… the court also used the word “Indian culture”, when it wanted to frame this talk about what rights parents have and what rights parents don’t have. And I think this “Indian culture” is again something that is most vexing because one [thing] is, we don’t have any homogenous idea of Indian culture — Hindutva has made it the shorthand, by invoking the word “Indian culture” to basically invoke everything that can run against any feminist interest. So, “Indian culture” becomes the word that tells you how dress, “Indian culture” becomes the word that tells you when you should be back home, “Indian culture” is the word that tells you who you should date, when you should date, when you should have children, whether you should have children at all.
Even though “Indian culture” might have been the brainchild of Hindutva, it really appeals to the conservative elements all across society; it appeals to feudal elements all across society; it appeals to the moral police everywhere. Even if they might not patently identify themselves with Hindutva, this is the kind of effect it has on society.
Meena Kandasamy, on the panel discussion Gender and the Hindu Right in India, LSE, 3 March 2014 (link to full video)
The Gender Institute in collaboration with the Freedom Without Fear Platform and South Asia Solidarity Group; a panel discussion on Gender and the Hindu Right in India; London School of Economics and Political Science.
Meena Kandasamy is a Dalit feminist activist and political columnist and author. In this panel, she speaks about what happens when women challenge right-wing Hindu political forces and the caste hierarchies which they support. She will also examines the Hindu Right’s notion of the ideal woman which fuels a culture of victim-blaming and moral policing.