Memories of a Rolling Stone
By Vina Mazumdar
This endearing, witty, self-deprecating memoir documents the life of one of the leading feminists of the contemporary Indian women’s movement. Vina Mazumdar, one of the key reserchers and writers of the landmark report of the Committee on the Status of Women in India, Towards Equality, here documents her early life, her gradual politicization in a household of liberal, educated Bengalis, and her involvement in women’s issues and the women’s movement.
Brought up to be outspoken and frank, Vinadi, as she is affectionately known, began by becoming involved in university-level politics in Bihar. Marriage and a young family did not prevent her from pursuing her studies and her career, in the teeth of considerable opposition from relatives but with constant support from her mother. On her return to India, Vinadi first moved into the field of education, and then with her involvement in the research and writing of Towards Equality, was catapulted into the women’s movement.
An activist and institution builder, Viandi set up the Centre for Women’s Development Studies in Delhi, one of the leading research and outreach institutions for women in the country. In this rare memoir, Vinadi provides a rich history of the contemporary women’s movement in India.
Vina Mazumdar is an activist, institution builder, and academic. She is a founder of the Centre for Women’s Development Studies, Delhi and of the Indian Association of Women’s Studies. She serves as Member Secretary of the Standing Committee on Women’s Studies of the Government of India.
A Street in Srinagar
Chandrakanta, Translated by Manisha Chaudhry
Srinagar, capital city of the famed ‘paradise on earth’, Kashmir. Ailan Gali, a deep, dark narrow lane that lies at its heart, where houses stand on a finger’s width of space and lean crookedly against each other, so deep, so narrow, so closely connected that even thieves do not dare enter.
Yet people live and love here, they cling on to their old ways, they share stories and food, joys and sorrows, sufficient unto themselves. But the outside world beckons, youngsters begin to leave, and slowly change makes its way into Ailan Gali only to find its hitherto hidden mirror-image – the change that has insidiously been working its way into the lives of those who are the gali’s permanent residents.
This funny, poignant, evocative story of a Kashmir as yet untouched by violence – but with its shadows looming at the edges – is a classic of Hindi literature, available in English translation for the first time.
Chandrakanta Studied in Srinagar and Rajasthan and published her first story in 1967 in Kalpana. She has since written and published many novels and short story collections as well as a volume of poetry.
Manisha Chaudhry has translated stories, novels and documents for a range of publishing houses and organisations, from both Hindi and English. She is currently Head, Content Development with Pratham Books.
Kaifi and I: A Memoir
Author: Shaukat Kaifi
Edited and translated by Nasreen Rehman
From the heart of a well-known family of Hyderabad to life in a single room with the barest of necessities, Shaukat Kaifi’s memoir of her life with the renowned poet Kaifi Azmi speaks of love and commitment.
A marriage of over a half a century, a life steeped in poetry and progressive politics, continuing involvement with the Indian People’s Theatre Association, the Progressive Writers Association, Prithvi Theatre… all of these and more inform this beautifully told tale of love. Shaukat Kaifi’s writing details life in a communist commune, a long career in theatre and film and a life spent bringing up her two children, cinematographer Baba Azmi and actor Shabana Azmi.
Nasreen Rehman’s deft and fluent translation brings this luminous memoir alive with warmth and empathy.
“To say that this is a lovely book would be an understatement. It is an enchanting recollection of the life of a hugely talented and sensitive human being, shared with a great poet.” — Amartya Sen.
Shaukat Kaifi is a well respected theatre and film artiste who has essayed memorable roles in a number of Hindi films from the 1940s to the 1980s. She married the noted Urdu poet and lyricist Kaifi Azmi in 1947 during India’s freedom struggle.
Nasreen Rehman is an award winning screenplay writer. Her book, Nur Jahan, The Melody Queen is forthcoming.
Making Babies: Birth Markets and Assisted Reproductive Technologies in India
Editor: Sandhya Srinivasan
Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ARTs) are usually publicised as ‘miracle cure for infertility.’ However, the social and economic context in which these technologies are developed and promoted have a strong bearing on their use or misuse.
Carefully packaged in the garb of ‘modernity’ and ‘choice,’ the efficacy of these technologies is difficult to challenge. On a deeper analysis, their costs seem to heavily outweigh the benefits. A chain of adverse effects on women’s and children’s health, commodification of their bodies, commercialisation of the reproductive process, unabashed encouragement to sex selection, obsession about biological progeny and eugenics are only some of the concerns that ARTs bring to the fore.
