17 posts
  • jaya___ 9w

    To register her defiance against caste oppression, Nangeli performed such a great act of courage and boldness that not only an oppressive system was annulled but it also set a supreme example of liberation and revolution by the oppressed lower caste people.
    This story is of Nangeli.

    Nangeli (meaning "the beautiful one") was a young girl of the Ezhava community living in the Travancore Kingdom in eighteenth century. (This area now falls in Kerala).

    Ezhava is a lower caste (currently 23% of the Kerala population) while the kingship was with Brahmins who followed a barbarically rigid caste hierarchy which was maintained through a system of cruel taxes. The Travancore kingdom ran on taxes levied on poor people, especially on the lower castes Ezhavas and Nadar. There was a tax on wearing jewelry and on men for keeping moustaches. There was also a tax on women, the breast tax. The breast tax was a tax imposed until 1924 on the lower caste and untouchable Hindu women by the Kingdom of Tranvancore if they wanted to cover their breasts in public. The lower caste and untouchable women were expected to pay the government the breast tax when they started developing breasts; the tax was supposedly assessed in proportion to the size of their breasts.

    Multiple historians have documented that uncovering one's breasts was revered as a symbolic token of homage from the lower castes towards the upper castes in the kingdom of Travancore and a state-law prevented any covering of breasts since it demarcated the caste hierarchy in a prominent manner. This had often been the focal point of multiple rebellions by lower castes.

    I am unable to imagine this absurdly oppressive clothing system and the illogical economic tax system of this kingdom's Brahmin rulers. Upper caste Nair women were "allowed" to cover their breasts with a loose shawl but had to immediately uncover their breasts in front of priests, husbands, and kings. While the lower caste women could never cover themselves above the torso.

    Amidst this relentless caste based tax oppression that always kept Nangeli and her husband in debt despite back breaking labor in fields all day, lived the fiery Nangeli. She was always headstrong and openly bitter of the leering upper caste men and their sexual and mental harassment of her caste people. She refused to pay the breast tax by covering her breasts. She was against this caste based and gendered tax that was an unbearable burden to their already meagre resources. She took up this challenge which was quickly noticed by the pravathiyar (village tax officer) of Travancore who came to Nangeli's home to survey her breasts and collect the breast tax.

    Nangeli revolted against the harassment; she was outraged at this cruelty and in utmost rage she chopped off her breasts, presenting them to him in a plantain leaf. She died soon from loss of blood.

    Her husband Chirukandan, seeing her mutilated body was overcome by grief and jumped into her funeral pyre - in what was supposedly the first male sati.
    Following the death of Nangeli, a series of people's movements apparently set off and similar folk-lores have been noted. The breast tax system was supposedly annulled in Travancore, soon afterwards and the place she lived had came to be known as Mulachiparambu (meaning land of the breasted woman).

    Nangeli's fight shines on the change that women's rage can bring about and the message that women should register their anger against oppression.

    But what is saddening is the ignorance surrounding this legendary story of a woman's rebellion against caste and women oppression. We need to spread this story which acts as an inspiration to me both as a woman and a person against any kind of oppression. The case of the only male sati is also forgotten and erased. We need to acknowledge Nangeli and her husband's great sacrifice for the cause of equality and dignity.

    Its time we acknowledge the fact that the Indian women especially the lower caste women in our country are still devoid of much agency and security due to their social standing.

    The initial upper caste women in Travancore who were allowed to wear blouses were ostracised from community as it was seen as deviation from the "culture" of the place.

    I am angry at the patriarchy which wants to decide whether we should wear clothes or not and what should women wear at all times. In France, Burqa is banned, in Afghanistan even hands have to be covered. Why are men given powers over women dressing? I ask this question too.

    Let's all of us resolve to end such oppression. And Hail Nangeli!

    © Harfkaar 30-09-21
    #women_i_love #idols_of_j
    Links perused:







    Read More


  • jaya___ 28w


    Mayawati ji is the only person to be elected chief minister of Uttar Pradesh four times.

    That's just one of the achievements of this phenomenal leader of our country.

    She is lovingly called "Behenji" by the people of UP. Also called "iron lady" for exceptionally good law enforcement.

    She was an Arts and Law graduate from the Delhi University. She served as a teacher for seven years (1977-84) while studying for civil service exam.

    The founder of BSP (Bahujan Samaj Party) Manyawar Kanshi Ram Ji was told about her and her amazing oratory skills, when she gave an electric speech against the use of the word "Harijan" when referring to Bahujans at a conference.

    He met her and her family, at their residence and tried to convince her to join politics for the uplift of her folks. She being born in a bahujan family herself in 1956 in Delhi.

    After deliberation, she agreed to be one of the members of BSP when it was founded in 1984. And was elected its president in 2003.

    Mayawati ji lost her first two elections for Lok Sabha. But she had such persistence and dedication, that she fought again and won her seat from Bijnor in 1989.

    She held office of CM of UP four times in 1995, 1997, 2002-03 and 2007-12.
    She was member of Rajya Sabha three times in 1994, 2004 and 2012.

    Her rise has been charismatic from an ordinary student to the national political leader we all look up to.

    But I don't see girls quoting Mayawati ji. Instead I see them quoting Virginia Woolf and Slyvia Plath. No issues with that but we can look at female Indian leaders too right, what you think?

    Also in my home I heard so much negativity towards her, that she is corrupt and acquired a lot of wealth. Which is not correct. It's just Casteism. Hurt ego of upper castes that a bahujan leader, that too a woman, became a CM.

