From the recurrence of several ‘misogynistic incidents’ perpetrated by society members, negligence of supervision, to ‘targeted bullying’, we uncover the dark side of Sri Venkateshwara College’s Film-making Society, ‘Effulgence Films’.

Sri Venkateshwara College’s film-making society, ‘Effulgence Films’, is one of the reputed societies within the Delhi University circuit, with several productions across the year. However, beyond the disguise of ‘galaxies of creativity’ lies the truth about the ‘toxic and horrible’ working space that society provides, as several sources allege.

Flashing back to January of the present year, a student from Sri Venkateshwara College, in conversation with DU Beat, claims that a ‘highly problematic incident’ took place within the society circle, which was reported to the Internal Complaints Committee with the signatures of several students within the society. Following this, several members of the society who were ‘traumatised’ by the event left the society. The Internal Complaints Committee of the college, after conducting a six month-long sequence of hearings, removed the perpetrators from the society in June- two of them, who were also a part of the core within the FilmSoc.

Moreover, the other societies within the college had also released a Statement of Condemnation following the ‘horrible incident’. Some parts of it read as follows:

As of today, 11 members of Effulgence, The Filmmaking society of SVC have taken the decision to leave the society post after a series of events over the course of the past few months.

There has been a culture of toxicity pervasive in Filmsoc centred around misogyny. Female directors and writers were constantly spoken over and have had projects taken over by arrogant men whose memberships weren’t removed even after being given repeated warnings as they were considered “cherished assets”. The general nature with which women who spoke up were treated, how female members of the core were called “token women” and mocked behind their backs, called trash “to be cleaned out,” and how instances of objectification were treated as dismissible, is utterly appalling.

However, despite being legally removed from the society by the college ICC, the perpetrators continued to be a part of official FilmSoc events like the recent Indian Film Project (IFP), openly participating in film shootings and so on.

“The convenor of the society was also present throughout the ICC hearings. However, no action was taken against the perpetrators re-entering society-circles despite being banned by the ICC.”

A student at SVC.

Despite legal procedures kicking in and several call-outs, the society space still remains a home ground of toxicity, with rampant groupism, the core isolating other core members, targeted bullying, and the list goes on.

 “The new core has also been formed out of the friends of the previous perpetrators, who are extremely close with each other and sideline the work and opinions of other members. The society has two Presidents and one of them was removed by the core for speaking out against their sexist behaviour. It is a horrible space to work for women, and if anybody raises their voice, they condemn it with “Zyada woke mat bano!” (Don’t be too woke).”

Sources within SVC.

Students also claim that the Filmmaking society has been a trap for this cycle of toxicity for several years, but recent events show that ‘they can do anything and everything and get away with it’. Members are not given due credit for their ideas if they are not too close with the core, and the January incident is often shoved under the carpet with “Ek hi incident tha, forget about it!” (It was just one incident,;forget about it!).

“But that one incident left so many within and without the society traumatised.”

alleges a student at SVC.

Pin-pointing at this culture of toxicity, the statement of condemnation further elaborates that:

“The focus of the society has also severely detracted from filmmaking, with the creatives constantly undermined and put second to those with logistics prowess. Apart from this, the dirty politics of keeping friends of friends in power as well as recruiting and raising many inactive members within the society just for the “vibes” were unjust and demotivating.”

Hitherto, coming to the “vibes”, the society has also been proving to be an unfair space for the freshers and new-recruits who are unaware of the ongoing-climate of the FilmSoc.

“Considering how freshers are new to the college climate, all societies in the college must strive to create a safe atmosphere for them, as freshers are unaware of the power dynamics existing within societies and are desperate to do anything in order to join the society. However, in an ice-breaking event of the FilmSoc, freshers were asked to go down on their knees and propose to seniors and dance with them, which could be uncomfortable for any newbie in college.”

– a student at SVC.

Moreover, students also pin-point several ‘triggering instances’ taking place during the recruitment process of the FilmSoc as well:

“The core members were drunk during the recruitment process and were openly consuming alcohol. Also, the interview questions were nowhere related to FilmSoc, and they were like, “Are you into drugs?”, “Do you drink?” or “Do you have a flat where we can party?”. What sort of climate is this society going to provide to the new-comers?”

The Internal Complaints Committee of the college claims that no incidents were reported after the procedures of the January incident. However, students claim that they were too ‘traumatised and triggered’ to have the courage to talk about such incidents in fear of ‘targeted bullying’.

The Statement of Condemnation concludes by saying that:

“We have time and again tried our best to endure everything and work professionally with these people. However, we were disrespected amongst their circles and within the larger society. So, at the very least, we seek to make this public now, as it is only fair that in the future, people will be aware of the culture that permeates this society and cognizant of the environment they are interacting with.”

While societies form an integral part of the ‘DU culture’ and a beneficial part of the self-development and growth during college years, unhealthy spaces can leave a lasting impression on many. It is imperative to raise your voice against unjust practices and foster safe spaces within campus.