This book is an attempt to look into various aspects of ARTs – their social, medical, legal and economic implications on women in particular, and society at large. The book comprises seven essays by eminent activists and academics, each exploring a specific aspect of ART.
Sandhya Srinivasan is a freelance journalist and consultant. She writes on health and development for various publications and websites, and was a Panos Reproductive Health Media Fellow, writing on the infertility industry in India. She was awarded the Ashoka Fellowship for work in medical ethics.
Bina Das: A Memoir
Author: Bina Das
Translated from Bengali by Dhira Dhar
Best known as a young revolutionary who took up arms against the British establishment, Bina Das numbers among the heroes of Indian history – alongside Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, Preetilata Wadedar – who took up arms against the colonisers.
This short memoir movingly recounts the story of her involvement in the shooting of the British Governor of Bengal, Stanley Jackson, at the Annual Convocation Meeting of Calcutta University in 1932, her subsequent incarceration, and her growing involvement in politics.
Despite her importance in Indian history, Bina Das disappeared from public view in later life and is rumoured to have passed away in Rishikesh in early 1997. This account captures the early years of her life and gives insights into the context and history of the times that inspired Bina to take the path that she chose.
Translating Women: Indian Interventions
Editor N. Kamala
While women’s language, women’s writings, and women’s views about the world we live in have all been the focus of much debate and study, this book explores the translation of these experiences and these writings in the context of India, with its multifaceted, multilingual character. If women’s language is different from the patriarchal language that forms the basis of communication in most language communities, what has been the impact of writings from the women’s perspective and how have these writings been translated?
Indian women writers have been translated into English in the Indian context as well as into other western languages. What are the linguistic and cultural specificities of these literary productions? What is foregrounded and what is erased in these translations? What are the politics that inform the choices of the authors to be translated? What is the agency of the translators, and of the archivist, in these cultural productions? What is the role of women translators? These are some of the questions that this book explores.
The book contains insightful essays by some of the best translation scholars in India with an in-depth Introduction and an essay by the well-known writer Ambai on her experience of being translated.
N KAMALA is Profesor of French at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and specializes in translation studies. She has published widely on translation in India and abroad. She was awarded the Katha prize for translation in 1998. Her English translation of Toru Dutt’s French novel The Diary of Mademoiselle d’Arvers was published in 2005.
Codes of Misconduct: Regulating Prostitution in Late Colonial Bombay
This remarkable study focuses on the relationship between forms of prostitution, discourses on law making, and law enforcement practices.
Across the 19th and early 20th centuries, the colonial government in Bombay city formulated laws on prostitution that were enormously repetitive. Activities such as soliciting men, pimping and procuring women and girls for prostitution were banned in identical ways in multiple eras. Across the same hundred years, commercial sex grew vast in scale, and Bombay became a node in a transnational sex trade circuit.
This book argues that while the expansion of Bombay’s sex trade over the past century might suggest that laws were simply ineffectual, law making was instead a productive process that sustained particular forms of prostitution. In examining this dimension of colonial governance, Tambe evaluates the uses and limits of Foucault’s approach to law and sexuality.
ASHWINI TAMBE is Assistant Professor of Women’s Studies and History at the University of Toronto. Her reserch focuses on colonial South Asia, gender and sexuality studies, social theory and global political economy. She has co-edited a volume titled The Limits of Colonial Control in South Asia on subaltern mobility in the Indian Ocean region (Routledge 2008), and her essays have appeared in journals such as Feminist Studies, Gender and Society, International Feminist Journal of Politics, Gender, Place and Culture, and Social Scientist.
STATES OF TRAUMA: Gender and Violence in South Asia
Editors: Piya Chatterjee, Manali Desai, Parama Roy
In the last couple of decades, violence as an analytic category has loomed large in the historical, literary and anthropological scholarship of South Asia. The challenge of thinking violence in its gendered incarnations fully and in all its complexity is not only theoretical or critical but also irreducibly ethical and political, given the proliferation of civil wars, pogroms and riots, fundamentalist movements, insurgencies and counter-insurgencies, and new technologies of violence and injury. All of these simultaneously feature and help constitute gendered actors and gendered scripts of violence.