    She made 500+ primary school, 23+ govt hospital, 7+ medical college, 2 international airports and so much more.

    Many people spit venom against her for the statues she made. But factually less than 1% of state budget was spent on it. But think of vallabh Patel made by current govt and it is such a waste of money too then.

    Also she had such a great law enforcement. Women were safer and criminals behind bars. I miss her safe government.

    Still when I did net search, Wikipedia and Britannica were filled with biased commentary on her corruption and wealth accumulation.

    This is blatant casteism and sexism.

    Let's fight against such bigotry.

    Love you Behenji ��
    Articles cited:

    PS. Recently on Twitter and Instagram, many comics and self-proclaimed feminists, have been called out for their casteist and sexist posts on Mayawati ji. It shows how someone's identity as a female bahujan leader has been made a subject matter for jokes and petty laughs, so casually and publically frequently. I condemn it and stand against my other oppressor castes ppl who find these funny.

    #women_i_love #idols_of_j

    Read More


  • jaya___ 34w

    Often times we avail special benefits on a daily basis and therefore tend to normalise the special nature of the benefits or forget the genesis of those benefits.

    Many times, those benefits stem from a long and strenuous struggle by a forgotten hero. Why was such a hero forgotten? If his/her actions brought much needed relief for millions together? The reasons can be many.

    I take up today the case of Sexual Harassment (prohibition, prevention and redressal) law that came out in 2013 and which benefits millions of Indian working women, me included, thankfully so.

    Who was behind this much needed law? Not a eminent politician, not a judge or a lawyer or a famous activist. But a poor, illiterate, scheduled caste woman BHANWARI DEVI of Bhateri village, Rajasthan.

    In 1992, she worked as a Saathin, who is a voluntary worker working with the State government, under Women Development Program. She worked to help government in eradication of social evils, like child marriage. She had to report child marriage cases to the local police so that they can take actions to stop the crime.

    Once she reported the marriage of a 9 month old girl from the upper caste and politically-economically powerful Jats of the village. She had informed the police that she might face the anger of the more powerful Jats. Police took no action and as rightly pointed by Bhanwari Devi, she and her husband were socially boycotted.

    While working on her field, a few days after the incident, five Jat men from that family came and started beating her husband blue and black. On protesting, Bhawari devi was brutally gang raped.

    What made this another case of caste based gender violence different, was Bhanwari Devi's courage.

    In those days, she came forward to report that she has been raped when talking of rapes were taboo to the extent that the rape survivor was blamed of lying and shamed for having being raped.

    Yet she reported her rape. She was made to run from pillar to post to get physically examined and to get the FIR done. Yet she persisted an finally got the case made.

    However, the court acquitted the culprits saying that upper caste men won't rape a lower caste women as it would make then impure.

    Her appeal in the high court still is pending after more than 25 years.

    She lives in the same village and still works as a saathin though socially boycotted. Yet she persists in fighting for justice.

    It was her tremendous spirit that motivated the NGO Vishaka to file a PIL in Supreme Court demanding that the State Government be held accountable for the rape to Bhanwari Devi as she was employed by them. This led to the landmark Vishakha guildelines for workplace safety for women in 1997.

    Which ultimately served as the base for the 2013 law for prevention/ prohibition/ redressal of Sexual harassment in workplaces for women.

    All thanks to her hard work and courage, working women today, get assistance in cases of Sexual crimes at workplace even though she herself awaits justice.

    Why have we forgotten her? It's obviously due to her lower caste and class status.

    Let's correct our mistake by thanking her and sharing her story.

    “If at all you find my story inspiring, don’t just stop there. Empowerment is not just about listening and knowing about injustice; it is also about speaking up and acting on it" - Bhanwari devi.

    © Harfkaar 10-04-21 #women_i_love #idols_of_j
    Her words are a motivation for me:---

    “Why should I leave my house for someone else’s crime? It’s the criminals who should run away. I will not go anywhere".

    “The only option I have is to fight. I may not get justice, but others will.”

    She says: “We will get justice. My fight today is not for me. I am old, I will die; but my fight is for the future generation — for every girl, every daughter, who wants to pursue her passion free from the shackles of patriarchy.”

    Over the past years, she has been awarded by various organisations for her exceptional courage. The Delhi Commission for Women recognised her courage on March 8, 2017. In 1994, she was awarded the Neerja Bhanot Memorial Award.

    Though she never got justice through the judicial system and the accused were acquitted, her case opened up a Pandora’s box of taboo topics into the public realm. Bhanwari continues to fight for the rights of every girl in her village despite the threats to her life.

    She says, “I am not afraid. What more can they do? I am not alone in my fight. The justice and the case is not just about me anymore. I am fighting for a society where there is gender equality; where there is no discrimination between two siblings of a household; where both brother and sister get equal rotis and education opportunities.”

    Reference- https://yourstory.com/2018/01/bhanwari-devi-vishaka-guidelines?utm_pageloadtype=scroll


    Read More


  • jaya___ 45w


    We are (often) never taught about people who have actually played crucial roles in our life.
    Often we too don't try finding out about such people. People whose fights and lives have paved way for the comfortable, privileged lives we lead today. And tomorrow our children will lead.

    One such person is Phoolan Devi. Someone every girl should know about, revere and thank for the little amount of strength to speak out and write that we have gained over the years.

    People, especially girls, have a lot to say on the discrimination they face basis their gender, yet they more often than not, forget that a segment of women, have it even worse than them. The Scheduled caste women.
    The struggle they face is nowhere close that of the savarna women, in India.

