Queer Azadi Mumbai

QAM posterIn continuation with last years celebration and in light of the recent judgment, the Queer Azadi March 2009 is being held with more colour and enthusiasm on the 16th August at 4pm. From August Kranti Maidan to Chowpatty and back. Like last year this year also students intend on marching under the TISS banner yet again. Lets all march together in solidarity.

For Further Information


August 11, 2009 at 12:43 am 2 comments

Update on the issue of security regulations

On Friday the 24th, in a rare instance of student mobilisation, people from across courses in TISS came together in solidarity with the Students’ Union, as the latter sat with the director to discuss the growing unrest among students about the new security regulations on campus.

For the uninformed, new rules restricting our movements were imposed soon after the incident of sexual assault outside the campus on one of our colleagues. (For details, see previous post).

While it was extremely disheartening to know that the meeting could not be completed due to lack of time (also the meeting started an hour and a half late), some outcomes of the meeting could be considered positively, albeit in a guarded manner.

  1. Deadline has been restored to 12.30 a.m. However, the need and justification for deadline needs to be thoroughly debated.
  2. Students staying out of campus can remain on campus even after 12 a.m.
  3. The provision of informing parents will not be followed through. It is not clear though if this is only temporary or the provision has been put on hold till a new system is put in place.
  4. Hostel residents will not be removed from hostel if they come late often.
  5. Wardens need to be informed (not sought permission from) through SMS whenever a student might come late. It does seem like there are no caps on how often students can come later than 12.30 a.m. at least till the time a new set of rules are decided upon by the Committee.

The last two outcomes are not entirely unproblematic. When the Director later fielded questions from students, he said that information collected through the SMS will be used. On further questioning, he admitted that it is not yet known what the information will be used for. If penalty will then be imposed in retrospect, one does not know yet.

5. To a question on if there was no restriction on moving between campuses, the director’s response was a guarded yes with a caveat however that “unnecessary” movements between campuses need not be undertaken. The qualification merits further probing on what constitutes necessity and for whom.

6. An empowered committee consisting of students and administration will be set up.

It is not clear if the rules thus relaxed will be discussed again at the scheduled meeting with the Deputy Director on Wednesday. Also unclear is how long these rules will be in force.

Even while we discuss the nitty-gritty of rules, the larger question that looms before us is how much codification we are willing to subject our lives to. When rules are made for students to be “safe” does this mean that women are? Does it eliminate possibilities of sexual harassment? Has it done so in TISS?

July 28, 2009 at 1:33 am 2 comments

We object. We resist

As you are all aware, new ‘security rules’ have been introduced this academic year ostensibly for security purposes. These rules have been brought into force after the sexual assault on one of our colleagues outside the campus in April’09.

For those who are still unaware of the rules, the following brief might help:

1. Expulsion of students from the hostel if they come later than 12 a.m. three times in a year.

2. Informing the student’s parents every time they come in later than 12 a.m.

3. Day scholars are not allowed to stay on campus after 12 a.m.

4. No exit from campus between 12 to 6 am, with restrictions even on moving between campuses.

TISS has repeatedly said that blaming the victim for the assault is not a view they subscribe to. But these regulations restricting our movements expose the administration’s implicit assumption that if the victim had not gone out, the assault would not have occurred.

This, we assert, is a grossly false view since sexual assaults can take place at any time in the day. Protective confinement is not a viable defence against sexual violence. What is does is that it hinders women and men from exercising their rights and freedom.

According to the guidelines of the Committee against Sexual Harassment set up by TISS, “Physical confinement against one’s will and any other act likely to violate one’s privacy” constitutes sexual harassment.

We contend here that these rules, especially informing parents about out our movements and not allowing people to leave campus after 12 a.m., smacks of this very kind of harassment that the institute otherwise claims to oppose. It is not merely individuals who perpetrate harassment; institutions are guilty of it too.

Social control of individual’s sexuality is a violation of fundamental freedom. And as students of social sciences, it is imperative upon us to speak and oppose collectively such forms of control wherever we encounter it.  Let us all come together to resist these moral and authoritarian ways.

July 24, 2009 at 2:37 am 2 comments


Bangalore: 9.p.m. 29 January 2009

Dear friends,

Please see (below) the  Joint Statement on the Barbaric Assault in Mangalore. It was signed, initially, by 300 individuals and groups and released on 29 Jan. 2009. However, we continue to take endorsements, which will be included in a supplementary list.