Read Also: North-Eastern Student of Hindu College Faces Racially-Motivated Attack

Featured Image Credits: Arush Gautam for DU Beat

Priyanka Mukherjee

[email protected]

Every day, we come across a wide range of content on social media. From news updates to political opinions to personal blogs, content creation acts as a source of income for many. In many cases, this has unfortunately facilitated the development of media that capitalises on polarising social issues and caters to the “majority,” even at the cost of being offensive or discriminatory towards particular groups. Read ahead to find out what fuels social media’s “economy of hate” and the alarming impacts this has on our society.

The use of social media is on the rise in the contemporary digital era. Following the boom in usage, it has now acquired the function of a community space for news updates, political ideas, and the development of online communities of individuals with shared interests. Being a social media celebrity comes with the added benefit of monetization. This content plays a major role in our daily discussions and the formation of personal opinions. With the added advantage of anonymity, this freedom of speech or expression of thoughts can go unchecked and develop a dark side too.

Cyberbullying or cyberharassment is becoming increasingly common among teenagers and adolescents, as well as in nations with fragile democratic structures and diverse social and religious groups. According to the Pew Research Centre, in 2022, at least half of the young people in the United States had experienced bullying at some point in their lives. India has one of the highest rates of cyberbullying. As per a study by McAfee, 85% of children in India have experienced cyberbullying or have perpetrated it themselves. This rate is nearly twice as high as the global average.

Content creators have a significant role in the perpetuation of cyberbullying. Targeting an individual or community for a few likes in order to grow an account is all too common on Instagram and X (previously Twitter). Some people post discriminatory content as a “joke,” while others post it as a social or political viewpoint. In India, social media is one of the most powerful tools used by politicians to propagate political messaging, which often includes ideological propoganda and hatred towards certain communities. Not only this, but social media has been employed to mould public opinion and cover up the true situation in areas such as Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370, the current conversion of Uttrakhand into “devbhoomi”, ethnic violence in Manipur, and ethnic cleansing of Muslims in various parts of the country in the name of illegal encroachment. There are various social media accounts on X (formerly Twitter) dedicated entirely to spreading such malicious content.

Along with using social media for political purposes, another major issue is the use of social media to propagate disinformation about particular subjects such as reservation, gender discrimination, and the queer community. Multiple individuals on X (previously Twitter) grew their accounts by posting abusive and false information about these issues. Engaging in such posts (even if you disagree with the viewpoint being tweeted) helps such tweets develop reach, making it easier for the user to reach wider audiences who may be uneducated on such issues and gullible to misinformation.

The Centre for Countering Digital Hate strives to halt the dissemination of hate speech and false information online. It is a nonprofit organisation that works to defend internet civil liberties and human rights. The Centre for Countering Digital Hate was recently sued by Elon Musk. According to a report in the Washington Post, X filed a complaint in the U.S. Federal Court for the Northern District of California, alleging that CCDH engaged in a number of unlawful acts in an effort to inappropriately access protected X Corp. data. Here are a few citations from CCDH reports:

Anti-LGBT Hate Content

TW// Queerphobia

According to a report by the Centre for Countering Digital Hate, over 1.7 million tweets and retweets since the start of 2022 mention the LGBTQ+ community via a keyword such as “LGBT”, “gay”, “homosexual” or “trans” alongside slurs including “groomer”, “predator” and “paedophile”. The hateful ‘grooming’ narrative online is driven by a small number of influential accounts with large followings. Now new estimates from the Centre show that just five of these accounts are set to generate up to $6.4 million per year in ad revenues for Twitter.

Anti-Muslim Hate Content

TW// Islamophobia

A study by TRT World revealed that 86% of anti-Muslim content originates in the United States, the United Kingdom, and India. According to the research, such hostile content and disinformation led to violent attacks on Muslims and mosques.

According to a report by CCDH, social media companies, including Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube, failed to act on 89% of posts containing anti-Muslim hatred and Islamophobic content reported to them. CCDH researchers, using platforms’ own reporting tools, reported 530 posts that contain disturbing, bigoted, and dehumanising content that targets Muslim people through racist caricatures, conspiracies, and false claims. These posts were viewed at least 25 million times. Many of the abusive contents were easily identifiable, yet there was still inaction. Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter allow users to use hashtags such as #deathtoislam, #islamiscancer and #raghead. Content spread using the hashtags received at least 1.3 million impressions.

Misogyny and Sexism on Social Media

TW// Misogyny, Sexual Harrasement, and Mentions of Rape

CCDH exposed the most influential and largest incel forum (incel, standing for ‘involunatry celibate,’ a self-assigned social media term for mostly cis-gendered heterosexual men who consider themselves “denied” of sex by women and actively spread misogynistic, sexist, hostile content directed towards women and even men who they consider more sexually accomplished than themselves). This new in-depth study by the CCDH’s Quant Lab shows a 59% increase in mentions of mass attacks, widespread approval of sexual violence against women, with 9 in 10 posters supportive, and support for paedophilia, with the rules explicitly changing in March 2022 to permit the sexualization of ‘pubescent minors’. The ‘Incel Forum’ receives an average of 2.6 million monthly visits and has 17,000 members. Discourse is driven by 406 ‘power users, who produce 74.6% of all posts on the forum, some spending upwards of 10 hours a day on the forum. In some cases, boys as young as 15 are being led down a rabbit hole of hatred and extremism. An analysis of almost 1.2 million posts made over an 18-month period found:

