Our e-Essays project is now LIVE! Previously-released essays are available here, and each month a new essay is available for free with any other purchase.
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We opened our offering of the e-Essays with a focus on Indian women’s movements. Our second lot of e-Essays are picked from two brilliant volumes on sexual violence. The three pieces differently focus on the loci of this violence: both men and women in militarised Kashmir, a single survivor narrative in Nagaland, and Dalit women in the jogini system, at the intersection of various structures of patriarchal and Brahmanical violence. Published between 2011 and 2016, the authors of these pieces use survivor narratives and analysis to examine the culture of impunity around sexual violence and its varying contributing factors.
1) ‘Sexual Violence’ by Aloysius Irudayam S J, Jayshree P Mangubhai & Joel G Lee from Dalit Women Speak Out: Caste, Class and Gender Violence in India, 2011.
Exposing the vulnerability of Dalit women to both gender-based exploitation and caste-based violence, this essay investigates the threats that follow the women into their homes, their workplace, and the streets. Covering the many different structures that enable and even perpetuate such violence, the essay focuses in particular on the jogini system that legitimises prostitution even as it creates a circle of exploitation and social discrimination. 35 pp.
Aloysius Irudayam S. J. is currently the Program Director for Advocacy Research and Human Rights Education at the Institute of Development Education, Action and Studies (IDEAS), located in Madurai, Tamil Nadu.
Jayshree Mangubhai is a Senior Human Rights Adviser with the Pacific Community (SPC), a regional organisation that provides technical and scientific advice to Pacific Island governments, based in Fiji.
Joel G Lee is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Williams College, Massachusetts, USA. He teaches and conducts research on caste and religion in South Asia.
2)‘Breaking the Silence: Sexual Violence and Impunity in Jammu and Kashmir’ by Sahba Husain from Fault Lines of History, 2016.
Sahba Husain’s essay illustrates how sexual violence in the context of Kashmir takes on another layer of meaning as a deliberate strategy employed by the armed forces. It targets both women and men and has a bearing on their daily lives that are subsumed under the shadow of militancy.
Much of the analysis in the essay also stems from personal accounts of survivors who have different allegiances and religious backgrounds, which has affected them differently and has allowed the author to delve deeper into their varied experiences. 45 pp.
& Social Inequalities in India, 2002.
Samita Sen’s essay traces the history of the Indian women’s movement from the 1920s to the present day. The chronological as well as thematic logic of the essay follows three primary heads: a historical background, the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) controversy, and the political implications of the reservation for women in legislatures.
For Sen, a new feminist politics has to address struggles of class, caste, community, religion et al, without displacing gender as the central concern, making this essay one of crucial importance for understanding the origins of the issues facing feminist politics today. 53pp. Read more.
Samita Sen is Director, School of Women’s Studies, and Dean, Faculty of Interdisciplinary Studies, Law and Management, Jadavpur University. She writes on education, the women’s movement, marriage, domestic violence, women in governance and women’s land rights.
A note on pricing, frequency and format:
Ten new essays are released each month, and subscribers receive each new set in their inbox three times a month. The essays range from just a few pages to 100-page chapters, and we have therefore created three pricing tiers: 50, 70 and 95 rupees. Responses to our test survey in March indicated that a majority of readers would be willing to pay up to Rs. 100, so we’ve kept even the longest essay under that amount. The vast majority of our readers also included PDFs in their preference of format, and we have therefore standardised all our essays in PDF files.
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