States of Trauma seeks to examine this terrain by staging a set of questions. How are we to think about the moral charge that accrues to violence? What is the relationship of violence and non-violence? In considering the moral and affective economy of violence, how may we speak of the seduction of the idioms and practices of militarism and sexualized violence for women? How are these seductions/pleasures distinct from those proffered to men, if indeed, they are distinct?
These are some of the many questions that the essays here — that range from addressing the gendered violence of 1947 to the subalternization of the ‘bandit queen’ Phoolan Devi — seek to address.
Piya Chatterjee is Associate Professor of Women’s Studies at the University of California, Riverside.
Manali Desai is Lecturer in Sociology at the London School of Economics.
Parama Roy is Associate Professor of English at the University of California, Davis.
Genderscapes: Revisioning Natural Resource Management
Why does gender bias persist in natural resource management policies and programmes, despite increasing recognition of rural and tribal women’s contribution to conservation and sustainability?
Examining this question from the perspective of an academic and a practitioner, Sumi Krishna looks at diverse areas including the socialization of attitudes, the shaping of community ideologies, and the construction of disciplines and research methodologies.
The author advances the novel concept of ‘genderscapes’ to reflect the totality of women’s lifeworlds to revision natural resource management in complex landscapes. Rich case studies unravel the caring practices of forest-dwellers, women’s knowledge of biodiversity, their responsibility for farming and food production.
SUMI KRISHNA is a Scholar and activist who writes on forestry, the environment, and ecology. She is the author of several books and essays, and has been President of the Indian Association of Women’s Studies.
For more information, log on to: www.zubaanbooks.com
Digging out lost voices: An article in Deccan Herald, Banglaore on Sunday, 18th April 2010.
An article by Utpal Borpujari
Sandhir Flora had a question in mind, a question that probably exercises the minds of countless Indians: why is nobody interested in the common man’s viewpoint when it comes to important issues such as religion and the society, and why do the same people take on the role of self-appointed spokespersons of various communities on every available platform?
He tried to seek an answer, and since he is a filmmaker, an aspiring one at that, his search resulted in a film. Kya Main Qaafir Hoon? (Am I a Non-believer?), a one-hour film has been able to strike a chord with the discerning viewer. It got selected for the Non-Feature section of the Indian Panorama at the last International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa as well as the Persistence Resistance Film Festival in Delhi in February.
Flora, a Sikh from Jabbalpur, refuses to call his venture a short film, stressing that it has the structure of a long feature film, minus the length though. But more than that aspect, it is the subject that he feels is important in today’s context. The young director chose to delve into the debate within the Muslim community about religion and its impact on them against the backdrop of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, and though slightly verbose, his film has been able to raise pertinent questions.
For Flora, it has been a worthwhile venture, though he would have loved to make it into a full-length feature film but for lack of finances. He explains, “I am trying to analyse the irony of the fact that in following principles of a religion with the same purpose, two persons can find themselves on opposite sides. My film tries to show that everything stems from a certain value system, education and most importantly, certain experiences in life that mould people into unique individuals.”
Flora, who took the help of several of his Muslim friends to explore various points of view in the community, fleshed out realistic characters in the story. “Such a story cannot stand on its own if its characters are not real. Initially, people doubted my intentions. But with some effort, I managed to break that barrier and found some authentic voices. I decided to take a backseat, and let those voices talk and interact independently in my film as I didn’t want to pass a judgement or offer a clear-cut solution as there is none,” he says.
Flora has been clear that he would highlight the fact that the common man’s views on religion are never heard or taken into consideration. He says, in a matter of fact tone, “I wanted this point heard, loud and clear. Whenever any issue of national interest is talked about in TV or print, the Muslims are generally represented by the same faces, again and again. Not that there is anything wrong in their views. But sadly, the voice of a common Muslim is lost in this whole commotion. I decided that when I tell my story, this must be included, very firmly.”
In the film, Abraham, an NRI Muslim who escapes death in the Taj Hotel firing incident, goes to his native place in Central India where he sets out to achieve his long-term dream to set up a madrassa to provide education to poor Muslim children. Through the city’s SP, Suleiman Shaikh, he gets in touch with TV journalist Maria, who also has a similar wish. But when Maria and Abraham meet, it is found that they have very different ideologies, which is what develops the drama.
Flora is aware that the market for short films is nearly zilch in India. But he hopes that if not for a regular theatrical release, it will at least be picked up by a general entertainment channel for screening. The DVDs of the film are being distributed by Delhi-based Magic Lantern Foundation that distributes independent documentaries, short films and also full-length films.