  • A 59% increase in the use of terms and codewords relating to acts of mass violence.
  • Mention of rape every 29 minutes. 9 in 10 (89%) of posters in relevant discussions were supportive of sexual violence against women. The forum’s rules changed to permit the sexualization of “pubescent minors”. 
  • Analysis of discussions of paedophilia on the forum shows that 53% of posters are supportive of sexual violence against children.
  • One in five posts on the forum features misogynistic, racist, antisemitic, or anti-LGBTQ+ language.
  • Mainstream social media platforms like YouTube and Google are enabling pathways to the ‘Incelosphere’.

Casteist Content

From misogyny to queerphobia to caste and race, social issues across the world are being capitalized on under this “economy of hate.” Take, for instance, the Twitter account by the name of “Anuradha Tiwari,” which often posts defamatory and hateful content on reservations. Her whole X and LinkedIn profiles are packed with anti-reservation content. This kind of content fosters young people’s development of hateful opinions and prejudice. A report by The Centre for Internet & Society titled “Online Caste-Hate Speech: Pervasive Discrimination and Humiliation on Social Media” talks about the anti-reservation and casteist content across various social media platforms. Furthermore, it discusses how casteism on campuses is greatly impacted by such online hatred.

In conclusion, the economics of hate create a shadow that undermines our social fabric in the complex network of digital places. Creators are often motivated by financial gain to take advantage of conflicts and controversy by posting systematically discriminatory content online. This exploitation breeds bias, misinformation, and harassment, in addition to eroding empathy. A cycle of hatred is fueled by the pernicious attraction of money because attention-grabbing stories draw attention and increase the wealth of those who spread them. A holistic strategy that includes stronger content regulation, media literacy instruction, and ethical digital citizenship is necessary to combat this destructive influence. We may strive to create a digital environment that is based on respect, understanding, and true connection by eliminating the financial motivations for hatred.

Featured Image Credits: Article-14

Read Also: Decoding Deceptive Deepfake

Dhruv Bhati
[email protected]

In a society that is run on patriarchy, by patriarchy, how much autonomy do women get in religious spaces? Are religious spaces even made to accommodate women?

As someone who identifies as a woman, you will know what I mean when I say “male gaze”— something that doesn’t leave your side in public, something that still occupies your mind in private. This isn’t something that is found only in one aspect or one dimension of society, but rather it forms the foundational structure of the world we live in.

Women are making their choices from a menu of options that has been structured by men for men.” -Adam Swift

Ideals and practices of patriarchy or misogyny can be found in every nook and corner of the world, as easily as the potholes that are found on every single street in India. Thus, this sexism is not just a regional problem, but rather a global one.


But humans being humans are still sitting with their hopes in one hand and their miseries in the other. We are still trying to find places where we might not be treated differently, where we might not be unequal. One such place, where anyone would rationally expect equality in its truest sense to exist, is the “house of God”.

Religion occupies a huge proportion of importance and value in the lives of a majority of individuals living in the world— be it in the form of Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism, Judaism, Zoroastrianism, among numerous others (the list of religions that exist in the world currently is virtually endless).


But reality exists in stark contrast to this theoretical view and belief of gender equality. Most of the world’s religions consider women to be part of the second tier of devotees, the first tier being obviously occupied by men. They are usually seen as a sort of support system to the existence of man in the religious world, existing only to augment the male purpose and ego. Historically entrenched, women have been denied rights to property, wealth, and even things as basic as the right to freedom or opinion, while all of these claims have been held up by crutches that we call religion.


This is not a novel phenomenon. In early Indian history, the Vedas (which are considered as one of the earliest religious texts in India) were conceived and popularised to establish the dominance of the Brahmans and their worldview. They reflected the realities of society but also tried to shape the perceptions of those living in this society. Based upon similar ideals, modern religion has taken assistance from age-old traditions, interpreting even the handful of non-sexist ideals through a misogynistic eyehole.


Under Hinduism (a religion followed by a huge majority of the Indian population), women are not considered independent individuals but are only seen as attached to the authority of a man. 

According to the Hindu code of Manu,

In childhood a woman must be subject to her father, in youth to her husband, [and] after the husband’s death to her sons; a woman must never be free of subjugation.”


Under Christianity, the scripture in Genesis says, 

The Lord God said, it is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a help meet (fit or suitable) for him,”

again, suggesting that women are to play a supportive role to men. This is further found in passages in Colossians and Peter, which call for women to submit to their husbands and to stay silent in their shadow.


Islam might be seen as holding a better position in some respects— such as the existence of alimony (nafaqah) and the provision of a right to divorce for not just men, but also women under Islamic law (khul). But in other respects, Islam also holds a similar notion where women are seen as inferior and subject to subjugation by men. It also gave men the unequal and unfair right to instantly divorce their wives by saying “talaq” thrice. This led to a massive judicial case, bringing to light the question of religious boundaries and state intervention. Ultimately, the Indian government ended up criminalising the practice of “triple talaq”, but that does not point towards a very significant betterment of the status of women in Islamic society.


