Stories from Quick Reads and India
“Why do women hush themselves when it comes to discussing menstruation?”
asks Sourav Kumar Panda at Youth Ki Awaaz and goes on to discuss that in this day and age, keeping periods a ‘hush-hush’ issue is unnecessary – the time has come for us to break the silence and shame that our social mores have clamped around menstruation.
Vidyut at AamJanata, the common man's blog, writes an open letter to the Indian media criticizing its role in reporting about the ongoing Indian Lok Sabha elections.
Media has failed to report adequately on the implications of perception engineering through doctored poll surveys. Media has failed to draw attention to the problems being reported with ballot boxes. Media has failed to provide adequate disclosure of broadcasts of event feeds provided by political parties – which essentially amounts to free advertising time.
Social media is also the space for innovation and creative thinking. Milind Deora [Union Minister and incumbent MP from South Mumbai] boasts of being the first candidate available to the electorate on WhatsApp and BBM, and provides an interactive mashup map to track all his activities and initiatives. Like BJP’s Poonam Mahajan, Deora too has his Facebook and Twitter pages linked, with one feeding information into the other.
Social Samosa reviews how the Indian politicians in Mumbai have taken to social media for their election campaigns.
We got a law that upped the punishment for rape, as well as broadened the definition to rape in a grand promise to more and more people – when the fundamental problem was that people who were raped as per the old definitions and punishments weren’t getting justice already in a country with one rape in seven minutes, but not one rape judgment.
Vidyut at AamJanata questions whether the newly enacted rape law in India is really helping women.
Sarah Ann Loreth published a report in Flickr Blog on how US photographer, writer and educator Brooke Shaden joined forces with an organization called Blossomy to travel to Kolkata, India, last year to help teach photography to survivors of human trafficking, giving them a chance to learn to create and tell their stories. The next step is to:
bring a school of photography to Kolkata, India in which the individuals going through those shelter homes have access to free education in exchange for a certificate in photography as well as the opportunity for a future in a career that can provide confidence and hope.
Transhuman Collective (THC), a brainchild of Soham Sarcar & Snehali Shah, is a multidisciplinary collaborative project based on the philosophy of Transhumanism. In this moving video created and uploded to YouTube by Transhumanism.in it is revealed that there is lack of basic respect for women in Indian patriarchal society. To add to this media plays a pivotal role in shaping the mindset and attitude of the Indian Society.
The website MujeresMundi, directed by Peruvian Belgium-based communication specialist Xaviera Medina, is involved with the awareness campaign It's a girl against infanticide feminicide in India and China:
Girls are killed in a gendercide routine in any one decade than people were slaughtered in all the genocides of the twentieth century. Incredibly, however the issues involved have barely registered the attention of the international community. How to explain the strange silence in the face of the biggest human right issue?
The piece includes an interview with Evan Grae Davis, producer of the documentary film l It's a girl!, who says “I wouldn’t have consider myself as an activist until I started to produce and direct It’s a Girl”.
South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People (SANDRP) blog reports that as many as 12 dams are either being planned or are under construction to satisfy the increasing water demand of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) in India. The Tribals and other affected groups have long been strongly opposing these projects but most people in Mumbai seems to be unaware of their struggles or impacts of these projects.
All of these dams fall in eco-sensitive region of the Western Ghats. They will together submerge more than 22,000 hectares of land, including nearly 7000 hectares of forests, lakhs of trees and more than 750 hectares of Tansa Sanctuary. They will affect a minimum of 100,000 tribals who depend on the forests and their ancestral lands for livelihoods. These dams include Kalu, Shai, Balganga, Susari, Khargihill, Bhugad, Pinjal, Gargai, Middle Vaitarna, Barvi and Poshir, among others. These are in addition to the dams already constructed for MMR water supply.
Vachana Sahitya is a form of rhythmic writing in Kannada language that evolved in the 11th Century C.E. and flourished in the 12th century. Subhashish Panigrahi reports (co-authored by Pavithra Hanchagaiah and Omshivaprakash HI) in Wikimedia blog that Two Wikimedians along with a Kannada linguist have converted 21000 verses of Vachana Sahitya in Unicode and made available in Wikisource, an online digital library of free content textual sources.
It is important to talk about this. I want to show this video in all the areas where ‘Saptami’ is celebrated. People give it so much importance even though it is a rather strange celebration. Why don’t they celebrate their daughters who keep their houses running, the cattle fed and the water tanks filled? Why just their sons? The tradition and rationality behind it are so deeply carved into people… but we can change it.