that is required to keep the virus from spreading. On March 24, Prime Minister Narendra Modi abruptly announced a twenty-one-day nationwide lockdown for India. At very short notice, citizens were asked to stay indoors at all times, save for emergencies and essentials. While states have been busy

The Language of Crisis

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that most, if not all countries lack the infrastructure to deal with not only the healthcare crisis posed by the virus, but also the secondary issues that arise out of having to take measures to contain it. States have thus far been used to dealing with security issues that involve human actions, for which institutions and machinery have been designed with prior knowledge and planning. Indeed, several countries – especially India, the 4th largest military spender

Lessons from #MeToo : Where Are We Now?

With #MeToo having taken the world by storm in the last few years, reflecting on debates in the Indian context reveals some important lessons. Due process is one of them but is not the key takeaway; attention must be paid to how feminist solidarities are being forged. Further, contextualising it within the changing nature of the nation state makes #MeToo stand out in the trajectory of feminist movements in India, as being one that does not engage with the state or any institution. It thus embodi

How Tollywood's Two 'Rival' Castes Work Together to Maintain Political, Industry Power

SS Rajamouli, of Baahubali fame, is in the process of releasing another film on a similarly epic scale. With a whopping budget of 450 crores, RRR is a movie slated to release in October this year, starring Junior NTR and Ram Charan together. This is worth noting for several reasons. First, the stars: Junior NTR and Ram Charan belong, respectively, to the NTR and the Chiranjeevi families – arguably the biggest and most powerful dynasty families in Tollywood today that have inherited their fan ba

In Enola Holmes, Feminism Is Appropriated From The Marginalized to Become the Privileged Woman's Adventure

Geniuses are not born, runs Virginia Woolf’s thesis in A Room of One’s Own, but made entirely by the conditions of their birth. In one section, Woolf conjures up an imaginary sister for The Bard – ‘Judith’ Shakespeare – to illustrate the point that opportunity would have been denied if genius had been born female. Enola Holmes, a similar creation of author Nancy Springer in 2006, is everything Woolf would have wanted for Judith. Previously non-existent in the Sherlock Holmes canon, the young and

What Symbiosis Law School, Hyderabad Teaches Us About Due Process in the #MeToo Era

Arguments against the #MeToo movement converge into a familiar line of reasoning: that due process must be followed, and that the present moment allows for false accusations to tarnish the careers and reputations of those accused. Due process refers to any institutional mechanism set up to address complaints in a formally recognised manner; a case in point as to why due process not only fails but suppresses and intimidates them, is that of Symbiosis Law School, Hyderabad (SLS-H). A summary of is

Vamping It Up : Prime-time News or Television Saga?

Rhea Chakraborty’s demonisation on the news and on social media is straight out of the vamp playbook from television serials. When Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput died by alleged suicide in June this year, India did not know how to make sense of it. Television news channels did not have a lot to go on by way of reporting something as sensational as the tragic death of a movie star who was a presence in his own right in the famously cut-throat industry. There were few journalistic templates