One branch of Jainism, that is, the Digambars, does not even consider women eligible for enlightenment as they believe that enlightenment is only possible by giving up all possessions, including one’s clothing. As the female body goes through the biological process of menstruation, it becomes inherently impossible for women to give up clothing, thus, leaving them excluded from even the choice of being part of this process.

How much sense does it make— that owing to an inequality based not on one’s choice but rather on the autonomy of nature and biology— women are subjected to such rules and restrictions, not even free from this bias in a place where people turn to for finding intrinsic peace?


A similar incident gained a lot of media coverage in the past years, that is, the Sabarimala case. A 2018 Supreme Court verdict lifted the ban that had prevented women of menstruating age to enter the Ayyappa shrine in Sabarimala. Not surprisingly, this was met by a lot of outcries from religious groups as well as the inhabitants of Sabarimala itself. The breaking and violation of an age-old tradition, that had been followed by ancestors through centuries, was enough blasphemy for the people. But does faith in a religion or God or divinity give an individual or society the right to deny women (who, ideally, should also be as important in the “eyes of god” as men) their freedom of faith and practice?


The feminist movement has constantly argued about the problems that exist in the religious sphere and stem from the religious sphere— the practice of Sati, the Pardah system, unequal property rights (and the ensuing social and political inequality and dependence). But this also does not mean that religion as a whole only exists as a tool for the subjugation of women (even if a majority of it does). 

Case in point would be the constant discussion over the wearing of the Hijab by Muslim women, a practice that people jumped upon as being “oppressive”, “unfair”, or “going against modern feminist ideals”. This is not what feminism truly means. Feminism gives women the right to freedom— to make choices for themselves, be it in alignment with traditional practices or with the modern. Such a blatant and blind viewpoint does not achieve anything for women and their rights. Rather it builds upon the same precept that has been put forward by the proponents of patriarchy for decades, taking away from women the freedom to make an independent choice for themselves. 


But coming back to the norm and not the exception, most independent-thinking women do not think that the co-existence of religion and feminism is possible. Every step that is taken differently from what your religion or its scriptures or religious leaders prescribe and preach, is also seen and considered as a step away from your faith. 

If a religion simply becomes a tool of subjugation, and not of freedom, then such a faith has nothing to contribute to human society,”said an article from dailyo.com


So, does that mean that in this modern world women still need to exist in parts, hiding away something to be a part of something else? Does it mean that women cannot exist as a whole, as human, but only as an anomaly of pieces stitched together as per convenience?


Read also ‘Show Me the YA Section, Please!’ 

Feature Image Credits: ‘Women and Religion’ by Carole A. Barnsley


Manasvi Kadian

[email protected]

“Misogynism isn’t something that we will take forward. We won’t be passing the trauma of this sexist culture to the next generation.” But are you sure about that?

TW: Mentions of r*pe, s*xualisation and obj*ctification.

I come from two Indias. One where we believe that our generation will be the end of misogyny and sexism, and bring a new age of real equality; and another where we are scared of even posting pictures online because we might be scrutinised and objectified by people we know, where we are scared of stalker exes, and where rape culture is normalised and rape cases are nothing of a novelty.

I belong to both of them, and I belong to none of them.

I believe that we are trying and that we are changing but I also know that we call this a culture of toxicity for a reason—it is a poison that breeds itself, perpetuating through the generations, changing in proportion and manifestation but never really disappearing. After all, it says “survival of the fittest”, not “survival of the best” and your misogyny slips into its place in this world as easily as that missing last piece of a thousand-piece puzzle.

Human beings are social animals, but we are also hopeful creatures. We would rather believe that the next generation won’t have to live with the fears we lived in or face the trauma that we carry with us every day, than open our eyes to the reality which surrounds us. The Bois locker room case which targeted underage girls was not made by old, bored men sitting in the dark corners of their houses, but by school and college students, people we could very well have personally known. A 9-year-old was raped in Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh, not by grown men with twisted minds, but by boys aged 10 and 14. The Bulli Bai app wasn’t just made by a group of radicalists living many decades in the past, who wanted to silence and suppress women by fueling fears and age-old repressive methods, but by a group that also included a Delhi University student, someone belonging to one of the most prestigious universities in the country.

When we hear of these incidents, we try to separate our world from theirs. We try to build them up in our heads as monsters who exist as an anomaly. But does the world create monsters, or do the monsters just belong in the world? Are we grasping at straws, trying to be optimistic, trying to find a new explanation for these horrors every day? Are we deliberately looking for factors and reasons that are solvable, so that we can glaze over the rotten foundation we, as a society, are standing on?

Our generation talks about the end of an era of doing things wrong, but we don’t realise that the fight isn’t about the few people around us, but about the thousands upon thousands of others who aren’t. We keep hiding behind our curtains of doe-eyed beliefs that people are changing, while in reality, we are only creating walls between these different mentalities. The fact that we don’t see it every day, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist anymore. 