    I am not rightly placed to talk on this myself, being from an upper caste of the hideous caste system of our shameless county. But I try to recognize the immense privilege that I have as an upper caste, like so many of other savarna girls.

    It's high time we fight not only for the women of our own castes and class, but overall. Coz even one woman chained is a loss for all of us, even though her chains are different from ours.

    There is gender discrimination across castes (thanks to patriarchy) but there is a hell lot of caste violence that is waged against the women of lower castes.

    When talking of feminism we need to understand that we can't be blinded to the cause of our trans sisters, to the women with mental health issues, to those with physical handicaps, to the plights of our lower caste and poor sisters, and to our lesbian sisters.

    We need to take into account, millions of our sisters who are not even able to study and earn because of these inabilities and caste violence like rapes and sexual harassments.

    Phoolan Devi, born in 1963, was from a lower caste family which sold her off, to a man 45 years of age, in marriage, in exchange of a cow and bichycle, when she was 11 years.

    She was raped and abused by the man and ran back home at 12.

    She was asked to commit suicide by her family because of bringing dishonor to the family by denying to suffer abuse at the hands of her own husband.

    She was kidnapped by the local dacoit gang, at the request of her uncle who was angry with her misconduct(?).

    She was raped multiple times at the hands of the upper caste leaders of the gang.

    She fell in love with a gang member and with him she planned the murder of the leader. and Thereafter, he became the leader. Yet the two being from the lower caste were disliked by the upper caste members of the gang and her lover was murdered.

    Phoolan was gang raped for 13 days by the two Thakur leaders of the gang (reminds of the recent Hathras rape of a dalit girl by 4 Thakurs isn't it?).

    Despite these tens of rapes and gang rapes and romances lost, Phoolan Devi ji did not give up and managed escape.

    She joined another gang and convinced the members to avenge her rapes.

    She reached Bahmai village and murdered 22 Thakurs who were not cooperating in tracing her rapists.

    Being such a strong lady, she became popular far and wide, and in 1983, at age 20, she surrended to the CM of MP at her own conditions.

    She spent 11 yeares in jail while her case was being persued and later was acquitted as all the cases against her were withdrawn.

    She ran in the elections next year and is INDIA'S FIRST MP FROM LOWER CASTE.

    She was shot dead at age 37 (in 2001) by a Thakur Sher Singh Rana who disliked her (a lower caste rape survivor) rise to power. (Wow hurt savarna male ego!)

    (Coz people like gang rape victims like Nirbhaya and Hathras rape victim to silently die after they have been raped and not become MPs in power.)

    Sher Singh Rana was sentenced life imprisonment in 2014 but is out on bail granted in 2016. Has married daughter of ex MLA in 2018 and going to contest elections (what the bloody hell??!)
    Despite a short yet iconic life of strength and never say die spirit, almost no one holds Phoolan Devi as an Idol, none writes about her life and her victories and inspiration to never bow down to sexual, political and caste oppression.

    Wake up now girls!!
    Let's celeberate her and bring her to our dinner tables, discuss her and honor her life and fights.


    Sea of challenges
    And tides of rapes
    Her ship was wrecked
    Yet she sailed
    Due to Caste and Patriarchy
    We have forgotten her
    But now won't fail
    We'll sing her glory
    Phoolan we all hail!

    © Harfkaar 24-1-21 #women_i_love #idols_of_j

    Read More


  • jaya___ 47w

    PANDITA RAMABAI - First Indian Feminist

    Continuing in the series #women_i_love

    This is about Pandita Ramabai Saraswati Ji, someone so tremendously revolutionary and historically iconic, yet so less known.
    (I also came to know about her only through an essay of Arundhati Roy, and this is why I ask everyone to keep reading, so that we keep discovering such gems.)

    Pandita Ramabai was born in 1858 in a Marathi Brahman family of a Sanskrit Scholar. All her life she kept bringing up the atrocities that upper caste Hindu women face due to Hindu patriarchy.

    She and her brother were orphaned at age 16. Both had been taught Sanskrit by their father, unlike others at that time, who did not allow education for women. Even her mother had been taught by her father, which led to widespread criticism by the upper caste society, due to which the family had to run away from their home and lived till death wandering in forests and pilgrimages, singing verses to receive alms.

    But her brother died two years later, and she married his friend. In those times of orthodoxy, she had an intercaste and inter regional marriage, which is so less even now ( even though more people are educated now), due to patriarchy.

    Unfortunately, she was widowed within two years of marriage at age 23, with an infant daughter, Manorama.

    But unlike widows at that time, who were commanded to shave heads, keep fasts, suffer physical and sexual abuse, she fought for women's education, and even went to Britain and USA for further education and gave numerous lectures on Sanskrit and Marathi all over the world.

    She wrote many books, her most well known being published in English from USA, "The upper Caste Hindu Women" which outlined the sufferening of upper caste Hindu women esp the widows.

    She showed the terrible sufferings of upper caste women. We cannot even imagine the even worse condition of lower caste women. Thus highlighting how religious patriarchy has kept women regardles of castes, subdued and harassed.

    She fought all her life with orthodox rules. Educated her daughter in USA and set up schools (Sharda Sadan and Mukti Mission) and shelter homes for widows and orphans.

    She converted to Christianity due to the oppresive nature of Hinduism which led to huge criticism from her followers in India. But though a Christian, she never left wearing sari and remained a vegetarian, so faced criticism from English people too.

    “The chief means of happiness is complete independence,” Ramabai urged in her writings, and the means for that is education, which she called “indestructible wealth.”

    We thus need to study and work to raise women of all castes, class and religion out of the oppressive lives.

