Dhamini Ratnam (for Info only, not official)

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Dhamini Ratnam

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    ...And, of course, women are not casteless, classless masses. So ours is equally an ignorance of the way backward-caste, working-class and rural women seek to influence elections. We caught a glimpse of this when Nitish Kumar imposed total prohibition in Bihar after being elected. By his own admission, he made up his mind to implement this decision in April after attending the gatherings of Jeevika, a women’s self-help group spread across the state, and hearing the personal testimonials of a few of its 100,000 members.​ On 4 February, the process to elect five new state assemblies began, with Punjab and Goa going to the polls. The Uttar Pradesh (UP) elections, starting today, will take place over seven phases, with the final phase on 8 March. So how can we find out how women, particularly marginalized women, in UP are experiencing and influencing the elections? ...

    Live Mint on Feb. 10, 2017, 9:15 p.m.

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    ...How, she wondered, would she be able to take care of herself and her family if something happened? What would she tell her children about the president-elect, who during his campaign made several bigoted statements against immigrants like them? Nothing, she said, had prepared her for this. After a week of thinking anxiously about the future, she joined a group of women who had come together to support Hillary Clinton, the Democrats’ presidential candidate. They’re called the Pantsuit Nation, which started as a private Facebook group, and they’re just one example of how people have found safety and comfort in collective action. According to The New York Times, there are now close to two and a half million members already in PantSuit Nation. Elsewhere, other women are organizing a women’s march in Washington DC on 21 January. ...

    Live Mint on Nov. 18, 2016, 2:33 p.m.

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    ...For instance, the new Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016 that was introduced by external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj last month was as much a blow to a woman’s right over her body as it was to the possibility that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons, single men and women, and heterosexual men and women in live-in relationships can have a child.The Bill was the government’s attempt to protect women who are victimized by the unregulated multimillion-dollar surrogacy industry, but it also defined the family unit that deserved to benefit from this law and, in doing so, left many outside the pale.The truth, of course, is that there are other kinds of families.Many queer persons survive with the help of supportive networks when their own birth families fail them.Hijra gharanas are historical examples of such family spaces. ...

    Live Mint on Sept. 16, 2016, 12:01 p.m.