If you are still itching to give an argument against this, itching to add a dash of optimistic rant and talk about all the “good” people around you, think about this: If I ask you to count on your fingers the number of people you know who have never made a misogynistic comment, who have never objectified or sexualised someone, who have never made a problematic joke, wouldn’t your ten fingers end up being too many?


Read also “Why Is Gen-Z So Pessimistic?” https://dubeat.com/2022/01/why-is-gen-z-so-pessimistic/ 


Feature Image Credits: DU Beat Archives


Manasvi Kadian

[email protected] 

The male gaze, for a long time, has been a subject of investigation in popular discourses such as cinema and literature. This article attempts to explore and substantiate the same using cartoons in the Indian and Japanese context which have consciously or subconsciously yielded into this system of stereotypical feminization and sexist generalisations.  

The Young girl feels that her body is getting away from her… on the street men follow her with their eyes and comment on her anatomy. She would like to be invisible; it frightens her to become flesh and to show flesh”, Simone De Beauvoir in Second Sex. 

The Male Gaze refers to the act of depicting womxn and the world told through the idealist perspective of the heterosexual masculine cis viewer, which is warped by the hyper sexualisation and objectification of womxn. The term was originally coined by feminist film theorist Laura Mulvey in her 1975 seminal essay ‘Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema’ to describe the cinematic angle with which a heterosexual male character looked at a female character. Thus, the ‘male gaze’ invokes the sexual politics of the gaze by which the woman is simply reduced to a sense of aesthetic pleasure for the man which, in turn, empowers men, while objectifies women. It’s visibly comprehensible in films or video games where the camera deliberately pans cover women’s bodies, often zooming in and out in slow motion, on their various body parts. 

Arguably, viewing our bodies as separate to our minds, promotes objectification and self-surveillance, that is, viewing one’s body from an outsider observer’s perspective”, Nadia Craddock, a research fellow at the Centre for Appearance Research.

Therefore, it becomes pertinent to study and challenge this further in other visual mediums including cartoons, mangas, and anime, for instance. While the cartoons we were so fond of as kids may have been a wellspring of amusement and laughter for us, it’s only now that one can attempt to understand and identify the blatant sexist generalisations and objectification of women, persistent deeply in the very sources of amusement. In fact, if you’re familiar with contemporary animation ,  or the entertainment industry as a whole , it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise: from writers’ desks to character rosters, cartoons have long been a boys’ club.

Hibbeler (2009) analyzed masculine representations in Disney animated feature films and concluded that Disney does not appear to be making progress toward more accurate and positive representations of male characters. Male characters that were heroes and central were portrayed as being younger, slender, sexual and romantically involved, aggressive, and as having family structures not commonly seen in society. These representations of male characters are very stereotypical in nature and further propagate misogyny at its core.

Often, the female protagonists in such cartoons represent a heavily gendered stereotype of a silly and frivolous person whose only positive trait is to attract men. This way, they simply get reduced to merely a two-dimensional, porcelain symbol of femininity meant to be rescued and provided for by a man who simply knows better and has a higher purpose in life diminishing women as pervasive and exploitative caricatures.

We may have been elated at hearing the news of Shizuka and Nobita finally getting married, but how much progress have we really made? The Japanese Manga fails to distinguish from its other contemporaries in stereotyping women. The female characters, though strongly determined, are shown as either too aggressive, unexplainably rude, and irritated beings like Nobita’s mother, accompanied with an uncomfortable feminine imagery, or often meek and modest damsels in distress like our very own Shizuka. For instance, even though Shizuka is in the top scorers of her class and quite smart and intelligent, her pastimes include going to piano lessons, baking cookies, and learning to paint. Often, she is attacked by the supposed ‘villain’ of the episode only to be rescued by Nobita and Doraemon’s gadgets. 

Adding cherry on the top is Nobita’s continuous obsession over her so much so that he somehow, always lands up in her house only to see her bathing, which is creepy, to say the least, and, a sexual offense in the 21st century. The makers of the show, for some reason, repeatedly use such bathing and flying skirt scenes in an attempt of, perhaps, weaving a ‘cute’ love story. The reason for the same can be cited as male ideologies monopolising the conversations over female identity and characters in visual representations and theatre across the globe. It can be argued that Japanese society is traditional and the cartoon was created in the 1970s, so maybe it is reflective of a certain time and place, but the pertinent question, then, becomes: why are we seeing it in 21st century India?


Featured Image: The Dot and Line

Annanya Chaturvedi

[email protected]

What is the justification of that Judicial regimen, where due justice becomes a jargon of unjust juxtapositions judiciously jaundiced with jibes and jabber? 

Six years ago, a concern regarding justice in matters related to crime against women was raised before a panel of judges of the Calcutta High Court at a legal seminar in Asansol, the incident pondered another question about female participation in investigative teams and without much of surprise, there wasn’t a single woman advocate to actually answer my question or explain the condition anyways.

The pursuit of an egalitarian and gender-neutral society under due actions of female representation and supervision of institutions seems quite paradoxical in the Indian context. While the legislature, is mostly up to the consensus of the general population, the rationality in demographics of the executive needs to be looked upon in a separate column, this leaves us with probably the most important of these institutions – The Indian Judiciary.

