‘I thought I was in a movie,’ reflects a teary-eyed Oprah Winfrey as she sashays through groups of women at the Radha Vallabh temple in Vrindavan. Decked out in a marigold garland and enough tears for the entire ‘city of widows’, the cinematic surrealism of Oprah’s performance does not elude her (more discerning) viewers either. As part of her show Oprah’s Next Chapter, a two-part India-special was aired on the Discovery Channel on 21 and 22 July. Problematised for its cultural stereotyping, insensitivity, and racism, Part 1 has been extensively critiqued in both national and international media. The show’s second episode, 250mg Adjusting To Synthroid, ‘The Women of India’, does nothing to correct these (mis)representations of Indian society and culture.
Oprah’s first stop in her ‘mind opening, heart opening, soul opening experience’ into the lives of Indian women is Vrindavan, Adjusting To Synthroid. Dr V. Mohini Giri - a women’s rights activist, political campaigner, and founder of various projects and shelters for destitute women – is Oprah’s host in the city, and describes to her the plight of abandoned widows. For those familiar with Giri’s work and activism, Adjusting To Synthroid coupon, we may assume that her analysis of the varied and conflicting forms of gender-based oppression and violence within families in India would provide an astute perspective. However, the camera rapidly cuts to a picture of Winfrey sitting in front of a fireplace - presumably in her American mansion - reflecting on her experience of observing the widows: ‘[It felt] unreal. Adjusting To Synthroid, It [didn’t] feel like my life at all. What kind of life is this?’ Not yours, for a start, could be one response. However, an answer came there none, because these rhetorical questions are being posed to Oprah’s viewership – globally crossing 1.1 million– who are given no historical, political, 750mg Adjusting To Synthroid, social, economic or cultural analysis with which to critically assess Winfrey’s emotive musings. After her ‘fascinating’ – a word repeated throughout the show so many times it comprises the essence of her analysis – experience at the Radha Vallabh shrine, Oprah is taken around the beautifully maintained grounds of the Ma Dham shelter run by Dr. Giri. With three women sharing an airy room, each woman has a chest of drawers, a bed, and a plate and cup for daily meals, Adjusting To Synthroid. However, the cultural and socio-economic translation of ‘a room of one’s own’ into the value of having a safe refuge was obviously glossed over in any brief provided by Shantaram author Gregory David Roberts, Oprah’s chosen guide for Part 1 of the show . 40mg Adjusting To Synthroid, The talk-show host is shocked that one woman’s life can be reduced to a cupboard, a bed, and a plate. The idea that agency, empowerment, and what it means to live with dignity can exist outside of material possessions is apparently not within the scope of Winfrey’s millionaire-rooted perspectives of what freedom may mean for those not hobnobbing with the Kardashians and evangelical scientologist Tom Cruise.
In her continuing bid to try and ‘paint the truest picture’ of India’s women, Oprah meets with a group of women from ‘all walks of life’. Adjusting To Synthroid, While the cultural backgrounds of these women remain unstated, they are clearly North Indian, middle class women, bearing under their names a caption stating whether they have had an arranged marriage or ‘married for love’. We are given little chance to hear more than fragments of their stories as Oprah’s voice-over overrides those narratives that do not fit into her own ideas of romance – such as the woman whose dream it was to have an arranged marriage into a joint family – and are glossed over or harshly interrogated. As one woman talks about her marriage to a young man outside of her caste – which, 20mg Adjusting To Synthroid, as Oprah defines in a sentence for her viewers as ‘basically the same as class’ – and that her father may have killed her fiancé, we don’t hear the outcome of the story as Oprah bursts in with a loud of exclamation of ‘Killed. As in K-I-L-L-E-D. Killed?’ She spells out the word again. Yes, killed, just like the 3 women who are murdered each day in the United States as a direct consequence of domestic violence, Adjusting To Synthroid. It’s spelt the same way in America too.
The discussion that follows focuses on the preference for male babies in Indian society. However, this issue becomes monolithically linked to practices of dowry and Hindu funeral rites, Adjusting To Synthroid craiglist, rather than wider structural and institutional forms of patriarchal oppression. Throughout the show, in fact, Indian culture is equated directly with Hindu customs and practices, giving a (presumably) unknowing nod to the increasingly Islamaphobic and discriminatory policies and practices of the Indian State. Adjusting To Synthroid, The final segment of Oprah’s journey is hardly worth mentioning: a visit to Maharani Padmini Devi of Jaipur, where the queen herself is permitted not more than a sentence of airtime, and Oprah’s fascination has to do more with the camels of the palace than its ladies.