We represent a cross-section of women’s rights activists, human rights activists, home-makers, writers, film and media persons, health professionals, lawyers, bankers, academics (ranging from student to vice chancellor), scientists, information technologists, social workers, and others.

We are deeply anguished and angered by the spate of violent attacks on the human rights and civil liberties of people all over the country. The criminal assault on young women by the Sri Rama Sene in Mangalore last week is the most recent episode in a profoundly disturbing trend. No civilised and democratic society can condone such an assault in the name of religion, tradition and culture. Indeed, no religion, and no one with any kind of religious faith, would ever support such a barbaric act.

We strongly believe that the State and Union Governments must act promptly against all forms of criminal violence.  All citizens, and especially those who serve the Government as policy makers, administrators and law enforcers, must actively and continuously uphold the Indian Constitution and its values, in letter and spirit.

Sumi Krishna, Bangalore; Ammu Joseph, Bangalore; Soma KP, New Delhi; Joy Ranadive, Ahmedabad; U.Vindhya, Hyderabad and others.

Enquiries by email to sumikr@gmail.com; anita@openspace.org.in;

To endorse, please go to the Ultra Violet website and write your name with affiliation/location in the Comment space. http://youngfeminists.wordpress.com



Bangalore: 9 p.m., 29 January 2009

We, the undersigned, strongly condemn the horrific and unprovoked assault by a group of 40 hooligans, reportedly members of the Sri Rama Sene, on young women in a pub in the coastal city of Mangalore, Karnataka, during the afternoon of Saturday, 24 January 2009. We are saddened by the inaction of the public who looked on as the brutal attack unfolded.  But we appreciate the attitude and actions of the staff of the pub, who tried to intervene, and the young man who stood up to the attackers.

We are shocked by the tardy action of the State administration, police, and political leadership, some of whom have dismissed this is as a “minor incident”. We believe that violent threats to the democratic freedoms and human rights of citizens, whether women or religious minorities, cannot be trivialised as “unfortunate”.

We are deeply disturbed by the sharply escalating trend of political and social violence against women in public and private spaces as a means to enforce a particularly regressive interpretation of culture in the name of “religion and country” that has been seen in several parts of India. We condemn all such forms of gender-based violence against women and children and the attitudes that make such violence acceptable, whether in the family or in the social and public spheres.

We believe that the Mangalore assault was not an isolated episode by self-appointed “moral police” and their sympathisers who criminally took the law into their own hands, but that it is part of a pattern in the profoundly contested political struggle over what constitutes Indian traditions, religions and cultures.  It is evident that in this instance the attackers were emboldened to carry out the unprovoked assault in a political environment that supports a particularly narrow and fanatical view of Indian culture as also a repressive attitude towards women.

We recognise the role of the media in bringing the assault to public notice and their unrelenting efforts to get the State to act against those immediately responsible for it. However, we are gravely concerned that those members of the media who had prior notice of the planned assault did not deem it their responsibility as citizens to inform the police.

We strongly believe that the State and democratically minded citizens must stand up to the violent targeting of women and re-affirm our commitment to the human rights and civil liberties of all people. There can and should be dialogues on what constitutes “Indian-ness”, but  regardless of the interpretations of Indian culture and traditions, beating and molesting women cannot be condoned.

