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Aug 24, 2010

அழைப்பு - பெண்கள் சந்திப்பு - கருத்தாடல்


இந்த கருத்தாடல் நிகழ்வில் பெண்ணிய வரலாற்று ஆசிரியர் உமா சக்கரவர்த்தி கலந்துகொண்டு சிறப்பிக்கின்றார். பெண்ணிய வரலாற்றினை மறுவாசிப்பு செய்யும் போது ஏனைய வரலாற்றுக் கூறுகளின் உள்ளடக்கங்களை எவ்வாறு புரிந்து கொள்வது, குறிப்பாக சிவில் உரிமை அமைப்புகளை இனங்கண்டுகொள்தல் குறித்து உரையாடப்படுகிறது.

அனைவரும் அழைக்கப்படுகின்றனர். ஆர்வமுள்ள அனைவரையும் கலந்துகொள்ளச்செய்யுங்கள்...

இந்த உரையாடலின் உள்ளடக்கம் குறித்த மேலதிக விபரங்களை ஆங்கிலத்தில் கீழே காணலாம்.

Penngal Santhippu welcomes you to a lecture and discussion on

Feminist Memoirs

5. 30 pm, August 25, 2010

Spaces, 1, Elliots Beach Road, Besant Nagar, Chennai 600090.

Historian and civil rights activist Uma Chakravarti will speak on re-thinking the history of feminist politics in post-independence India. Her talk will focus on the civil liberties tradition of the 1970s and how that became a context for feminist practice.

Inspired by campus activism, Jayaprakash Narayan’s movement against corruption, left militancy and dismayed by anti-Muslim and later anti-Sikh violence in northern India in the 1980s, a generation of teachers, lawyers, writers and students took to civil rights work across the country. This experience in everyday democracy unraveled for them several levels of injustice and oppression. Some amongst them went on to become part of women’s groups in Delhi and elsewhere, and others came to play important roles in the emergent Women’s Studies debates of that time. Yet others did this and more, aligning themselves with left groups, various campaigns for social justice …Uma Chakravarti was part of these various feminist and other progressive political spaces and her recalling of that time, of people and events is at once heartfelt and detached. Irony and whimsical hope sit cheek by jowl in her understanding of those days. All of us who were part of those decades or have inherited their radical political legacy are bound to relate to her account, personally and politically.

From ‘Feminist Memoirs’ by Uma Chakavarti

‘After some months of intense campaigning on dowry murders several women’s groups began to feel the need for a more direct method of communication with people when raising the issue of dowry. Discusssions gave rise to the idea of having a street which was titled Om Swaha and was based on the lives of two real women who had been killed in Delhi by their in-laws for not bringing enough dowry. …Performed in mohallas, colleges, parks and genteel residential areas with a rotating team of ‘actors’ and ‘actresses’ enabling the ‘show’ to move rapidly to a new site and occasion of performance, whether its designated actors were free to perform or not. High drama, crudity—to capture the gross behaviour of the in-laws—and even humour were blended to hit hard at the in-laws, who first made outrageous demands for goods and cash, and then killed young wives; parents who closed doors to daughters returning home, and a ‘society’ that just looked on passively as women burnt to death. I can recall even policemen with tears in their eyes—the play struck a chord in almost everyone watching it, even diehard policemen—

…the most powerful long term consequence of the women’s movement in the universities across India, including Delhi, was the birth of the women’s studies movement as the need to understand and analyse indigenous and home grown patriarchy and its embeddedness in culture hit us like a thunderbolt: …As I stood alongside a group of women for the nth time in a crowded mohalla in old Delhi an anguished young woman turned to me and said, ‘You are a historian of ancient India. Tell us what there is in our culture that says a woman who is being tortured for dowry cannot leave her husband’s home to exit from an oppressive and life-threatening relationship?’ A few months later I wrote a paper on the Sita myth based on various versions of the Ramayana. Its last lines are suitably cynical: while Sita could ‘choose’ a dignified end to her life she could not wrest for herself a life with dignity. ‘

"What is the problem of women’s freedom? It seems to me to be this: how to arrange the world so that women can be human beings, with a chance to exercise their infinitely varied gifts in infinitely varied ways, instead of being destined by the accident of their sex to one field of activity—housework and child-raising. And second, if and when they choose housework and child-raising to have that occupation recognized by the world as work, requiring a definite economic reward and not merely entitling the performer to be dependent on some man."


- Crystal Eastman


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