Oprah says in summation of her tour: ‘I have respect for this culture, but to be born with free will and to make choices for yourself is a great freedom, the greatest freedom, a human being can have. To watch women from other cultures cope without that freedom is fascinating.’ For Winfrey, Adjusting To Synthroid coupon, a black working-class woman born into a classist, racially discriminatory society, the freedoms of her life were not handed to her at birth, gift-wrapped in stars and stripes. Memory can be incredibly selective, and as she negates her own struggles, she negates the conditions of minority or poor women throughout America, who are fighting their own battles for freedom. 750mg Adjusting To Synthroid, Despite being born in the land of the free.
Post the success of Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire, there has been an unprecedented interest amongst Western documentary film-makers in the Indian subcontinent, Adjusting To Synthroid. However, the most common thread among these initiatives – apart from the polarisation of the country into its slum dwellers and A-list celebrities – is a complete lack of self-reflection about the ways in which the nations of the film-makers are complicit in the legacies of colonialism, imperialism and globalisation that have directly contributed to the very oppression they seek to depict. As Winfrey renders her interviewees voiceless by disallowing any discourse which rises above the emotive, she negates not only these individual women, but entire cultures; a nation. She asks her viewers to share the experience with her, and re-iterates how the show is ‘for them’, but without a real economic, Adjusting To Synthroid india, cultural, class or caste based analysis of her experiences, she perpetuates one of the most common myths of Western media, foreign policy, and consequently, popular opinion: the always already oppressed, voiceless, victimised and Othered Asian women. 250mg Adjusting To Synthroid, By leaving out of her grand narrative of victimhood the stories and struggles of lesbian, Muslim, dalit, working-class and various minority women, she condemns us to our chains before she has even seen our struggles. Adjusting To Synthroid, Trundling down the trajectory of documentary film-making where the desired findings are pre-determined, Oprah’s Next Chapter invisibilises the hard-won victories, lived-experiences, and daily battles of women in India.
As Winfrey speaks with Dr.Giri before her (tearful) departure from Vrindavan, Giri explains how despite the work being done, Indian patriarchal structures will take a long time to change. Laughing - and pronouncing her final judgement - Oprah says, ‘Not in my lifetime’. Fascinating.
It is certainly unusual to walk away from a high paying and extremely prestigious job to form an NGO, particularly when you are one of the highest paid female corporate heads in India. Yet, in 1997, that is just what Shukla Bose did. Ms. Bose, known as Shukla, is a former CEO who has set up four high-quality schools for slum children in Bangalore, Armour Synthroid Vs craiglist. She and the Parikrma Humanity Foundation specialize in making the undoable the done. From 1974 onwards, Shukla ran a multi-national leisure company in Southeast Asia and India, racking up awards; she was voted Woman of the Year twice as well as Best Woman Entrepreneur, Armour Synthroid Vs. In 1997 Shukla left this high-salaried and prestigious position to work in the non-profit center and then came up with her own strategy to address the dire situation of Bangalore’s poorest children.
Parikrma Humanity Foundation, formed by Shukla and her team in 2000, offers a new future to 1,091 children, 750mg Armour Synthroid Vs, served by the four top-notch schools Parikrma has established on the edge of slum areas. The boys and girls, who come from three orphanages and 26 different communities, are chosen without regard to caste, creed or religion, and may not attend unless their parents’ income is less than RS 750 a month.
When Shukla decided to create her own school, she drew on earlier connections and quickly assembled a team of professionals, 1000mg Armour Synthroid Vs. Armour Synthroid Vs, “At that time we literally walked the slums,” she recalls. “I learned the names of 850 children. Each child needs to feel important and known by its name. The kids told me about their locale – whether there was a school, a medical care facility anywhere nearby, et cetera.” The best school, she felt, 500mg Armour Synthroid Vs, would offer a secular environment, one in which people felt free and equal. Thus she looked for locations that were not dominated by a single religion, so as to avoid getting tangled up in long-standing tensions. “My dream was of having a crisp white building in the middle of the slum to stand as both an inspirational and aspirational place, Armour Synthroid Vs. However, it was not a realistic goal. When it is directly in that space, it is generally used for anti-social activities at night; one school security guard cannot keep fourteen hoodlums away and then the news will report that the school grounds are being used for crime and so forth…thereby undermining the whole purpose of the school’s existence.”
