Amrita Dutta (for Info only, not official)

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Amrita Dutta

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    ...Why exactly are the valorous men of Rajasthan furious? Going by the trailer of Padmavati — since that is all that Rajput honour will allow us to see — they don’t need to rush into battle with the rusting swords of Haldighati. All is well, surely, if Ranveer Singh can be transformed from sex god into a scruffy wild beast who snarls into his chicken tangri and sniffs a rose with a demented head-tilt. Here he is: The dangerous Muslim man paranoid Hindu parents have been warning their daughters about for 1,200 years, and — relief — he doesn’t look like Shah Rukh Khan. But, as it turns out, even a film that promises to turn Alauddin Khilji into a cartoon barbarian and extols jauhar is bold enough to rile our freelance soldiers of hate and caste pride. The Shri Rajput Karni Sena has threatened Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Deepika Padukone with death and mutilation. ...

    Indian Express on Nov. 25, 2017, 12:12 a.m.

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    ... In Salman Rushdie’s Haroun and the Sea of Stories, Khattamshud, the enemy of imagination and the ruler of the Land of Chup, tells us what he knows about stifling stories. “To ruin a happy story, you must make it sad. To ruin an action drama, you must make it move too slowly. To ruin a mystery, you must make the criminal’s identity obvious even to the most stupid audience. To ruin a love story, you must turn it into a tale of hate,” he says. In today’s India, where pockets of Chup proliferate everywhere, we could add one more ingredient: To ruin a story, you must turn it into a matter of honour. The honour of Gounder women was invoked in a campaign against Perumal Murugan’s novel, Mathorubhagan, in Namakkal two years ago. ...

    Indian Express on Sept. 6, 2017, 12:29 a.m.

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    ...Does feminism need to win a popularity contest? It would help. There are too many intelligent women (and men) out there who believe it is a bad word. But, hey, here we are in 2016: A best-selling author in India has written a book on a “normal feminist” woman; a mainstream Hindi film has hurled an axe at the thicket of lies around women’s consent. Indian cricketers are wearing their mother’s names on their jerseys. The actor Sonam Kapoor has written about the self-loathing that consumed her as an overweight girl and refuses to leave her even as a fashion icon. Are you asking, as I am, if this is feminism’s pop moment? Since the December 2012 gang rape of a 23-year-old, the toxic gender bias in Indian society has come up in Parliament, been headlined in newspapers and led to far-reaching changes in the law. Discussions have taken forward the scrutiny of how family, language, caste, even the presence or absence of public toilets, restrict female worth. ...

    Indian Express on Nov. 1, 2016, 12:02 a.m.

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    ...Does feminism need to win a popularity contest? It would help. There are too many intelligent women (and men) out there who believe it is a bad word. But, hey, here we are in 2016: A best-selling author in India has written a book on a “normal feminist” woman; a mainstream Hindi film has hurled an axe at the thicket of lies around women’s consent. Indian cricketers are wearing their mother’s names on their jerseys. The actor Sonam Kapoor has written about the self-loathing that consumed her as an overweight girl and refuses to leave her even as a fashion icon. Are you asking, as I am, if this is feminism’s pop moment? Since the December 2012 gang rape of a 23-year-old, the toxic gender bias in Indian society has come up in Parliament, been headlined in newspapers and led to far-reaching changes in the law. Discussions have taken forward the scrutiny of how family, language, caste, even the presence or absence of public toilets, restrict female worth. ...

    Indian Express on Nov. 1, 2016, 12:02 a.m.

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    ...There's a sense in there of, 'Who do you think you are?'...There's a feeling of: 'All right, we can tolerate [this] from a man over 50, but we are not going to be spoken to like that by you'"she said.Who do you think you are is the kind of silent remonstrance that hovers in the lives of Alice Munro's fictional characters, many of them women, a few of them women writers, as they attempt to stamp their will, desires and words on the randomness of life.It's the incredulous scorn she herself met as a young woman in the 1960s for her ambition to be a writer — as if writing, and the claim to "author"-ity were forms of female impertinence.One is not sure if the Nobel for Munro and the Booker for Catton can stanch an enduring prejudice.It surfaces ever so often, and not just in the idle chatter of a V.S. ...

    Indian Express on Oct. 26, 2013, 1:14 a.m.

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    ...Shakti Mills in Lower Parel, Mumbai, abandoned to weeds and dereliction, broken by time and history, stared at me from the front page of the newspaper. A group of young men had threatened and raped a photojournalist there a day before, while she was on an assignment. In one of the most populous cities of the world, surrounded by slums, offices and homes, ...

    Indian Express on Aug. 30, 2013, 3:11 a.m.