  1. Sumi Krishna, Bangalore: Coordinator: sumikr@gmail.com
  2. Ammu Joseph, Bangalore
  3. Soma  K.P., New Delhi
  4. U. Vindhya, Hyderabad
  5. Joy Ranadive, Ahmedabad
  6. Mary E. John, New Delhi
  7. Gopa Samanta, Burdwan (West Bengal)
  8. Anuradha Prasad, Bangalore
  9. Sharad Lele, Bangalore
  10. Prajval Shastri, Bangalore
  11. Ajit Menon, Chennai
  12. Cynthia Stephen, Bangalore
  13. M. Indira, Mysore
  14. Meera Velayudhan, Ahmedabad
  15. S. Anandi, Chennai
  16. Kumkum Roy, New Delhi
  17. Jaya Bhattacharjee Rose, New Delhi
  18. Claire Noronha, New Delhi
  19. Anuradha De, New Delhi
  20. Meera Samson, New Delhi
  21. Hrangthan Chhungi, Bangalore
  22. Ratna Sudarshan, New Delhi
  23. Rukmini Sen, Kolkata
  24. Anomita Sen, New Delhi
  25. Pushpa Achanta, Bangalore
  26. Shobita Rajagopal, IDS, Jaipur
  27. Anita Ghai, New Delhi
  28. Samir Ghosh, Pune
  29. Leo Saldhana, Bangalore
  30. Padmini Swaminathan, Chennai
  31. Megha Shenoy, New Haven,US /Bangalore
  32. Fahim Kemal, Hyderabad
  33. Kiran Kamal Prasad, Bangalore
  34. Bharati Jagannathan, Faridabad, Haryana
  35. Uma Iyengar, New Delhi
  36. Deepa Dhanraj, Bangalore
  37. Anuradha Kapoor, Swayam, Kolkata
  38. Jayashri Murali, Bangalore
  39. George Pulikuthiyil, Kerala
  40. Mahesh Bhat, Bangalore
  41. Nagesh Hegde, Bangalore
  42. Lawrence Surendra, Mysore
  43. Chaman Pincha, Chennai
  44. Anupama Bijur, Bangalore
  45. Shampa Sengupta, Kolkata
  46. Joesph Xavier, Bangalore
  47. Apurba K. Baruah, NEHU, Shillong
  48. Mangai, Chennai
  49. Deepak, K. Mishra, JNU, New Delhi
  50. Abha Sur, MIT, Boston (US)
  51. Siddharth Narrain, ALF, Bangalore
  52. Chhaya Datar, Mumbai
  53. Ramesh Dodamani, Mysore
  54. Rashna Batliwala Singh, Colorado Springs, (US)
  55. Uma Chakravarti, New Delhi
  56. Sumantra Nag, New Delhi
  57. Madhu Sarin, Chandigarh
  58. L.C. Nagaraj, Bangalore
  59. Pritam Baruah, Kolkata
  60. Ishani Roy, Mumbai
  61. Shilpa Phadke, Mumbai
  62. Pradeep Esteves, Bangalore
  63. Sangeeta Dutta, London
  64. Anjali Monteiro, TISS, Mumbai
  65. K.P. Jayasankar, TISS, Mumbai
  66. Meena Gopal, Mumbai
  67. Shashi Deshpande, Bangalore
  68. Ramapriya Gopalakrishnan, Chennai
  69. Manisha Gupte, MASUM, Pune
  70. Ramesh Awaste, MASUM, Pune
  71. Kamala Ganesh, Mumbai
  72. Indira Pathak, Vikalp, Baroda
  73. Maya Sharma Parma, Baroda
  74. Manjula Padiyar, Nari Adalat, Baroda
  75. Jatin Joshi, Chotudepur (Gujarat)
  76. Sakhi Sanghatan, Thilakvada (Gujarat)
  77. Leela Fernandez, Rutgers Univ. New Brunswick (US)
  78. Ammel Sharon, TISS/ Samadhan, Mangalore
  79. Shakun, Vimochana, Bangalore
  80. Deepti Sharma, New Delhi
  81. Anita Mathew, Alto Porvorim,Goa.
  82. Chandita Mukherjee, Mumbai
  83. Kamayani Bali Mahabal, ARROW, Kuala Lumpur
  84. Jeanne Subramaniam, Bangalore
  85. Arun Subramaniam, Bangalore
  86. Wilfred Dcosta, INSAF, Ahmedabad
  87. Rebecca Abraham, Hongkong
  88. Maj. Gen. Sudhir Vombatkere, Mysore
  89. Fr. Joe Xavier, sj., ISI, Bangalore
  90. Vijayathilagam,  ISI, Bangalore
  91. Lorraine Moreira,  ISI, Bangalore
  92. Mercy Kappen, Visthaar, Bangalore
  93. Saswati Ghosh, Kolkata
  94. Molly Furtado, Mysore
  95. Sasi Kumar, New Delhi
  96. Lena Ganesh, Mumbai
  97. Saumya Uma, Mumbai
  98. Samita Sen, Kolkata
  99. Jashodhara Dasgupta, Health Watch Forum, Lucknow
