UN Women’s HeForShe Campaign Goes Patriarchal

With a new envision of gender equality, UN Women’s HeForShe campaign wishes to change the usual state of feminist movements which are attended and supported only by women by seeking to “put men at the center of activism and dialogue to end persistent inequalities faced by women and girls around the world”.

One thing that stands out in the entire campaign, right from its name is the positioning of women at the passive end of the spectrum. You have to be a male to join the movement. Only the men attending the conference were extended a formal invitation.

Agreed, true equality can never be achieved without the participation and change coming from men, but the elimination of women from the conversation is also not a prudent step. The whole concept of self-policing and self-objectifying by women which also propagates the patriarchal culture is not taken care of anywhere in the campaign.

The reason given to join the campaign, directing at men, says,

“Gender equality is not only a women’s issue, it is a human rights issue that requires my participation.”

It’s like saying you have to be an animal to support animal rights’ movement. Though the UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson does mention that men are also affected by gender inequality, it is safe to say, that most of the time, it favourably affects the men. The HeForShe campaign puts all focus on men to change the state of gender inequality in the world without pushing the women to empower themselves. The UN campaign aims to enroll 100,000 men in the fight for gender equality, while the women are expected to sit and watch the numbers rise in the next 12 months.

As the website says,

“Now it’s time to unify our efforts. HeForShe is a solidarity movement for gender equality that brings together one half of humanity in support of the other of humanity, for the entirety of humanity.”

Let’s rather unify our efforts by bringing the WHOLE of humanity in support of one-half, for the entirety of humanity. #WeForShe

Otherwise the male-colonisation of a woman’s mind might continue even after the removal of subjugation, if women are not taught to usurp the patriarchal force themselves. The efforts of a struggling community is utmost and cannot be neglected.

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Mysore’s Rich Culture of Celebrating Dussehra

Mysore takes the coup when it comes to dussehra celebrations in the country. With the rich mythological history and folklore associated with the day, of Lordess Chamundi Devi vanquishing the evil Mahishasura, who ruled over Mysore ruthlessly, the celebrations begin nine days earlier, unlike the rest of the country where dussehra is celebrated for only one day. Let’s see what makes the Mysore celebrations so rich and spectacular, that the place has become synonymous with the celebrations.

Rituals, pooja, royalty, traditions and the use of animals in processions

The celebrations at Mysore have strong religious undertones and dates back to 500 years. The diamond studded throne of the Wadiyar dynasty that ruled the kingdom of Mysore between 1399 and 1950 is thrown out on display to the public.

The elephants and horses undergo training for the grand day. Jumbo sawari, which includes procession of idol of Goddess Chamundeshwari placed on a golden mantapa on the top of a decorated elephant, is the main attraction of the festival. This year, as Arjuna, who carried the 750 kg golden howdah with the idol of Goddess Chamundeshwari, flanked by elephants Mary and Cauvery at the fag end of the procession, approached the podium, 21 rounds of canon shots were fired even as the police band played the National Anthem and the three elephants raised their trunk in salute.

 Beautifying the place

During the 10 day festivities the normally calm, slow and peaceful city erupts into life and every street and street corner is bustling with activity. Houses, shops, Mysore palace and other important buildings in the city are decorated and illuminated for the period of the celebrations. Nearly Rs. 1 crore every year is spent towards maintenance of its illumination alone and more than 25,000 bulbs are replaced every year just before the Dasara festivities
rituals.

Mysore palace during dussehra

Mysore palace during dussehra

Courtsey: makemytrip.com

Individuals decorate their households, light incense sticks and lamps, wear new clothes and women put on jasmine in their hair.

Keeping the public engaged

To entertain the lakhs of tourists who come to attend the festival from all over the world, ctural programmes are organised, together with art and music celebritites being called. Various competitions like sports, wrestling, poet’s meet, food festival, film festival are arranged for the involvement of the public. Various shows including flower shows, dance shows are also held.

 Business and Promotional Spree

Dasara Exhibition is also arranged in the Doddakere Maidana, by the Karnataka Exhibition Authority, where the public and private sector industries, leading business establishments, government departments put up their stalls to promote industrial and corporate business for months. The festival is a fulcrum to promote tourism and generate revenue.

Mysore dussehra is one festival that you should visit atleast once to get the cultural and aesthetic sense of the place and of Indian mythology and to witness the importance that it holds to people till now.

Modi’s “Electricity To Every Home” Vision Kick-Started With Civil Nuclear Deal With Australia

The recent India-Australia nuclear deal sealed on September 5 through which India would
import uranium from Australia for civil and peaceful purposes is supposed to provide besides a political and economic boost to India, a relief to a quarter of its
billion-plus population which has no access to power and electricity.

The currently present 20 nuclear power plants in the country operate at only 2-3 percent of their capacity, and the import of Uranium from Australia, which has about 40% of the world’s reserves, would help in a 20-fold increase in nuclear capacity and 63,000MV production by 2032 by adding 30 new reactors.

The use of civil nuclear energy has raised environmental and social concerns. Local people in Tamil Nadu have an on-going civil non-cooperation moment against the government to shut down the power plant at Kudankulam fearing a nuclear disaster.

Questions regarding the effects of nuclear radiations on people living in the vicinity seems to be answered by the World Health Organization that reported in early 2013 that radiation exposure due to Fukushima was low[1]. Nuclear energy also gets supports from a few environmentalists because resorting only to coal or natural gas would increase the already high temperatures in the world. Currently, more than 50% of the country’s electricity is produced through coal. Inside the core of an average nuclear reactor, the power density is about 338 megawatts per square meter, whereas wind energy has a paltry power density of 1 watt per square meter. Hence the high upfront costs, with the Indian government planning to spend $85 billion, are balanced out by the cheap production and supply costs. Hence, nuclear energy looks the most feasible and cost-effective.

Not only this, Germany after its hasty decision of phasing out all its nuclear plants by 2022 in 2011 as a result of the aftermath of Fukushima Daichi nuclear disaster in Japan has become isolated and has increased the dependence on coal and the power costs. China, on the other hand has emerged as the global trendsetter by investing heavily in nuclear as well a renewable sources of energy.

Government’s plan to providing electricity to 1.2 billion of its population in the next ten years seems to have kick started, but it needs to make sure that the waste disposal is strictly regulated, the plants are renewed after their age, health and safety measures for people living in the vicinity is a top priority and that the usage of nuclear energy is more transparent.

 

References:

  1. In early 2013, the World Health Organization reported that radiation exposure due to Fukushima was low and concluded: “Outside the geographical areas most affected by radiation, even in locations within Fukushima prefecture, the predicted risks remain low and no observable increases in cancer above natural variation in baseline rates are anticipated.”

http://www.who.int/ionizing_radiation/pub_meet/risk_assessment_radiation_japan_2013_exec_en.pdf