Over generations, the Indian Judiciary which has historically been a reserve of few mighty men has undergone multiple amendments to allow itself to cater to the rightful place and needs of women. The first initiative to enter the Black Robe Men Sanctuary was taken by a Bengali Calcutta University Law Graduate named ‘Regina Guha’, who applied as a pleader at the district court of Alipore on 1st September, 1916, her case was dismissed by a bench of male judges under the Legal Practitioners Act.

But, following the Sex Disqualification Act, 1919 another Bengali lady by the name of Sudhanshubala Hazra augmented another petition in Patna District Court for her appointment as a pleader. The bench at Patna High Court which was redirected to preside upon the case passed a similar judgment as of the previous case debarring her to enter the legal practice.

Sudhanshubala Hazra in the 1920s said, “If there is any country, where Lady practitioners are necessary, it is India… they (women) cannot instruct the lawyer of other sex and consequently they became victims to the dishonesty.”

After a great struggle the year 1923 saw the passage of Legal Practitioners (Women) Act dismissing the disqualifications based on sex. Since, then prominent female lawyers like Congress Leader Violet Alva, who became the first women lawyer to appear before a High Court in India in 1944, rose to limelight and advocated rights of women fiercely.

In 73 years of Independence, India witnessed just a few judges at the High Courts and the Supreme Court of India. In 1959, Anna Chandy became the first female judge in an Indian High Court, subsequently more like Konameneni Amareswari and Janaki Amma were appointed later at different High Courts of India. But it was only in 1989, that M Fathima Beevi was promoted as the first female judge at the Supreme Court of India. In total out of the 214 ex-judges of the Supreme Court, only five were women, whereas out of the 33 sitting judges at the Apex Court only three namely India Malhotra, R Banumathi and Indira Banerjee are women.

Apart from the chair of the judge’s significant women have inspired young and aspiring advocates with their strong skills and iconic cases that have prospered tales for generations to come.

Flavia Agnes of the ‘Majlis’ foundation is the first name that one can think of for her gender and minority rights advocacy in courts and well as papers, her initiatives for action against domestic violence is a self-experience that inspired and helped many women rightly. The 2012 Nirbhaya Case prompted another strong advocate of Anti Rape Bill who has been a defining name in criminal, constitutional, media and policy laws. As a ferocious advocate of Free Speech, Karuna Nundy fought ardently for the survivors of Bhopal gas tragedy and has been leading many in the Anti CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) NRC (National Register for Citizens) and NPR (National Population Register) protests.

Veteran Supreme Court Advocate Pinky Anand who is currently serving as an Additional Solicitor General of India has expertise in Constitutional, Property, Family and International law. Talking about another and the first Additional Solicitor General of India, Indira Jaising is one of the highest-ranked leaders whose voicing of child, women and minority rights is hailed with respect, she has argued cases of homeless and environment concerns in the Supreme Court and is currently representing the students of Jamia Millia Islamia who suffered the Police brutalities and action. Vrinda Grover is another female lawyer who has raised student’s pleas in the previous case, previously she has represented the victims of the1984 Anti Sikh Riots and has been instrumental in the formulation of POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act, 2012 and Prevention of Torture Bill, 2010.

Rebecca John is probably the first woman Criminal lawyer who has handled numerous cases with like the 2008 Noida Double Murder Case. The Kathua Rape Case petitioner Deepika Singh Rajawat has certainly epitomized empathy with ferocious meticulousness; as a human rights activist, she has closely worked with ‘CRY'(Child Relief and You) and other NGOs.

The Corporate field would be incomplete without the famous and iconic Zia Mody who has sought to revolutionise the field for better at national as well as the global front. In a stark parallel to the corporate world, Sudha Bharadwaj has fervently advanced trade union and land acquisition laws in India, with a ground experience of working with the Dalits and tribals, Bharadwaj has strongly voiced their concerns multiple times. Lawyers like Menaka Guruswamy and Arundhati Katju who made a big progression after winning the battle against same-sex relationships are making their way as well.

With these names standing up to the double reputation of India’s judiciary and its women, the allegations, proceedings, and judgement regarding the sexual harassment charges levied against ex-Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi has rightly brought up the fears of women where the case went up to country’s apex Court but in a rather bizarre manner. This surely reiterates Sudhanshubala Hazra’s aforementioned quote and necessitates the female participation in Indian courts for the greater good of all.

Featured Image Credits: Scoopwhoop 

Faizan Salik

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Three men walk into a bar and I’m the bartender. With my inherent humanity, I’m bound to judge these three specimens of so-called “masculinity”.

The first male was your typical “dude” (if I may stereotype that word for the purposes of this article). He is not homophobic, but he is still not comfortable with any gay men around him. He wants them to do their “hanky panky business” in private, but not in front of him. He is not talking about gay public display of affection, but just the stereotypical gay notions of people beyond heteronormative ideals of love in his head. He does not want to see any men dressed in flashy colours, talking about Pride parades, organised by privileged city kids, and other matters of those sorts. And yet, he says he is not homophobic. He loves his “bros”, but whenever he hugs them, or says that he loves them, he feels it is his moral obligation to say “no homo”. As if every same-sex physical contact implies gayness, or that he would be something “impure” if people even go to the extent of thinking he is gay. The smoggy air levels outside in Delhi are toxic, and so is this man’s masculinity. I’m pretty sure he would be an avid aficionado of lesbian porn though.