Flora is aware that a lot of films are being made on socio-religious themes but getting restricted to the film festival circuit. While he says that there is no direct visible impact of cinema on society, he believes that it is one of the many tools that can be used effectively for social change. “It is a powerful medium. Therefore, I am very much against its abuse. As a filmmaker, I wish for the sake of society that private satellite channels pick up relevant content to broadcast on television, rather than the mindless shows that are aired merely for the sake of TRPs,” says Flora, who has assisted in films like Manoj Punj’s Zindagi Khoobsoorat Hai and Parvati Balagopalan’s Rules: Pyaar Ka Superhit Formula.
To order copies of the film, write to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dates: 28-29 April 2010
Time: 6 p. m.
Venue: Muktadhara Art Gallery
Banga Sanskriti Bhavan
18-19 Bhai Veer Singh Marg
New Delhi 110001
Between Gol Market and St. Columba’s School
Short discussion on Ghatak’s documentaries followed by screenings of
- My Lenin
- Puruliar Chhau
- Durbar Gati Padma
Discussion followed by screening of Meghe Dhaka Tara
For more information, contact:
Jana Natya Manch
J 147 RB Enclave
New Delhi 110063
The documentary film “Every Good Marriage Begins with Tears”, directed by Mr. Simon Chambers will be shown on NDTV 24×7 on Saturday, 24th April 2010 at 3 p.m., followed by a repeat telecast on Sunday, 25 April at 1 p.m.
“Every Good Marriage Begins with Tears”
English (subtitled), 62 min, 2006, UK
A deeply moving, tender and laugh-out-loud account of two feisty and rebellious London Bangladeshi sisters who go “back home” against their will for arranged marriages. Through intimate footage of the most personal moments, the film explores the universal theme of love, and conflicts across the generations, between the daughters’ ideas and their parents. It dispels clichéd myths about the Islamic treatment of women and puts a human face on the communities which are currently being targeted as a result of terrorist attacks on the West.
Awards and Screenings
Nominated for UDOC Youth Prize, International Documentary Festival Amsterdam, 2007;
Best Documentary, Royal Anthropological Institute, UK, 2006;
Best Documentary, Romadoc, Italy, 2006; Best Documentary, La Huesca International Film Festival, Spain, 2006;
Best Documentary, Ismalia International Film Festival, Egypt, 2006;
Best Newcomer, Nominated for Grierson, UK, 2006;
Honorable Mention, Parnu, Estonia, 2006;
Screened at numerous film festivals all over the world.
To order copies of the film, write to us at: email@example.com
Aditya Seth will be conducting a Short Course in Documentary Film Making with Whistling Woods International commencing on 13th May 2010.
The Documentary Film Making course offers training on the complex process of understanding & documenting Indian Society. During this short practical course, participants will look at ways of addressing creative, ethical, and conceptual problems related to the documentary film format, as well as, learn fundamental cultural elements of Indian documentary film. Additionally, participants will go through the essential processes of script development, visualization, pre and post-production, while creating their own documentaries with the skills learned during technical classes in: Writing, Cinematography, Sound Recording & Editing.
Details available at http://whistlingwoods.net
IDPA AWARDS 2009
CALL for Entries
For ALL FILMS produced from July 01 2008 to May 15, 2010
Deadline: May 15, 2010
IDPA AWARDS are the definitive awards for DOCUMENTARY, SHORT FICTION, ANIMATION, Public Service, ADs & TVCs, Corporate Film, TV Programmes, STUDENT FILMS
Deadline: May 15, 2010
IDPA Awards honour & recognise Excellence in the individual creator’s craft
~ Sound Design
IDPA Awards for Film makers, Students and the newly inspired.
- Films on Environment
- Films Shot on Cell Phones
- Films on Your Favourite Theme
Deadline: May 15, 2010
Deadline with extra Fee: May 31, 2010
IDPA members get a discount on entry fees
For more info and details, log on to http://www.idpaindia.org or Call Pooja 022-24920757
With every duly filled Entry form for IDPA AWARDS, you need to send the following
* DVD of entry+ A Hard & Soft Copy of
* 200-word synopsis of the film
* Two stills from the film
* Photograph of Director of the film
* 100-word bio-filmography of the Director
* Cheque or demand draft payable at par in Mumbai