All in Opinion Writing

Equality does not mean sameness

If our backgrounds, hopes, dreams, languages, expressions, bodies and preferences are all different, then how can one feminism define us all? If we insist on boxing women into one monolithic feminism, it is bound to fail many of us, as it will devolve into a competition of who can shout louder.

This is when privilege steps in. An English-speaking, rich, urbane woman will always have more access to amplify her voice over that of the native-language speaking subaltern. This often leads to “saviour complex”. Well-meaning but privileged women start imagining that they can be the representatives of these underrepresented native women and they can “uplift” their lives by advocating “change”, “reform” and “progress”. Underlying this, is the troubling assumption that subalterns lack agency, are too meek to decide for themselves, and share the aspirations of the progressives. This is exactly what is happening in Sabarimala.

Section 377 has nothing to do with Bhartiya Sanskriti

Bharatiya society and its ideas of morality have historically been much more fluid than Victorian ones. In fact, that was one of the main reasons our white colonialist masters called us barbarians and savages and were determined to “fix” us. From the elevated status of women in Bharat [1] to its innate acceptance of human sexuality (khajuraho), everything about Bharatiya society offended the colonizers’ sensibilities. Society and its rules are fluid, they change with time and our erudite ancestors recognized that. 

एक अफसाना भर नहीं पद्मावती

पद्मावत इसलिए भी महत्वपूर्ण है, क्योंकि जायसी अपनी रचना में शायद अनजाने में ही सही उस युग की महिलाओं की विवश परिस्थितियों का प्रतिबिंब खींच गए। जायसी कहते हैं कि अलाउद्दीन खिलजी को चित्ताैड़ के राजा रतनसेन द्वारा निष्कासित किए गए एक कवि के जरिये रानी पद्मावती की अद्वितीय सुंदरता का पता चला। खिलजी रानी के बारे में सुनकर कौतूहल से भर उठा। उसने लाव-लश्कर समेत चित्ताैड़गढ़ की घेराबंदी कर ली और रानी को अपने हरम के लिए मांगने लगा। रानी ने साफ मना कर दिया, पर परिस्थितियों से विवश होकर उन्होंने खिलजी को आईने में अपना प्रतिबिंब देखने की अनुमति दे दी। रानी का प्रतिबिंब देखकर खिलजी हवस से और पागल हो उठा। उसने चित्ताैड़गढ़ पर हमला तेज कर दिया, परंतु राजा रतनसेन के वीर योद्धा टस से मस न हुए।

Bihar polls: Nitish Kumar’s copycat strategy fools no one; Lalu may be only gainer

As much as Nitish Kumar seems to hate Narendra Modi, he seems very much in awe of him. His entire Bihar campaign sounds like a carbon copy of  Modi’s 2014 campaign. What Nitish Kumar doesn’t realise is that the memory of the 2014 election is way too fresh for this. From “Parche pe Charcha” that reminds you of “Chai Pe Charcha” to “Ghar Ghar Dastak” which reminds you of “Har Har Modi, Ghar Ghar Modi”, he appears to be copying every detail from the Modi campaign. “Phir ek baar, Nitish Sarkar” is not too different from “Ab ki Baar, Modi Sarkar.”