    Ramabai’s critique of the Hindu patriarchy and embrace of Christianity extracted a heavy price, according to her biographers: It led to her marginalization in India and her ultimate omission from mainstream history books.

    She has the distinction of being the sole woman champion of the women’s cause in the male-dominated world of gender reform in Western India. But the distinction proved to be more symbolic than real, because she was almost totally obscured from the official histories of Western India, condemned both during her lifetime and after her death for her challenge to the Hindu, patriarchal social order of the day.

    Unfortunately her daughter died untimely at age 40, and Ramabai Ji died soon after at age 66.

    I bow down to her strength and persistence. A feminist so ahead of her times, we have a huge responsibility to not let her down.
    Lets not forget her. Let's celebrate her.

    © Harfkaar 8-1-2021

    Facts cited from: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/14/obituaries/pandita-ramabai-overlooked.html

    BG. Pandita Ramabai Ji with her daughter.

    PS. Done for the week ;)

    Read More


  • jaya___ 47w


    A wreckage you sought
    To turn me into
    A wreckage of sorts
    I did turn
    But that wreckage of facade
    scarred my soul
    yet mended it in a way
    That singed a path
    into the nation's soul.

    My voice I used to elevate those
    That are silenced into tears
    but not anymore
    That acid is in your mind
    Then in your hands.

    Rejection is my right
    And also yours to exercise
    For a dignified life
    Yours and mine
    Is for what I'll continue our fight.
    Lakshmi Agarwal is a name that invokes strength like no other name does. Revenge crime against her by a possessive, much older man who couldn't maturely take a no from her, ultimately led to the entire nation's awakening to the horror of acid attack.

    She stayed in hospital for 2 months. Spent 20 lakh on multiple surgeries. Then fought legal battle against the criminal and got him 10 years jail term. She then completed her studies. And opened "Sheroes Hangout" cafe in Agra to provide employment opportunities to acid attack survivors. Now runs her foundation to arrange finances for treatment and rehabilitation of acid attack survivors.

    Lakshmi says that rehabilitation (financial independence) of acid attack victims is important (as even getting jobs is dependent on looks), but more importance is their acceptance in society which should consider them as friends, normal, and not a subject of pity or contempt.
    She suffered inhuman pains due to the anger of a man, all this is due to the patriarchy which entitles men to women's love and undeniable yes.

    Also responsible is the definition of beauty we idolise so much, where men think that destroying a girl's looks will disadvantage her for life. Even lakshmi said that it was mostly women who taunted her for her disfigured face and body.

    We need to go beyond fairness, features and other superficial aspects of a girl's looks and judge her on her intellect, and humanity.

    Let's try to be as less judgemental as possible. Being someone who is desperately trying to love my own fat, hairy body, I don't know how I will react to an acid attack survivor in real life, but I will try to be kind. I promise.
    Note: A research paper by Padma Bethali Deosthali and Lakshmi Lingam states that there are 7 million burn injuries in India annually, out of which 700,000 require hospital admission and 140,000 are fatal.

    According to National Burns Programme, 91,000 of them are women. Women of child bearing age are more likely than three times to die because of burn injuries than men.

    Most of the burns are reported as mere accidents in the hospital.

    However, there has been suspicion as to whether these injuries are just an accident or a manifestation of domestic violence inflicted by their partners because of its occurrence in certain age groups (i.e. 18 to 35 years) of women and the statistics show that most of them are married.

    The reason why this kind of violence does not get noticed is because it is considered a private issue.

    (Source: Feminisminindia.com)

    Such is the kind of revenge crimes and attacks against women in India. Let's Support each other girls. Now or never.

    #idols_of_j #women_i_love #wreckagec

    © Harfkaar 8-1-2021

    Editor's Choice honors! (10th)
    Catch my other popular section posts at #popsec_j

    Read More


  • jaya___ 48w

    Hi people!

    This is about another phenomenal woman everyone should know about- Fatima Sheik. #women_i_love

    She was the First Female Muslim Teacher in India.

    She was the best friend ang biggest supporter of Savitribai Phule. She taught in all five schools the Phules set up during their life times.

    At the time when the Phules were thrown out of their ancestral home for teaching girls and the Untouchables, she was the only one who provided shelter to them.

    In fact it was her home where the First School for Girls in India was set up.

    She sufferred throughtout her life at the hands of the society due to religion-class-gender discrimination.

    Facing immense abuse from the Muslim community for allowing girls to study and for working outside. Islam does not prohibit girls’ education per se.

    So, her being part of the anti-caste project started by Phule makes her more of a revolutionary. She was not fighting for her own community alone. And that is why she faced a lot of torture by the Hidu Community as well.
    Still she persisted and never gave up.

    She spent hours in counselling parents to send their daughters to study, by going door to door.

    But she is still so much sidelined in Indian history and Indian education legacy.
    Ram Mohan Roy, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, Swami Dayananda, Swami Vivekananda, or Mahadeo Govind Ranade are the ones who are mentioned in our School Histroy books, instead of Fatima Sheik and Savitribai Phule.

    Fatima Sheikh and Savitribai established the school for girls in 1848. Sir Syed Ahmed Khan established Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College in 1875, which later became Aligarh Muslim University. Khan is considered as one of the harbingers of modern education in India and rightfully so. But Fatima Sheikh was not accorded the same status despite doing equally pioneering work.

    They were contemporary of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, who was against women's education.

    Lets remember this great lady, who weathered all odds to show us the route to education.

    Salute to Famtima Bi.

    Though Savitribai Phile has started to be acknowledged a little for her tremendous contrubution to indian education of Girls, Fatima Sheik is still largely forgotten. May be due to her gender and religion.

