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Crusading for equality and justice, Meena Kandasamy is one of the boldest voices of the angry, young Indian woman today.
Meena Kandasamy describes herself as a poet, writer, translator and activist. Her sparkling eyes convey her zest for life, while her fiery words tackle social injustices unreservedly. Drawing her inspiration from iconic writer Kamala Das, Meena writes about feminism and casteism.
Meena holds a PhD in Linguistics and has published two poetry collections, namely Touch and Ms Militancy. She is currently working on her first novel, The Gypsy Goddess. She has participated in several prestigious literary festivals around the globe and has also been associated with leading international educational institutions worldwide.
The oppression meted out to the weaker factions of society – such as the discrimination that Dalits face in their everyday lives and the cruelty that many Sri Lankan Tamils suffer from – are some of the causes that are close to Meena’s heart.
Why we find her inspiring:
– For carving her own identity as an educated, courageous, well-informed and progressive Indian woman
– For not hesitating to state her beliefs loudly and clearly
– For sticking to her guns despite threats and harassment
*Photo source: www.meenakandasamy.com.
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"I chose to go out into the remote, wild, unknown, and make it home," says entrepreneur Kiranjeet Ahluwalia Chaturvedi, who owns Birdsong & Beyond.
The story of my mountain home Birdsong & Beyond started taking shape in 2009, on the internet, the way many stories do these days.
My childhood fascination for a life in the Himalayas led to an internship with a central Himalayan NGO instead of a much prized corporate assignment. But when they offered me a full-time job, I refused. I was overcome by fear and a lack of confidence.
My other longings pulled me away – the longing to fit in, to earn validation from others. By my mid-30s, with all the trappings of a middle-class urban life in place, the call of the snows couldn’t be ignored anymore. So I got to work on it with clearer intentions and a stronger sense of what I needed for myself, and why.
Many Indian elderly are firm believers in enslaving a daughter-in-law in the name of tradition which is actually a tradition of oppression and not of religious faith.
Albeit, the popular culture has interpreted scriptures as suggesting that Kanyadaan is the supreme form of donation given to someone, the connotation that the word donation alludes to definitely objectifies the girl.
Even when the exegesis justify the act of giving away the daughter, considering it a ritual to mark the initiation of the daughter into her husband’s gotra and her becoming the part of his family tree.
There is no denial of the fact that this initiation is not required on the part of the groom thereby formally denoting the end of the filial ties with the daughter as it was popularly instructed to the bride during the Vidai ceremonies:
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