Disgrace: on ‘tribal courts’ and the Birbhum gang rape

Bengalis tend to look down upon much of northern India for being a tad barbaric. Ask a Bengali why Bengalis are better than other north Indians, and invariably they’ll talk about how women have been traditionally been given more respect, greater access to education etc in Bengal. So it’s a little damning that in present-day India, Bengal has the highest incidence of crimes against women (as per statistics, 13% of crimes against women in India are committed in Bengal. This article offers some explanations for these numbers). The reports of gruesome crimes against women come swiftly and regularly from Bengal, and … Continue reading Disgrace: on ‘tribal courts’ and the Birbhum gang rape

On the Tehelka case: Stand by the victim

For the past week, the story of Tarun Tejpal being accused of sexual assault has been a raging topic of discussion. Tejpal is the editor in chief of Tehelka, a news magazine with a solid reputation for hard-hitting journalism. The accusation against him is that he sexually assaulted a journalist who works with Tehelka during an event called THINK, which is organised by a company owned by Tejpal, his sister Neena and Shoma Chaudhury, who is also the managing editor at Tehelka. As things stand now, a criminal case has been lodged suo moto against Tejpal. (Suo moto means that the … Continue reading On the Tehelka case: Stand by the victim

Links: Fictional Elysium and real Mumbai

Long time, no update. So here we go. These pieces are from last month. Travelling in Mumbai, the one thing you keep seeing are hoardings and a lot of them are for fancy real estate. All these hoardings sell us one basic idea: we’ll give you an artificial world that will keep out the real one. Then I saw the trailer of Elysium. Et voila: “People have asked me if I think this is what will happen in 140 years, but this isn’t science fiction. This is today. This is now,” said Blomkamp in an interview to the British newspaper … Continue reading Links: Fictional Elysium and real Mumbai

In ELLE: On womanly anxieties

This was published in this month’s ELLE magazine. I’m not really sure how to describe “this”. An opinion piece, perhaps. ELLE asked me to write something on women in the context of the increased awareness of the kind of violence that is regularly inflicted upon women. I wasn’t sure about writing this. I remember thinking, when I started writing, if there was any point to writing this … stuff. There was so much being said and so little being heard. So few of us had real insight. Most of us were masquerading our despair as insight. But after dithering for a … Continue reading In ELLE: On womanly anxieties