HerStory

yet the task is only half-done
pricey is freedom of expression.
until the working class women,
who still are waiting to be heard,
let alone seen, in this
fermenting revolution;
when they get to win
the means of communication,
them that are not on twitters
weary, exhausted workers,
marching, one may day, at a time
to end all exploitations;
#themtoo will be seen
rise in solidarity
and march in unison;

International Women’s Day: Anti-War, Anti-Capitalist Movement to Emancipate All Workers!

By Saswat Pattanayak   “Down with the world of property and the power of capital! Away with inequality, lack of rights and the oppression of women – the legacy of the bourgeois world! Forward to the international unity of working women and male workers.” (Alexandra Kollontai) The radical roots of International Women’s Day are being systematically suppressed via liberal appeals for male virtues to prevail upon a patriarchy. Revolutionary struggles waged by the women and men to challenge feudal and capitalistic orders are being overshadowed by reformist emotions dramatized in commercials targeting women as a burgeoning consumer class. Incessant demands…

Radical Roots of International Women’s Day!

“Ardent greetings to working women and women toilers throughout the world who are uniting in one common family of labour around the socialist proletariat. I wish them every success: 1) in strengthening the international ties of the workers of all countries and achieving the victory of the proletarian revolution; 2) in emancipating the backward sections of women toilers from intellectual and economic bondage to the bourgeoisie; 3) in uniting the peasant women around the proletariat—the leader of the revolution and of socialist construction; 4) in making the two sections of the oppressed masses, which are still unequal in status, a…

Our Rape, Their Rape

By Saswat Pattanayak The need is to change the entire language of rape. Not to just call it a rape, but as rape by men. Not simply that a Dalit woman was raped, but a Dalit woman was raped by a Hindu upper-caste man. Not just a woman was gang-raped, but six men raped a woman one by one by one by one by one by one. Not just Violence Against Women (VAW), but Violence Against Women By Men (VAWBM). Not just laws around gender discrimination or sexism, but specifically around men discriminating against women or laws to hold male…

Rape Culture and Capitalism: What is living and what is dead

By Saswat Pattanayak I understand many of us, Indians, are ashamed these days. And it is true that protests and placards do not educate the rapists. And that the students came out on the streets only because it is New Delhi. But we should not miss an important aspect of it all – most protesters clearly defying governmental bans are demonstrating an important tactic in the struggle for women’s rights anywhere in the world. This is a strategy that should not be discouraged, rather used everywhere – be it in Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Orissa or Manipur. Or for that matter, in…

Rape Culture, Capitalism and India

By Saswat Pattanayak Looks like, rape still continues to shock virtuous people in India. Or was it just this latest one? The one that took place in Delhi? Was it because the “izzat” of India’s capital city has now become the new concern? The honorable India has to be reclaimed in all “her” full glory where the goddesses are worshipped and women assaulted? Or is it that the unprecedented outrage in Indian society today owes to the fact that this rape was of the “more brutal” variety? Since most of us don’t do that kind of “iron rod” rapes. We…

Jab Tak Hai Jaan :: A tribute to Yash Chopra

By Saswat Pattanayak Yash Chopra’s last, Jab Tak Hai Jaan is by far his greatest creation. In many ways, it is one of the grandest experiments in the history of Hindi cinema. However, the aspects that are revolutionary about this movie have not really been deliberated upon by the critics so far. For one, Jab Tak Hai Jaan addresses ageism and sexism that affect a large section of Indian audience. Piyasree Dasgupta for FirstPost writes, “a self proclaimed 25-year-old, who looks 40, gets to kiss a girl who seems to have walked out of Vogue….(the girl) despite all her Mercedes…