  100. Saba Dewan, New Delhi
  101. Rahul Roy, New Delhi
  102. Vineeta Bal, Saheli, New Delhi
  103. Krishna Shukla, Hyderabad
  104. Cavery Bopiah
  105. Kathyayini Chamaraj, Bangalore
  106. Brinda Adige, GCI, Bangalore
  107. Rakhi Pande, Mumbai
  108. Christina Kantharaj, Mysore
  109. Ellora Puri, Jammu
  110. Sadhna Arya, Saheli, New Delhi
  111. Amrutha Valli, Bangalore
  112. Cheryll Pereira, Mumbai
  113. Kumkum Lal, New Delhi
  114. Ashok Lal, New Delhi
  115. Sunita Srinivasan, Bangalore
  116. Ritu Dewan, Bombay Univ, Mumbai
  117. Rini Ralte, Bangalore
  118. Tarshi (Radhika Chandiramani), New Delhi
  119. Natalie Pereira, Bangalore
  120. Amar Jesani, Mumbai
  121. Rajesh Ramakrishnan, New Delhi
  122. Monica Narula, New Delhi
  123. R. Sukanya, Bangalore
  124. Indu Agnihotri, New Delhi
  125. Nidhi Agarwal, New Delhi
  126. Manshi Agarwal, Himachal Pradesh
  127. Purnima McCutcheon, LEED AP, Chennai
  128. Dolphy D’souza, Bombay Catholic Sabha, Mumbai
  129. Alwyn D’Silva, Mumbai
  130. Biplab Mukherjee, Kolkata
  131. J. Devika, Thiruvanthapuram
  132. Sukla Sen, Ekta, Mumbai
  133. Wandana Sonalkar, BAmbedkar Marathwada Univ, Aurangabad
  134. Aftab Kamal Pasha, JNU, New Delhi
  135. Yoganandan Krishnan, Bangalore
  136. Anjula Gurtoo, IISC, Bangalore
  137. Jith Chacko,  Ostersund, Sweden
  138. Shwetha Vachani, New Delhi
  139. Sudha Narasimhachar, Bangalore
  140. Arunesh Maiyar, Bangalore
  141. Jamila Verghese, New Delhi
  142. Gita Madhu, Kuala Lumpur
  143. Vijayshri Iyengar, Akshara, Bangalore
  144. Payal Dhar, Bangalore
  145. Vineetha Mokkil, New Delhi
  146. Utsav Banerjee, Hyderabad
  147. Sudeshna Mukherjee, Bangalore
  148. Malathi Velamuri, Wellington, Newzealand
  149. Harish Sadani (Men Against Violence and Abuse), Mumbai
  150. C. G. Manjula, Bangalore
  151. Markus Pfefferer, Bangalore
  152. Bonita Aleaz, Kolkata
  153. Sourindra Ghosh, New Delhi
  154. Sumati Surya, Bangalore
  155. Gita Chadha, Mumbai
  156. Javed Malick, New Delhi
  157. Neeraj Malik, New Delhi
  158. Mariola Menezes, Nigeria
  159. Sampreethi Aipanjiguly, Khatmandu
  160. Thomas Nielsen, Khatmandu
  161. Pramod A. Pullarkat, RRI, Bangalore
  162. Ponni Arasu, Bangalore
  163. Partners for Law in Development, New Delhi
  164. Nirantar, New Delhi
  165. Saheli, New Delhi
  166. Seema Siddique, London
  167. Walter Fernandes, NESRC, Guwahati
  168. Suresh Parekh, Mumbai
  169. Anagha Sarpotdar, Mumbai
  170. Mukul Dube, Delhi
  171. Nandini Manjrekar, Mumbai
  172. Aurina Chatterjee, Mumbai
  173. Anushree Banerjee, Mumbai
  174. Lina Krishna, Bangalore
  175. Harkant Mankad, Mumbai
  176. Niruj Mohan R., Bangalore
  177. Jayant Radhakrishnan, Chicago
  178. Swathi Sivanand, Mumbai
  179. Maithili Gupte, Mumbai
  180. Ammu Abraham, Mumbai
  181. Jagori, New Delhi
  182. Di Cooper, Mumbai
  183. Tanushree Gangopadhyay, Bangalore
  184. Gayatri Sunil Phadke, Mumbai
  185. Rajesh Ranjan, Hyderabad
  186. Sana Rizvi, New York
  187. Vikram Ahuja, Bangalore
  188. Renjini Varghese, Pune
  189. Sandeep Krishna, Copenhagen/ Bangalore
  190. V. Uday Bhanu, San Francisco
  191. Reama Ramachandran, New York
  192. Roshan Suvarna, New York
  193. Aasha Ramesh, Bangalore
  194. Atuk Bhutia, New Delhi
  195. Agnel Pereira, Bahrain
  196. Lakshmi Lingam, Mumbai
