A fleeting look crossed Hillary Clinton’s face. A sagging of expression when she stepped out of her car in off-white into the damp of the Trump inaugural. Then she braced as always for the questions that would come flying. A second before the figurative veil fell there it was, a weary pain damped down quickly in the face of the public. She is not the easiest person to like, a nerd and a woman in a world where butch populism has devoured ethics, family values and democracy.
Continue reading Throwback to patriarchy returns in new guise: Populism
The Indian Republic Day was supposed to be a glorious representation of how a people triumphed. But in the real world, as we sat around staring into our television screens, we were really on the outside looking in at the privileged seated in the galleries having their day. We watched a parade of kitschy floats, the day of the public January 26 appeared to be a facade behind which the oligarchs and powers-that-be gathered to triumphalise. Democracy was supposed to be, at least here in the early half of the 21st century, the triumph of the outsider over the elitist. But that is not how it transpired in our country, a land that was one of the early inventors of elitism in the form of caste, which is euphemism for race. Incidentally, caste is the institution that legitimised racism in India. Continue reading From the outside looking in
We like to cover up, both literally and figuratively. Out on the chaotic Indian roads, otherwise emancipated scooter-riding young girls mask their faces, necks and wear elbow-length gloves. They prevaricate, blame pollution for their protective gear. Melanin, however, is the unstated enemy. Girls reach a certain marriageable age and the sun becomes anathema. We have a euphemism for the desire to be white. It is normalised as a striving to be ‘fair’ or light-skinned. Continue reading White by another name is fair