A young, educated, privileged, white woman-celebrity gets appointed a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador six months ago (UN Women is the United Nations organisation that works with women’s rights and issues). At the UN General Assembly, to launch a UN Women campaign on gender equality, this celebrity spokesperson, the Goodwill Ambassador, is asked to make a… Read More Emma Watson’s Unexceptional, Somewhat Ignorant Speech
I am very skeptical about testimonial-based works of art, particularly performances. I haven’t seen or read many testimonial-based plays or ‘verbatim’ shows that haven’t left me squirming and cringing in their wake — usually because they are melodramatic, over-acted, full of unmitigated angst and hardly ever provide any real interpretation or analysis. Lately, I have… Read More ‘Nirbhaya: The Play’ and the Simple Power of Stories Being Told
On Sunday night (March 16) Ruki Fernando and Fr Praveen, prominent Sri Lankan human rights defenders, were taken into detention in Kilinochchi under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. This followed the arrest of Jeyakumari Balendran and her young daughter on March 14; Balendran, the mother of a disappeared former LTTE cadre, has been outspoken about… Read More Detention of Ruki Fernando and Fr Praveen
Originally published here. ———————————————————————————————– The Namal Rajapaksa Twitter fiasco: Sri Lanka, sexism & political correctness Subha Wijesiriwardena is a Sri Lankan blogger and theatre practitioner currently living in Bangalore, India. The Namal Rajapaksa Twitter fiasco of March 4th revealed to us a great many interesting and disturbing things about Sri Lanka, Sri Lankan politics… Read More Op-Ed for the Republic Square (Sri Lanka)
In the TED talk by Chimamanda Adichie, now widely famous because excerpts of it have been featured in a song off the all-new Beyoncé album (titled BEYONCÉ), she says the best feminist she knows is her brother, who is, she assures you, very masculine. Adichie is very much a spokesperson for the young, articulate, optimistic post-feminist… Read More BEYONCÉ and The Dilemma of the Post-Feminism Feminist
The Indian Supreme Court’s ruling today which once again criminalizes gay-sex, and thereby in principle homosexuality, has sparked angry protests and evoked much disappointment across the nation and in the region beyond. In 2009, in a landmark moment in Indian and South Asian history, the Delhi High Court ruled that the section of the Indian… Read More Indian Supreme Court’s Ruling on Gay-Sex: Can Congress Stand Up to India’s Right-Wing?
It’s been three months today since my mother died. Her death has been everything like her life: big, tremendously powerful, changing everything, moving everyone within its reach to powerful and exciting revelations about their own lives, their own existences, their own choices. This was her; allowing choices to define who we are, allowing these definitions… Read More Three Months.
Tarun Tejpal, the iconic founder and Editor in Chief of Tehelka, India’s award-winning magazine for political reportage, has stepped down following accusations of sexual assault from a journalist who works for the magazine. For those of us who admire and follow brave independent journalism in the region, Tehelka, and Tejpal himself, were symbols of hope;… Read More The Tarun Tejpal Case: Please Don’t Give into Useless Outrage
I’d forgotten that most people don’t know as much about Sri Lanka as one always expects, in India People raise their eyebrows, intrigued, suspicious; ‘Why do you know so much about India? Indian politics?’ They don’t know the first thing about Sri Lanka ‘There was a war? Really?’ ‘Do you have your own language? Does… Read More In India: Take Two
What happened in 1983, I wasn’t there to see it – but of course, I, like many others of my generation who came after, are privy to a collective memory, an experience felt by association, by default; the muscle memory of our parents, relatives, their friends and their relatives, passed on through stories, recollections, little… Read More Remembering; Forgetting; Apologising; Forgiving