    Let's correct this mistake today.
    Let's celebrate this beautifuly intelligent woman of strength.

    © Harfkaar 3-1-2021

    #fatimasheik #idols_of_j #iamfordalits

    Took reference from:

    Read More


  • jaya___ 48w

    Hello girls!

    This is part of #women_i_love series.

    Today I write about the legendrary Savitribai Phule ji whose 190th Birth Anniversary falls today, January 3rd.

    She is a lady who is much less discussed in history that we read in schools (much like other women of importance).

    She was born in Shudra Caste and was married off at age 10. She suffered at the hands of society all life due to caste-class-gender discrimination.

    Despite all limitations placed by the society on her, she opened the First School for Girls in India along with her husband, Sri Jyotiba Phule.

    She is India’s First Female Teacher and Headmistress, at a time when women were not only deprived of education but also considered unfit for all things outside home.

    She was self-educated (later trained for teaching) and an immensely talented poet. She was a staunch feminist. She even handed out stipends to girls so that they are not compelled to leave studies due to poverty.

    She started educating Untouchable kids at a time when they were treated as sub-humans.

    Even Bal Gangadhar Tilak opposed her actions as he had the backward and oppressive mentality that opening schools for girls and Untouchables was loss of nationalism.

    As she used to travel from home to school and back each day, cow dung, stones and garbage were thrown at her by brahmins and other upper castes for daring to teach the oppressed castes and girls. But she persisted daily.

    She had opened night schools too for farmers and the aged.

    She fought against shaving of heads of widows, fought for widow remarriage, and against child marriage, against caste system, and for girls’ education, all her life. And in immense poverty due to lack of funds fof all her activities.

    Serving children suffering from bubonic plague, she died from the disease aged 66.

    Despite her tremendous contribution to Indian Education, we chose the birthday of a Male Brahman as Teacher's Day. Because of patriarchy. Let's try to remember her for her mission.

    Also if you are a girl and studying or have had an education then it's because of the fight she has fought. Let's thank her.

    Salute to her. Love you Savitri ma!!
    Jai Savitri!

    #savitribaiphule #idols_of_j #iamfordalits
    © Harfkaar 3-1-2021

    Thanks to @adithir @kin_jo @seyfert for asking me to write.

    And to everyone...I am working so due to work commitments, will be writing on Sundays only...hope you all don't mind....you are my Angels esp the younger sisters I have here, they are the future and I love them over and above anything else in the world.

    BG. From my favorite website FII (Feminism In India) (www.feminisminindia.com)

    Read More


  • jaya___ 50w

    Hello folks!

    As I put across to y’all that I just finished “Feminists Don’t’ Wear Pink and Other lies” yesterday. I’ll just let you know of my brand new, shiny and mind shatteringly amazing Idol, Scarlett Curtis. Yes the author of the book.

    I googled her out like a crazy fan, read all her essays in her next book (yes I have already purchased it, you should too!)(“It’s not OK to Feel Blue and Other Lies”) and Jesus she is so damn inspiring.

    She is exactly my age and that makes me go drooling after her like crazy. My age and accomplishments of a lifeltime. And I wish and pray she reaches still greater heights.

    She is a blogger and has written in The Guradian,Time, and Elle magazine among others.

    She was under deep depression, anxiety and PTSD and attempted suicide aged 19. She came out of the intense dark and continues to fight her demons daily. But in the process she turned feminist and continues to fight for my rights (OUR rights!). Feminism gave her a purpose to live on.

    Both her brilliant books have been smashing hits being Sunday times bestsellers, and Gosh they deserve all love and praise, especially from the youth!

    She was wheelchair bound for most her teen years as well as under deep self doubt and no purpose to continue her life untill she found out Feminism to be her life’s purpose.

    She lights me with her passion and humanity. She tells me that being a Feminist is the best thing I am. And that having bad days and bad years is OK. I Love You Scarlett!!

    She told me that how years of conditioning by Patriarchy makes me blame everything on women-- on Mothers who didn’t raise their kids to be kind enough, Wives who don’t stand up to violence and Female Employees who don’t call out their rapist/harassing bosses/colleagues.

    Patriarchy makes women and men blame women. Without putting any responsibility on government and men running these institutions. Without questioning the shame and taboo that has been created by men around women issues. And the apathy and lack of justice and trust when women share their stories of harassment and gender discrimination.

    Agreed that good upbringing is a must but for all those already adults or those who are not ready to change, where do girls and women and trans folk go for justice? It’s feminists who can change the world throught their rage and their love and their slogans.

    I AM A FEMINIST and it’s the best thing about me.

    Let me quote excerpts from her amazing books:

    “The lies we have been told about feminism have been fed to us to hold us back from a movement that is actually for everyone."

    ”Feminism is not about being morally pure or well-liked, and is more about doing the damn thing."

    “I matter. My dreams are important. My weaknesses are OK. Being a girl is my strength."

    "Women are not just mothers. We are multitudinous marvels undefined by anything other than ourselves.

    "I made friends, beautiful friends, friends who showed me that this movement looks different for everyone and sometimes the only way to fight is to listen and learn."

    "Depression tells you that you are alone and that you will always be alone. It convinces you that you mind is a prison and makes you believe that to bring anyone into your life is to lock them inside with you so it’s probably just easier to push every one away."

    GO READ THESE GEMS. And tell me if you don't fall in love with Scarlett!

