Dear Hrithik Roshan,
I have received your tear-soaked letter about your impending divorce. It was duly delivered at 6 a.m. on December 14, at my doorstep in both my weekend newspapers. In fact it was in the headlines, on the front page of both newspapers! At first I was irritated. I thought these idiots are copying off each other and just fooling me into paying for two different subscriptions. But then I thought — what if this is a matter of utmost national importance? And so I read your letter slowly and carefully, registering all the critical information it gave, in both newspapers.
I am proud to say that I’m now enlightened. You say (more…)
Posted by Rita Banerji on December 17, 2013
THE 50 MILLION MISSING CAMPAIGN BLOG ON INDIA'S FEMALE GENDERCIDE
by Rita Banerji
In December 2012, when the social media was abuzz with news of the Delhi rape protests, our campaign received several messages asking why India had been totally silent on the 1984 mass rapes and killings of Sikhs in Delhi.
This is a reference to an episode in 1984, when following the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her two Sikh bodyguards, for four days there were unchecked and organized attacks on Sikhs in Delhi and other parts of India. Since the Sikhs are a tiny community, 2% of the population and easily identified by the turbans and other clothing, they became an easy target. More than 4000 Sikhs were killed, hundreds of women were gang-raped, and homes and businesses burnt down.
A report from the CBI, (India’s Central Bureau of Investigation) shows the massacre was sanctioned and organized by the police and the…
View original post 1,031 more words
Posted by Rita Banerji on May 22, 2013
Buddhism is the main focus of the Jaipur Literary Festival in 2013 and the Dalai Lama is one of the chief attractions this year. So in keeping with that, I am sharing here some excerpts from the Buddhist period in my book Sex and Power (Sect II, pp.67-110). I know that the literary festival as indeed a lot of the global discussions on Buddhism focus on ahimsa (non-violence), with this idealistic vision of a harmonious society. [Read the 2nd excerpt from my book on how Buddhism impacted on social perceptions of women and sex here].
But in my book I look at how Buddhism actually was a powerful social revolution in India that became popular among the masses because Buddha openly and strongly challenged the caste based hierarchy and the superiority of the Brahmin and upper castes, as well as their social and economic exploitation of the lower castes and poorer people.
Buddhism changed the whole power structure of Indian society in the period from about 500 B.C. to 100 A.D. in a manner that was hugely radical. And even though most modern Buddhist practitioners talk about non-violence (more…)
Posted by Rita Banerji on January 25, 2013
As I run a campaign, The 50 Million Missing, to raise global awareness about India’s female gendercide, one of the things I find I need to do, is highlight that this gendercide is not limited to India. It is happening in Indian communities in the West too. In countries like the U.S., U.K., Canada, and Norway. See this article I wrote on Pickled Politics.
Recently, I interviewed Indo-Canadian, feminist artist Soraya Nulliah, for The 50 Million Missing’s blog, Gender Bytes. Soraya has been using her art to raise awareness about the hidden gendercide in Indo-Canadian communities and the violence it entails. In 2006 she held a solo exhibition titled ‘SHAKTI’ on this theme, at the Nina Haggerty Centre in Edmonton, Canada. As one review of her exhibition pointed out: “Under the rich textures and colour, there is a sad theme: the reality of violence against women…”
Below is my extremely inspiring interview with Soraya. All the paintings in the post are by Soraya Nulliah.
Rita: Your family is of Indian origin, but you grew up in South Africa and Canada and now live in the United States. So why did you choose the subject of violence against Indian women as the theme for your paintings and your exhibition? (more…)
Posted by Rita Banerji on July 21, 2012
For the last 10 years, I have been researching, writing and working through my online campaign, The 50 Million Missing, to raise awareness about India’s ongoing female genocide. More than 50 million women have been eliminated from India, subjected to every form of violence, at every stage of life. (See this video)
I realize that many people don’t know! That’s why we have this campaign. And when they find out many are very supportive.
But I find, the biggest resistance in the west are are women’s and human rights groups, people who have some awareness about what’s going on, and who turn and look away even when I provide them with the information.
And I’m writing this blog to tell you about one such incidence with a blog called “Women Under Siege” and to ask why this is so? (more…)
Posted by Rita Banerji on July 3, 2012