We need more hawa mahals to challenge patriarchy and capitalist exploitation: a review of Lipstick Under My Burkha

The place is interesting, Bhopal. The space is highly suggestive, hawa mahal, which literally translates into air mansion or palace… like castles in the air? Does it mean that none of their struggles were material enough to transform into something they could touch and taste and see?

When I watched Lipstick Under My Burkha, my head was exploding with all the associations that each scene brought to my mind. The entire narrative was weaved around these incredibly interesting women who were navigating through layered forms of exploitation and abuse. And central to their stories is this place in which they all return to protect and tear down simultaneously. Hawa Mahal. Land ‘developers’ come calling to knock down the walls that housed generations of families, victims of the Bhopal gas tragedy (one of those “mismanaged” development schemes) whose only solace was grand old hawa mahal. Who chases them away? Buaji, the matriarch, the ‘old’ lady who supposedly had no other business but to totter after her grandkids and occasionally reign-in the tempers of her wimpy sons.

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Spain/Catalonia: Savage police violence met with resistance from Catalan people

For a general strike on 3 October against repression and for the right to decide!

Thousands of police and civil guards carried out savage repression in Catalonia to try to prevent the right to vote in the referendum on 1 October. The state forces smashed glass doors of schools used as polling stations and stole ballot boxes. The riot police were sent by the Partido Popular (PP) government and the State against tens of thousands of citizens, families, children and old people. They were sent to occupy Catalonia but met with huge, exemplary resistance of the people.

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Myanmar: ‘Ethnic cleansing’ of Rohingya causes worldwide outrage

What was a slow-burning conflict between the government of Myanmar (Burma) and the Rohingya people of Rakhine, has escalated in the last three weeks into a major humanitarian crisis. More than 400,000 people fled the country towards neighbouring Bangladesh. Tens of thousands have been trapped in a rain-soaked no-man’s land without food, shelter or medical aid. Hundreds of thousands are struggling to survive in make-shift camps in Bangladesh. New-born infants perish along with the frail and elderly.

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Victim of Tamil Nadu Police high-handedness, political activist Thirumurugan of May 17 released

The Chennai High court bench quashed the Goondas case on rights activists Thirumurugan Gandhi, Daison, Ilamaran and Arun Kumar today. The Activists were arrested in May for conducting a candle light vigil in Marina beach to commemorate the genocide of Eelam Tamils. Following the arrest cases under sections 147,148, 143, 188,341 and 506 [ii] IPC r/w 7[i] CLA act and sec 3 of TNPPDL act were filed on Thirumurugan Gandhi, the chief co-ordinator of May 17 Movement and other comrades. Subsequently Goondas act was used and activists were jailed in the Puzhazh prison. The Tamil Nadu government used the notorious Goondas Act, a detention law to imprison the Activists to quell the dissent it was facing on numerous issues in Tamil Nadu.

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Book Review: I am a Troll

Why does a bourgeoisie democracy fail? Why do people end up choosing bad governments? This question has lingered for long. The intellectuals have tried to argue that it’s due to the lack of information people choose bad governments. In an era where mainstream media (TV, newspapers) are controlled by big corporates social media was seen as a redeemer. The intellectuals hoped that with widespread internet connectivity and social media people can at last get sufficient information at their fingertips and this would usher an dawn of new age in world polity. The revolutions of Tunisia and Egypt which used social media to gather mass support further strengthened this Idea. Social media thus became a new pillar of democracy.

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