  197. Subodh S. Gupta, Sewagram, Wardha
  198. Revathi Laul, New Delhi
  199. Subhashini Muthukrishnan
  200. Rajika Shukla, New Delhi
  201. Lynne Henry, Mumbai
  202. Renu Ramnath, Kochi
  203. Rakesh Sharma, Mumbai
  204. Sai Thakur, Mumbai
  205. N. Devadasan, Bangalore
  206. Kalpana Kannabiran, Asmita, Hyderabad
  207. Vasanth Kannabiran, Asmita, Hyderabad
  208. Volga, Asmita, Hyderabad
  209. Vanaja, Hyderabad
  210. Shyamala Shiveshwarkar, New Delhi
  211. Hartman de Souza, Pune
  212. J.M.K. Sekar, Chennai
  213. Rajeev Kalekar
  214. CEHAT (Sana Contractor), Pune
  215. Sheelu, Women’s Collective, Tamilnadu
  216. Sundari, TNRT, Chennai.
  217. V.Chandra, WEED, Chennai
  218. Sharmilee Nielsen, Chennai
  219. Klaus Nielsen, Chennai
  220. Shewli, Mumbai
  221. Naresh Fernandes, Mumbai
  222. Anita Cheria, Openspace, Bangalore
  223. Prafulla Mishra, Nairobi
  224. Sanjeeb Mukherjee, Kolkata
  225. Ravi Vasudevan, New Delhi
  226. Satnam Kaur, Saheli, New Delhi
  227. John Kurien, CLR, Pune
  228. Kumud Sharma, New Delhi
  229. Tilottama S. Misra, Guwahati
  230. Sapna Shahani, Mumbai
  231. Mohan Haridas, Nagpur
  232. Kumara Swamy H., Mysore
  233. Jason Keith Fernandes, Goa
  234. John Dayal, New Delhi
  235. Dileep Simeon, New Delhi
  236. Smitha S. Pendharkar, WUNRN Revere, MA (US)
  237. Pradeep Narayanan, New Delhi
  238. Citizens’ Inititiative for Peace (Jatin Desai), Mumbai
  239. Vrinda Grover, New Delhi
  240. Abhisheka, New Delhi
  241. M. Rajkumar
  242. Saraswati Raju, JNU, New Delhi
  243. Philomena Lydia Fernandes, Goa
  244. Aariz Mohammed, CSJ, Hyderabad
  245. Beena, [245-264, all Asmita, Hyderabad]
  246. Sharifa Siddiqui
  247. Pallavi Gupta
  248. Meera
  249. Vaishali
  250. Nagamma
  251. Rajyalakshmi
  252. Asha
  253. Santhi
  254. P. Anuradha
  255. T. Anuradha
  256. Padmalakshmi
  257. Nikhat
  258. Kranthi
  259. Padmini
  260. Subbalakshmi
  261. Sujatha
  262. Sarah
  263. Sudha
  264. Neela
  265. Nivedita Menon, JNU, Delhi
  266. Amrita Dhar, Kolkata
  267. Feroze Mithiborwala, Awami Bharat, Mumbai
  268. Kishore Jagtap, Ganai Sanskritik Andolan, Mumbai
  269. Jyoti Badekar, Marathi Bharti, Mumbai
  270. Varsha V V,  Sameep Pratishthan, Mumbai
  271. Amol Madame, Sameep Pratishthan, Mumbai
  272. Sayeed Khan, Awami Bharat, Mumbai
  273. Arif Kapadia, Awami Bharat, Mumbai
  274. Gaurav Karia, Awami Bharat, Mumbai
  275. Jagdish Nagarkar,  Phule-Ambedkar Vichar Manch, Mumbai
  276. Mulniwasi Mala, Indian Social Movement, Mumbai
  277. John Fernandes, Rajahmundry (Andhra)
  278. Rita D’Silva, Mumbai
  279. Sudha Rajagopalan, Univ of Utrecht, Netherlands
  280. Concerned for Working Children (Kavita Ratna), Bangalore
  281. Malini Gurbaxani, Pune
  282. Rohini Hensman, Mumbai
  283. Suma Embar, Mysore
  284. Rajani Konantambigi, Mumbai
  285. Aryakrishnan Ramakrishnan, Kochi
  286. Veena, Bangalore
  287. Anchita Ghatak, Kolkata
  288. Kirtiwan. D. Morarji, Mumbai
  289. Daya Varma, McGill Univ. Montreal
  290. Natasha Koshy, TISS, Mumbai
  291. Navneeta Majumder, Mumbai
  292. Monika Mehta, TISS, Mumbai
  293. Shubhobrato Ghosh, AIM, Manila
  294. Paul Heron, Pune
  295. Farida Gazdar, Mumbai/Paris
  296. Vidya K.S., Mumbai
  297. Shruti Chakravarty, FAOW, Mumbai
  298. Nachiket Joshi, New York
  299. K.P. Suresha, Bangalore
  300. Jyoti Punwani, Mumbai