    © Harfkaar 24-12-2020
    #women_i_love #idols_of_j #mental_health_matters_j
    BG. Scarlett Curtis
    @writersnetwork @writersbay

    Read More

    Book Review

  • jaya___ 50w

    Hi girls!

    So I finished off with reading “Feminists Don’t Wear Pink And Other Lies” by Scarlett Curtis today.

    It’s an anthology of essays by 52 women of amazing minds. Guess What?! Evanna Lynch (Oh yes, our lovely Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter Movies!) begins this phenomenal ride of a book. It’s a highly recommend from my end to all you folks out there.

    It’s 21st centrury, and guess what?! We still get an earful every now and then, about the way we dress.

    I am lucky to have friends who wear hijab and those who wear bikinis (at the beach yes!) and I can tell that both are as funny, intelligent and lovely humans as any other person.

    Dress is just how we choose to clothe our naked bodies and nothing more. It’s high time people, even women, should stop judging and commenting on the dress of women in particular and anyone in general.

    No dress is important enough to point to someone’s backwardness or somebody’s progressive attitude. It’s in the brain and heart.

    But still we see bikini-clad women being slut shamed and hijab wearing ones as oppressed or backward or religious.

    This is one of the million reasons the society is not letting us breathe.

    This book has literally fired my soul and made me aware of the million ways in which patriarchy is pulling us down from attaining our full potentials.

    Like the period shaming we are taught to ingrain since the first day we start bleeding.

    And the prejudice even women have against trans women, these all are preventing us from realising our complete liberation and female friendships beyond class, caste and gender boundaries.

    So, pick up your copy of the amazingly brilliant encounters of real life feminists and change your lives.
    Sidenote: Also girls I am going to start a series on women that need to be celebrated and I offer you the opportunity to write on one such lady youself, whom you idolise and the world should know about.

    We have so many ladies like Lata Mangeshkar, Shakuntala Devi, Kamala Das, Madam Curie, Jhumpa Lajhiri, Saina Nehwal and a million more who should be talked about more and more. Cheers to such women and YOU my darl!

    To get a taste of what the series would look like, check out #women_I_love

    © Harfkaar December 23, 2020

    Read More


  • jaya___ 50w

    December 20,2020

    Hello mates!

    Yesterday I put up a post asking your idols (and deleted it too after a few hours��). It was amazing to know about the idols of my friends here.

    Those who were named as idols were:

    Barack and Michelle Obama, Ratan Tata, Elon musk, APJ Abdul Kalam, Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, Slyvia Plath, BTS, Baek Hyun, Albert Einstein, K.Sivan, Stephen Hawking, Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Baba Amte, Bob Paisley, Mark Zukerberg and few named their parents and elder siblings (and themsleves too!)

    These are people who are exceptionally inspiring for the virtue of their hard work, caregiving and selfless contributions to the greater good of the society.

    I thank Love_whisperer, Anush_18, Tardigrade, Rani_Shri, Adithir, Atticoftheheart, bertha_beryl, Taekook_maknae, iamgroot for their awe inspiring selections!

    Sidenote: The idols predominantly are males, no issues with that, even my biggest idol is also Bezwada Wilson Sir, who works tirelessly for the good of manual scavengers of our society.

    Yet just to remind ourselves to look for idols amidst the inspiring lives of Trans people, People of Colour, and women.

    The reason for lesser womxn as idols is also that there is almost no representation of womxn in positions of power and visibility.

    And often, we can't be what we can't see. So look out for legendary women like Tessy Thomas, Phulan Devi, P V Sindhu, Madhubala, Virginia Woolf, Savitri Phule, comedians like Aditi Mittal and Kunal Kamra, and Trans idols like Elliot Page.

    Let's seek inspiration from a plethora of places and also BE Someone who inspires other girls and boys that they too can achieve dreams despite their genders or physical disabilities or economic condition and also in any field of occupation.

    Cheers to more power to us and salute to all these idols, yours and mine!

    Let your light shine!

    © Harfkaar #idols_of_j check out #women_i_love
    BG. My favorite singer Aurora

    Read More


  • jaya___ 51w


    Hi girls!
    In this war against injustice and gender discrimination show a lot of *SOLIDARITY*.
    Support all women.
    Support your mother, aunts, cousins, sisters, friends and especially women speaking on our behalf.

    Support Dalit Women. Trans females.

    Stop body shaming and blaming women and stop ignoring all (even what others call small) acts of sexual harrassment.

    Speak out. Read and write. Let everyone know what women hate.

    Start by normalising periods. Start by accepting yourself as you are dark, fat short, tall, skinny, cool or hot...don't care about label.

    Just like boys are always there for their friends (bro and all) and show solidarity even if their friend is a rapist or they all together harass girls outside schools and colleges. They are torturing girls together. They bad mouth girls and women.

    Boys in India are brought up so entitled they will never care for us. For most of them we are mere sex objects. Most care only about our boobs and vagina.
    And our virginity.

    Stand in solidarity against such crap. If you support a sister in distress only then can you also live freely. Boys might never care for our issues. Understand this.

    Men say women are so tough/complex to understand.
    Aren't men also?

    I mean why the hell do they harass little school girls? Rape women and now even 6 month old babies?
    Why do they ask for dowry?
    Why do they commit domestic violence?
    Why do they discuss women virginity?
    Why do they stalk college girls?
    Why don't they cook/change surnames/leave their home or city after marriage?