The second man is gay and proud. He has fought judgemental looks and judgemental judgements from everyone around all his life, and I have major respect for him in that sense. My only problem, however, is how he is turning into a victim of reverse stereotyping. This is the 21st century where we are acknowledging, or at least trying to acknowledge every human on the sexuality and gender spectrum. Everyone is equal and deserves equal treatment at a bar and, by extension, in this world. But the purpose of this equality is defeated when people like him start judging each other’s queerness, and stereotype matters themselves. As I serve him a pint, he examines my hands. “Such soft hands. You must be queer,” he says, as I laugh it off. A female friend approaches and he tells her that her bosom looks very appetising. The female friend knows that the second man would not approach her with any sexual intentions, but she is still clearly disturbed by his remarks. Her face says it all. But the second man does not realise this. He thinks that it is fine for him to comment on women like this, or sexually objectify them because to him, they are not objects of his own desire, and to them, he is not a “threat”. The third descendant of Adam is the worst probably, as he is more of a chameleon than a man. To win brownie points in the “woke” world, he continuously posts Instagram stories of protests at Jantar Mantar, the Pride flag, and other stuff of that sort. But who knows how he feels deep inside? For I heard him talking to another male friend who was dressed in a fine pink shirt. “Arey meethe,” (where meethe is slang for a man who seems conventionally non-masculine and is perceived to be gay) he said while hugging him, and I just squinted with cringe. Such people are the epitome of the word “pseudo”.

I was about to continue my character study on the third man but I got interrupted by many more men walking into the bar. You see, today is International Men’s Day, and so the bar has offered a special discount for all male customers. I laugh at the irony, for almost every day is International Men’s Day if you think about it (okay, maybe the second man hasn’t enjoyed privileges all the time). From the times of God in religious texts to figures of “his’story” to present day, it has been a man’s world. What kind of man do you want to be – someone in the joke or someone who learns to improve his ideas of masculinity in the evolving world – is a question you must try answering for yourself.

Shaurya Singh Thapa

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Recently, Kartik Aaryan’s monologue from his new movie, Pati Patni Aur Woh amassed online backlash as it drew widespread flak for its immensely problematic nature. Interestingly, this is not the first instance of the actor’s opus revelling in controversy and misogyny.

A preface for readers who were blissfully unaware about the existence and plight of incels; involuntary celibates exist (mostly) virtually as an online subculture. They are characterized by their inability to find romantic partners despite them being desperate for one, and their contingent ideologies of male supremacy and misanthropy as they indict the entire female population for their bleak romantic scene, as well as denying them sex.

Sounds (thematically) familiar? The character portrayed by Kartik Aaryan in the trailer for his new movie, delivers a forceful monologue while the camera spans around him with great intensity as if his words are to be received as profound and eye-opening. In reality, it sounds like the top post on an incel forum, presented below for your kind perusal, verbatim;

“Biwi se sex maanglein toh hum bikhaari,

Biwi ko sex na de toh hum atyachaari,

Aur kisi tarah jugaad laga ke usse sex haasil karlei na toh balaatkari bhi hum hai.

(If we ask our wives for sex then we’re called beggars,

if we deny them sex them, we’re called torturers,

and if we coerce them into having sex with us, we’re called rapists.)”

The harangue doesn’t require much deconstruction as it is ostentatiously, in fact quite proudly, dripping with hatred for women. It commodifies women as it portrays sex as something to be procured from them, whether through consent which is regarded as begging, or through coercion. The latter part invalidates the veritable, grave issue of marital rape, which is an especially sensitive concern in the Indian context as it is not a recognised crime, in the eyes of law. In the same breath, the rant also manages to turn women’s sexuality against them, as if its mere existence is a bother for men.

The title of this article came about by the virtue of a piece published by Rayon Mag (@rayonmag on Instagram). The satirical piece challenges the reader to differentiate between Kartik Aaryan’s quotes from his movies, and blatantly sexist remarks. The gems include “There’s no way your girlfriend would understand anything you try to explain to her”, “A happy woman is a myth.” and that’s all the writer can include without reproducing a myriad of cuss words aimed at women. Hilariously, at the end of the quiz it is revealed that all of the statements are quotes from Kartik Aaryan’s movies.

One can argue that movies are fictional, and acting out statements does not automatically equate with endorsing the sentiment behind them in veritable terms. However, when such dialogues are scored by quirky, goofy music and misogyny is repeatedly used as a punchline, they serve to deliver a subtly aimed political message intended for a particular demographic group. In this instance the audience dog-whistled to are misogynistic men within whom resentment towards women is evoked or validated.

Image Credits:Film Companion

Prisha Saxena 

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Students talk about several dress code restrictions in several Bachelor of Science (B. Sc) courses for female students in Kirori Mal College.

