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Showing posts from December, 2016

Jayalalitha is dead. Sexism in Indian politics is alive.

Yesterday, an astute politician and a popular leader, Jayalalitha passed away. There has been a spontaneous outpouring of genuine grief and deep dismay among most Tamilians. 
By all accounts, Jayalalitha had led an extraordinary life. From becoming a film heroine at the age of 16 to being a chief minister at the time of her death, much of Jayalalitha’s journey had been larger than life. She had had to display exemplary courage and tremendous willpower to defeat formidable foes, surmount numerous obstacles and beat impossible odds. Each time she was deemed vanquished, she rose like a phoenix from the ashes, stronger than ever before. And yet many of us are puzzled by her popularity, uncomfortable with the devotion shown to her and scornful of what we consider as the mindless sycophancy that reigns around her.
The underlying source of all this thinly disguised distaste is our deep-rooted and firmly entrenched belief in the inferiority of the woman. In plainer words: sexism and patriarc…