    Disclaimer: yes I know not all men. But mate, this is the story of yes all women. So congratulations if you are a cis het male and not biased. Otherwise let me speak. #yesallwomen #selfmusingsofj




    © Harfkaar 15-12-20

    Read More


  • jaya___ 52w


    In a limping future
    Of speeding memories
    In broken promises
    Of forever pleasantries
    In shallow feelings
    Of projected romances
    In hidden scorn
    Of appraising glances.
    I see myself singled out
    A tiny shove in a mighty clout
    A candle blown out before dark
    A sheepish whimper while the dogs all bark
    A mind stunned into submissive silence
    Denied acceptance by invisible violence
    Stymied progress and madness stamped
    My delicate heart carefully flanked
    I'm a murdered soul
    And nobody claims responsibility
    So I'm labeled my own killer
    With callous obscenity.

    © Harfkaar 8-12-20

    Dedication to Parveen Babi. An A-list Bollywood heroine, who died anonymous at 55 years due to schizophrenia. And was left lonely and never understood by anyone even by boyfriends. Was living in delusions and hallucinations.

    A sad reminder to be helpful and open minded towards mental health.

    "The first thing that I liked about Parveen Babi was her smile, her wit and her intelligence. She was one of the most elegant, well read and generous women I've known in my life. I was very close to her, and had a relationship with her from 1977 to 1980. For me she was the ultimate glamour girl, the first woman who had an alternate morality and was never ashamed of the way she lived life." -- Mahesh Bhatt
    (ex-boyfriend in an interview after her death in 2005. Her body was found 72 hours after her death, in her apartment which was broken open by police on being requested by her neighbors. She lived confined alone in her apartment.)

    //I see us in black and white
    Crystal clear in starlit night
    In all your gorgeous colors
    I promise I'll love you for the rest of my life//
    -- Niall Horan.
    #mental_health_matters_j #women_i_love

    Read More


  • jaya___ 60w

    A humongous career to light paths ahead
    A spirit sprightly which can’t ever be dead
    Beauty, skill, heart and mind
    An idol for girls like mine
    For me my favourite professor
    In reality conqueror of suppressor
    Cancer battle won in two years
    Laughing, working through her tears
    Cancer survivor harbinger of hope
    The LUMOS in my dull life, she is dope!

    Her lively smile, speaking eyes
    A fighting spirit therein lies
    Honest acceptance of tabooed disease never lies
    Her battle helps other suffering to keep up tries
    Winning over depression and our hearts
    She is queen of Indian acting arts
    Tall and graceful, people awed
    Fighter, survivor she ain’t ever flawed.

    Dame Maggie Smith is a celebrated British Theater and movie actress, one of the most recognisable faces of British acting. A two time Oscar winner. Mostly recognised for her perfect portrayal of Professor McGonagall in Harry potter films. While filming for Harry Potter and the Half blood prince, she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007.. she shot in between chemotherapy sessions and won over cancer in 2009. who earlier also had Graves disease (enlargement of thyroid). True fighter and inspiration and a legit Gryffindor!

    Deepika Padukone is undoubtedly Indian Cinema's biggest actress of today. A person brutally honest in her fight with depression, inspiring many troubled souls to come forward and accept the tabooed disease and take professional care and help. Founded Live, Laugh, Love foundation dedicated to the cause of depression. Truly an inspiration and a human sensitive.

    Hats off to these ladies on Word Mental Health Day (October 10) and the Month of Breast Cancer Awareness (October)

    Copyright Harfkaar 10-10-20

    #breastcancer #cancerawareness #mentalhealth #mentalhealthday
    #pod @writersnetwork @mirakee #genuine_readers #daadigotyourback

    PS. Link in bio. Read my blog.

    PPS. Check out #my_fav_people #women_i_love

    PPPS. I never read tags. Use hashtag readthisj. I read that daily!
    PPPPS. I see people expecting reposts, but never really reposting unpopular stuff, cmon mates, encourage everybody worth a drill! Repost, read repeat!!

    Read More


  • jaya___ 60w

    A superstar shining bright
    Eclectic galaxies suit her right
    An axiomatic charisma to dazzle your sight
    Of success she got the largest bite
    But not only looks it’s also her heart
    Full of motherly affection so large
    A divinity like her cursed with looming cancer
    But didn't make her falter
    Cure, care, compassion and she won over
    In ths hopeless world, she the sweet smelling wildflower
    Beauty with brain, with grit she won over pain
    Her career, her children, her philanthropy
    My idol denies any mortal category.
    To my idol (and of millions) Angelina Jolie. Mother of six lovely kids. She went through double mastectomy in 2013. As she had Breast cancer history, losing her mother, aunt and grandmother to breast cancer. She also went through surgery to remove her ovaries and fallopian tubes due to cancer scare (which led to early menopause).
    Women typically have a 13% risk of developing breast cancer over their lifetime. She had an estimated 87% risk of developing the disease and a 50% risk of ovarian cancer. Because of high risk, experts recommended preventive surgeries.
    A motivation to all women to not have taboo while discussion of cancer and get regular checkups and undergo preventive surgery if needed. Having removed breasts didn't make her any less of a woman in her words.
    More power to her!!

    © Harfkaar 10-10-20
    For October--- breast cancer awareness month.

    Check out #my_fav_people
    PS. Read my blog. Link in bio.
    PPS. Won't read tags. Use hashtag readthisJ #women_i_love
    #icanandiwill #genuine_readers #daadigotyourback #breastcancer #cancerawareness

    Read More


  • jaya___ 61w

    As I educate myself each day, I come to believe that no more atrocities can pass my eyes, yet each new thing I read, leads me to something darker, an injustices more gruesome. Talking of dalits, I find them most oppressed, yet I find another segment no less tortured, the Muslim women.

    Dedicating this to Shah Bano and Shayara Bano, with deep respect.