In 2019, it might come as a surprise that several colleges all around India still introduce and promote dress code restrictions for female students. The reasons suggested by the various administrations for these restrictions might vary, but they still show the orthodox mentality prevalent in many higher education institutions throughout India. The idea of higher education comes with a certain sense of liberty. These practices will only destroy that sense of liberty and make these institutions into regressive and oppressive campuses.

A recent example is St Francis College for Women in Hyderabad, who implemented the banning of shorts, sleeveless and similar dresses on campus as of 1st August, 2019. It seems that Kirori Mal College, which is a part of Delhi University, might also be facing similar issues. Kirori Mal does not have a stated dress code for any student in its rules and regulations. However, students from B. Sc (Honours) allege that certain teachers still implement dress codes for female students.

A student studying a course of Bachelor of Sciences stated that they are not allowed to wear revealing clothes. She said, “We are not allowed to wear dresses above knee length and even off shoulders are not allowed”. Another student pointed out that both these departments are present on the second floor of the Science block, and these restrictions and rules are passed down by the one of the departments. These are followed by several of the teachers other B. Sc departments.

Another student talks about an event that she witnessed first-hand at the Bachelor of Sciences department Freshers. She said, “A girl who happens to be the Class Representative of a department was questioned about the way she was dressed. The part that disgusted all of us was that she was apparently being slut shamed by our female professor.”

She continued, “This is not an isolated event. During our Fresher event, girls were not even allowed to wear something which would expose their knees and if they did, they would not be allowed to attend the Fresher party. This message was directed to us by our teachers from our department.”

These restrictions bring to the light and into question the misogynistic attitude present in every section of the Indian society. The sexist nature these restrictions show the still prevalent culture of victim blaming and failing to address the main problem. The problem is not what women or anyone as individuals choose to wear, but the fact that women are still objectified. The problem being that instead of addressing the root cause behind objectification and harassment, we are still trying to pin the blame on the victim.

Feature image credits: Aditi Seth

Prabhanu Kumar Das

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As another bride walks down the mandap, adorning a Sabyasachi Bridal Wear, somewhere out there, the founder Sabyasachi Mukherjee, makes another sexist comment. With a history of subsequent problematic comments, we now know his definition of a Sabhya naari

Popularly known as the man who revolutionised Indian bridal couture, Sabyasachi’s distinctive style is a blend of Indian traditional dressing on the modern-day woman. With several accolades to his name, “Sabyasachi-bride” is the new societal superiority norm. With that amount of influence over the global and Indian wedding market, he’s bound to have a heavy audience following and social media presence. 

The official Instagram handle of Sabyasachi showcases his creation on models (read: superficial women) and some of his personal thoughts, occasionally. Quite recently, he garnered major flak due to his statement on overdressed women, caked with makeup and the deep void in them. Implying a highly problematic notion that, ‘overdressed’ women use dressing up as a coping mechanism to cure their ‘wounds’. A woman requires no reason, per se, to dress up. Even though he provided an apology, the Instagram army wasn’t ready to accept his explanation. Well, how does it even matter if a woman is overdressed, underdressed or naked? 

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Nandini Sukhija, a student of Mumbai University, says “I find it bizarre for a designer to judge women who like to dress up. Whether or not to accessorise is a personal choice and not a reflection of one’s struggles. I was never in favour of idealising the standards of beauty like designers often practice. His sexist remarks only further deter me from even considering designers like him when it comes to making purchases.”

On International Women’s Day, a post celebrating “self-confidence” was uploaded with courtesy to a plus-size model in his lehenga, glowing in her dark skin with a plunging neckline; so much for “inclusivity” and brand promotion. Sabyasachi is infamous for his models portraying the fair, lean and thin women- the conventional definition of the Indian beauty. Using a woman who doesn’t fit into the sphere of the “ideal woman” is always celebrated, but not in the context of promoting self-confidence; it just implies that someone who doesn’t look like what society expects them to, is burdened, resulting in having a staggeringly low-confidence. 

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Devashree Vaidya, a student of Psychology, states, “I think of him as a man who reeks of disguised misogyny, coupled with an intense amount of saviour complex. I believe he’s a person who believes it’s his duty to enlighten people about their own feelings and desires.” 

His blatant sexism exists beyond the social media world. At the Harvard India Conference in 2018, the designer said, “I think, if you tell me that you do not know how to wear a saree, I would say shame on you. It’s a part of your culture, you need to stand up for it.” Savarna cis-men have long been dictating cultural norms and traditions on women. Even though he had issued an apology for saying “shame” in his statement, but as they say, Freudian slip never lies. A time when women’s clothing and choices are still dictated by unasked opinions; no bonus points for guessing which era we live in.

Sabyasachi deals exclusively with women’s clothing and as a designer of his stature, he must keep up with fourth-wave feminism. His series of sexist comments is a deeply conditioned mindset regarding what an ideal, docile Indian woman aka Sabhya Naari should reflect. Time and again he has provided apologies for his mishaps, but how much is too much? How long will we tolerate and continue growing up his sales whilst writing articles against him? 

Feature Image Credits: NDTV

Image Credits: Sabhyasachi’s Instagram


Anandi Sen

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