Supplementary List (from 30 January 2009)

  1. Mansha Singh, Mumbai
  2. Maya Dodd, Pune
  3. Antara Gupta, Mumbai
  4. A.K.Ramakrishnan, JNU, New Delhi
  5. Sneha Krishnan, Chennai
  6. Kalpana Shanmugham, Chennai
  7. Kavita Panjabi, Kolkata
  8. Shreya Ghosh, Mumbai
  9. PK Shahjahan, Mumbai
  10. Kadambini, TISS, Mumbai
  11. Ann Ninan, New Delhi
  12. Sunil Abraham, Centre for Internet and Society, Bangalore
  13. Vineeta Rai, Bangalore
  14. Payal Dhar, Bangalore
  15. Shweta Bajaj, TISS, Mumbai
  16. Sangeeta Chatterji, Mumbai
  17. Sujata Sriram, TISS, Mumbai
  18. Amita Bhide, TISS, Mumbai
  19. Vimal Nadkarni, TISS Mumbai
  20. Dolon Ganguly, Kolkata
  21. Seema Kulkarni, Pune
  22. Maya, S. Kottayam
  23. Kenneth Gonsalves
  24. Hilal Ahmed, New Delhi
  25. Bill Jacob Oommen, Kottayam
  26. Jacintha Menezes, CED, Mumbai
  27. Nishi Mitra, TISS, Mumbai
  28. Deepti Talwar, New Delhi
  29. Oishik Sircar, Kolkata
  30. Millet Aubrey, Mumbai
  31. Ashish Sen, Bangalore
  32. Rohinee Ghosh, New Delhi
  33. Bindulakshmi, Mumbai
  34. K. Sunil Kumar, New Democratic Movement, Kochi
  35. Lizzy Openshaw, Geneva
  36. Richa Burman, New Delhi
  37. Len Kennedy, Melbourne
  38. Ruchi Kochar, Bangalore
  39. Leena Vrij
  40. Chatura Rao, Mumbai
  41. Neelam Johar, Asagao, Goa
  42. Swayam (Anuradha Kapoor), Kolkata
  43. Soma Mrik, Kolkata
  44. Atul Gupta, Bioscope International, Dehradun
  45. Anindita Sengupta, Bangalore
  46. Aditya Sengupta, Bangalore
  47. Prashant Issac, Bangalore
  48. Aparna V Singh, Bangalore
  49. Surbhi Sukhija, Noida, UP
  50. Anuradha Pujar, New York
  51. Smriti Lamech, New Delhi
  52. Padmini Ray Murray, Edinburgh
  53. Poorva C, Chennai
  54. Monika Manchanda, Bangalore
  55. Chandni Malik, Delhi
  56. Rajesh, Stockholm
  57. Isha Manchanda, Delhi
  58. Rahul Kumar, New York
  59. Srividya Srinivasan, Bangalore
  60. Grishma Udani, Mumbai
  61. Varna, Chennai
  62. Pramod Bafna, Bangalore.
  63. Shilpa R Mulki, Mangalore
  64. Brinda Bose, New Delhi
  65. Ankita Sharma, Pune
  66. Aarti Aniruddh Sankaran, Chennai
  67. Pratheesh Prakash, Chennai.
  68. Pamposh Dhar, Manila
  69. Angelo Embuldeniya, Bahrain
  70. Prathama Banerjee, New Delhi
  71. Hasan, Bangalore
  72. Nilanjana Biswas, Bangalore
  73. Swati Nair, Chennai.
  74. Pooja Pillai, Mumbai
  75. Tharunya Balan, Bangalore
  76. Sukanya C, Kolkata
  77. Harsh Kapoor, Montpellier, France
  78. Kenneth Gonsalves, Bangalore
  79. Manjulika Vaz, Bangalore
  80. Ariel Dougherty, New Mexico, US

