Monthly Archives: May 2007

Gita Aravamudan, Gender and Organised Genocide

A whole gender is getting exterminated. It is happening while we, as a nation, slumber.
– Gita Aravamudan

Gita Aravamudan’s book Disappearing Daughters: The Tragedy of Female Foeticide was recently published by Penguin Books. A scorchingly honest and compelling account of female foeticide in India, the book is an important and valuable study of the problem. Aravamudan has used investigative reporting to explore different aspects of female foeticide, its beginnings and its backlash, the ways it grows and how it can be stemmed. Disappearing Daughters combines interviews, case studies, analysis of statistics and history to present a comprehensive and very human face to this “holocaust”. Continue reading


Filed under Books, Culture, Gender

Open Summit and India’s Gender Cleansing

openDemocracy, an independent online magazine, is hosting openSummit featuring the views of women activists, academics and journalists from a variety of organizations worldwide in the run up to G8. The idea is to prevent women’s perspectives to decision-makers at G8. Of course, who knows whether any of them will read this but this can’t stop us from trying, can it? Please drop by to read and contact them if you want to contribute something. Continue reading

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Filed under Gender

Life in a…Metro: The ways love flows

Life in a…Metro is more an exploration into sex, lies and relationships in a big city than a true expose of the average Bombayite’s life. Writer/director Anurag Basu’s dark tapestry of relationships is good in bits but stops short of being truly impressive. All the high dudgeon does not add up to a sufficiently moving experience. The whole is not as good as the sum of the parts, in other words, but the parts are definitely interesting in themselves. Continue reading


Filed under Film

Vadodara and our crippled freedom

I am dismayed, angry, heartbroken, and positively blue in the face. I am talking about the Vadodara incident, of course. But I am not surprised. I am not surprised that freedom (artistic and otherwise) was curtailed in such a disgusting, dramatic show of bluster. That legal machinery was used to do it. That the Vice Chancellor of a reputed university would choose to support goons rather than the Dean and the students. Continue reading


Filed under Culture, Media

Len’s Eye View: Chitrakala Parishad

It’s interesting how both noise and quiet can be so sustaining. Last week, I went for a NWM meeting and then, because it was a sunshiny day and I had spent a lazy afternoon under the trees (albeit amid the flies) at the Press Club, I decided to continue the mood of green and sun by dropping in at Chitrakala Parishad. Going from an animated discussion with a diverse group of women to the weekday emptiness of the art school was an exercise in juxtaposition.

Continue reading


Filed under Bangalore, Culture, Photography, Places

Sexism and Internet Purdah

About two months ago, eminent tech blogger Kathy Sierra decided to stop blogging because of the horrific death threat comments she received, many of them explicitly sexual and violent. Last month, Jessica Valenti from Feministing talked about how the web became a sexists’ paradise in her column at the Guardian. She mentioned her own experience with sexism in the blogosphere as well.

All of this leads me to wonder when this is going to catch up with us here in India. Continue reading


Filed under Culture, Gender, Media

Lens Eye View: APD and Horticulturing

Because I’ve been moping around the house all week about the tree, we went on a mad hunt around the city today to look for things, which would beautify the home office. The idea being that we were trying to replace the beauty of the view lost with something else, inadequate as it may be. The plan included wooden blinds from Lifestyle and potted plants. Unfortunately, Lifestyle does not have stock of the blinds I want. I have the worst luck with shopping, which probably explains why I hate it so much. I have been trying to buy a digital voice recorder for three weeks with dismal luck; everywhere I go, I run into MP3 players. Continue reading


Filed under Bangalore, Photography

Spiderman 3: ‘The battle within’

I saw Spiderman 3 yesterday, which was a satisfying experience though the movie has its flaws. I have always liked Spiderman the most of the three super heroes. Perhaps, this is because he is the most human of them–a nerdy, geeky guy next door who is insecure, vulnerable and well, even boring, except when his nifty little spider suit transforms him. In Spiderman 3, Peter Parker sheds the nerdy image to deal with more adult turmoil though. The movie weaves alter egos, inner battles, fate and choice, misunderstanding and forgiveness, and generous dollops of romance into the story and manages not to go haywire. Mostly. Continue reading


Filed under Film