    I remember it was 1992 when I bid goodbye to this biased, unjust world
    Brain haemorrhage the cause, yet it was the soul that was wounded.

    I remember as a young maiden when I was married in 1932
    A rich, influential lawyer he, blessed with five children we.

    Yet when the embers of my youth failed to warm his beastly lust
    Remarried he in 1946, throwing me out of house ours, when I was sixty.

    Receiving the humiliation of a lifetime and shocking destitution
    I took the legal recourse
    The courts upheld my plea for justice
    Yet religion gripped me like a prey

    Forced me to withdraw my fight
    And plunged into darkness, the light I’d ignited.

    I remember 1986, the government betrayed me again
    Passed a law that reinforced patriarchy
    A law that left women at the mercy of religion and men

    I only remember injustice, discrimination, humiliation, separation
    Alone as I fought in courts
    Alone as I died in the fight.

    Shah bano was wife of Mohd. Ahmad Khan, a famous and rich lawyer in Indore, in 1932. They had five children.

    In 1946, the man remarried a younger woman and after few years of living together with both, he threw Bano and their five kids out of the house, when she was around 60.

    He had promised to pay Rs.200 per month to Bano as maintenance, which after few months he refused to pay. Having no means to fend for herself, Bano appealed in lower courts against Khan.

    The lower court ordered Khan to pay her Rs.25 per month, against which Bano submitted revisionary appeal in Madhya Pradesh High Court, which raised amount to Rs.179.20. Against which Khan placed appeal in Supreme Court.

    Pleading that since he had divorced her via Triple-talaq in 1978, he had no liability to pay her anything for it is “Haram” in Islam to maintain any connections with an ex-wife. The SC however, held him liable to pay maintenance to Bano until she is competent to fend for herself.

    However, this victory of Bano, irked the Muslim radical leaders, who protested widely and violently. They manipulated shah Bano to withdraw her plea and not accept the maintenance.

    Bowing down to popular pressure, the then Congress government, passed the Muslim Women (Protection on divorce) Act, 1986 to nullify the SC ruling by saying that husband is liable to pay maintenance only till three months (period of iddah) after which relative of women will fend for her or if no relatives happen to be, the Muslim Waqf Board will do so. Removing all responsibilities of the husband. Keeping women sabotaged to religion and husbands.

    Finally, Bano died of brain haemorrhage in 1992 with only Rs.3000 paid to her by Khan ever. I BOW to Shah Bano mam, though illiterate, yet with determination to fight against injustices to women.

    However, in 2017 Shayara Bano a lady rendered destitute by husband by triple talaq, filed case in SC leading to invalidation of the custom of Triple Talaq in India. Yet for divorced Muslim women, the maintenance is a question unresolved. And Injustice prevails.

    And the strangest thing is that we cannot even accept basic Civic responsibility towards women!

    #iamfordalits #mirakeeforhathras
    I write about eminent personalities that have impressed me here #my_fav_people Check it out
    PS. Read my blog. Link in bio.
    #alone #emberc #creativearena #andthestrangestthing

    Copyright Harfkaar. October 7, 2020

    Read More


  • jaya___ 62w

    A rape in Hathras and another somewhere
    A girl killed in foetus here and married forcefully somewhere
    A girl shamed for period blood spotting her skirt here and one eve-teased somewhere
    A raped, paralysed, tongue slit body burnt at middle of night here and another burnt for dowry somewhere
    A girl touched inappropriately by tuition teacher there and another raped at the bar by boyfriend somewhere
    I am a young girl, and go out often, and I want to work, I've had an education
    I write against this government, I read Ambedkar
    I listen to cigarettes after sex, I watch the end of the fucking world
    And I see, read, listen news of rapes
    and I get scared
    But I don't stay scared for long
    For I'm a light
    And I burn.
    Till the time I die- naturally, or by accident, or by rape, or suicide, or murdered
    I'll write, I'll read, I'll Speak, I'll help
    To my sisters- stressed and scared
    Do NOT succumb to such threats
    Study, read and write, dance and sing
    Wear what you want and stay as you please
    Don't shy away and come to the front
    Though the great Kalpana chawla died, Sunita Williams created a record
    Though Indira Gandhi was assasinated, Mayawati lived
    Live today in a way that if you, my sister, die tomorrow-
    your become an inspiration for other girls
    Help women like crazy, support them
    Take their stand
    And you won't be afraid for yourself
    Copyright Harfkaar October 1, 20

    Take inspiration from --
    First row:
    Olympian PV Sindhu.
    Phoolan Devi who was a two time member of Indian parliament and former bandit.
    Second row:
    face of Indian cinema world over and a war wager against depression, Deepika Padukone.
    The first and only woman prime minister Indira Gandhi.
    NASA astronaut Kalpana chawla.
    Third row:
    Mayawati, the chief minister of uttar Pradesh for four terms.
    Sarojini Naidu the first governor of United provinces, the Nightingale of India and Bharat kokila, poet too.
    Kiran mazumdar shaw, Founder and MD, Biocon, Indian biopharmaceutical company.

    Cheers to being a woman. We are legit!

    I write about eminent personalities that have impressed me here #my_fav_people Check it out

    #justiceformanishavalmiki #idols_of_j #women_i_love #mirakeeforhathras

    PS. Read my blog. Link in bio.
    PPS. Keep using hashtag readthisJ

    To my sister @silverglitters (I love you baby...always...don't worry. Thanks for asking me to write this) and my brother @kehta_hai_joker (I am proud of you)
    Also to Periyar, Ambedkar.

    Read More