January 29, 2009 at 6:10 pm 3 comments

Nirvanam on 26 September 2008

Culture Café, Centre for Media and Cultural Studies, TISS presents




by Pritham K. Chakravarthy



Date: 26th September 2008

Time: 6 p.m.

Venue: Main Quadrangle, Tata Institute of Social Sciences


Entry Free



is a powerful one person performative exploration of the journey towards becoming an Aravani (or transgendered subject).  Nirvanam refers to the act of liberating oneself from the male body and transforming oneself to a female. This narrative bears witness to the tumultuous journey towards a reinvented selfhood, a journey fraught with violence, exploitation, affection and courage




Pritham K Chakravarthy is a storyteller, playwright, director and actor. Scripted and performed by Pritham, Nirvanam was a part of The Edinburgh International Festival 2002. Since then all her solo pieces, Nirvanam, Mirror/Kannadi and Dushala have been performed extensively in the UK and USA. Within the country they have been featured at The Park Other Festival, The Metro Theatre Festival, Bangalore Habba and Natarani Festival of Non-violence. She has been the recipient of several fellowships, including Ashoka Innovators Fellowship, 1995-96, Fulbright Fellowship, 2002-2003, Charles Wallace Fellowship, 2007 and the SARAI Independent Fellowship 2007. She is also an author and a translator. Her latest work includes The Blaft Anthology of Tamil Pulp Fiction and Zero Degree – Charu Nivedita. She is currently Artist in Residence at the Centre for Media and Cultural Studies, TISS. 

September 22, 2008 at 6:47 pm Leave a comment


We strongly condemn the September 15, 2008 verdict by the trial court in Bhandara which has absolved all the accused of conviction under the Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. In a complete travesty of justice the court even refused to convict any of the 11 accused (chargesheeted out of a total of 46) of charges under Section 354 of the IPC which refers to assault or criminal force with intent to outrage the modesty of a woman.

On 26th September 2006, in a ghastly and barbaric instance of caste violence, four members of Bhaiyyalal Bhotmange family, including his wife Surekha, his daughter and two sons were killed brutally by caste hindu men and women of the village. Before killing them, mother and daughter were humiliated by being parading naked by the caste hindu mob. The wife and daughter were also gangraped in full public view. Even prior to this incident, the Bhotmange family was socially and economically harassed by the upper caste landed interests in the village for a number of years. The small amount of land that they had was also sought to be taken away from them using caste-based coercion. It was resistance against this tyranny of caste hindus that led to this beastly and inhuman incident.

Despite all of this, the trial court has held that the incident had nothing to do with caste oppression. In holding this the court has, shockingly and blatantly, refused to consider eyewitness accounts and a vast amount of circumstantial evidence. It has also turned a blind eye to the reports of a large number of fact finding missions. The PUCL report, for example, states that “the brutal violence was accompanied by deliberate display of an extreme degree of caste prejudice. Photographs of Baba Saheb Ambedkar in people’s homes were broken and widespread caste based insults were freely employed...there was a deliberate attempt to teach the Dalit community trying to assert themselves, a lesson”.

The Khairlanji atrocity is a cruel reminder of the plight of Dalits in the country. The shocking part of the entire episode is how the entire structure of law callously sought to cover up this terrible crime. The mainstream media was also complicit in pushing this gruesome episode under the carpet.

Let us join hands to expose and fight the horrible caste prejudices that still run rife throughout the country. Let us pledge to bring justice to countless victims of caste violence and discrimination in India.


An Initiative by A Concerned Group of  Students at TISS

September 21, 2008 at 2:10 pm 2 comments

TISSTalks calls for you

Dance. Music. Theatre. Stories. Ideas.

If you want to participate in the events of TISSTalks or if you just want to be involved…

We are meeting at the Main Campus Dining Hall on the 5th of September (Friday) at 6.00 p.m.

All are invited.

August 31, 2008 at 2:06 pm Leave a comment

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Have anything to say on the themes under discussion? Or do we want to bring a new issue under consideration? Mail us at tisstalks@gmail.com and we'll put up your thoughts, your ideas and your experiences up here for discussion.