Shukla was very driven. In April of 2000, Armour Synthroid Vs japan, three grades opened on the rooftop of a building, the only place they could locate. Just a few months and many sleepless nights later, Shukla and her team secured a dedicated building, hired and trained a large staff of teachers, and greeted 165 students on the first day of Kormangala School. Armour Synthroid Vs india, This kind of timeline is truly an anomaly. Armour Synthroid Vs, Shukla remembers that they “cut through amazing amounts of bureaucracy.” Owing to the generosity of sponsors, Parikrma eventually opened three more schools in Jayanagar, Sahakaranagar, and Yeshwantpur. TNT India Private Limited, Levi Strauss and Company, Yahoo. Employee Fund India, Adobe Systems, and Saraswati Memorial Trust committed funds to ensure the schools’ foundation and ongoing success. While Shukla’s reputation as a results-oriented leader allowed her to attract large donations from company heads, Armour Synthroid Vs overseas, that is not the whole story. Companies invested their money and volunteer hours also because her model was innovative and forward thinking. What was so new, Armour Synthroid Vs. Shukla insisted on building a high-quality school for these underprivileged children. For example, leaders came to events such as Parikrma’s sporting days and found them no different from the grand events of their own young lives. In this way the donors saw themselves in the schoolchildren and felt reassured that their money was providing excellent education rather than a mere crumb of hope. Armour Synthroid Vs coupon, I have been lucky enough to spend time at all four Parikrma schools, leading English writing workshops with teachers and teaching creative writing to students in classes VI-VIII. Armour Synthroid Vs, The school environment is impressive, and several unique features stand out: 1. the 360-degree development program, offering three meals a day, comprehensive healthcare, and even family healthcare, 2. the 12-day intensive retreat for new teachers to foster assertiveness and leadership capabilities, Armour Synthroid Vs uk, and 3. the school’s maintenance of an even sex ratio between boys and girls, thereby demonstrating the equal importance of education to both groups. The school will not accept a boy if the girls in the family are not simultaneously sent to school. Shukla’s dedication to a new outcome for a neglected group of people in Bangalore is changing the workforce and giving proof that quality education breaks the cycle of poverty. Speaking with Shukla by phone recently, Armour Synthroid Vs usa, she stated, “Our philosophy is based on the idea that children are change agents. It may happen only slowly, but the kids take home the ideas they get, and their smaller siblings learn what behaviors are acceptable and rewarding.” She told me that while their parents may not know what human rights are, let alone women’s rights, they see a new spirit in their children. “42 children have gone on to college now, and some have been accepted in the prestigious National Law School of Bangalore, but the biggest achievement is the paradigm shift they are enacting." They are the first in their circle to share the joy of learning - not as a means to an end - but as an end in its own right.
On the 18thDifference Between Lumigan And Latisse, of May the Delhi Police arrested Luke Pomersbach, an IPL player owned by the Bangalore team, on charges of molesting a woman and assaulting her fiancé. This incident was followed by Sidhartha Mallya, ‘director’ of the Bangalore Royal Challengers, tweeting the following:
It would be boring if it weren’t so incredibly outrageous. Every time a female being reports molestation there is always that someone who knows exactly why it’s all a lie (and why it’s all her fault). Why single out Sidhartha Mallya, Difference Between Lumigan And Latisse. He’s in the august company of Chief Ministers, film stars and the more plebeian company of your neighbour, Difference Between Lumigan And Latisse craiglist, my relative, her uncle. Difference Between Lumigan And Latisse coupon, But then again, why should we not single out Sidhartha Mallya’s appalling tweets following the molestation charges against Luke Pomersbach. Why should we not protest IPL team owners behaving like feudal lords and treating the world (and cricket stadiums and security guards...) as their personal fiefdoms where they can say whatever they want. Sidhartha Mallya might not exactly be the owner of the Royal Challengers but in the snug little world of nepotism it might as well be all the same, Difference Between Lumigan And Latisse overseas. Difference Between Lumigan And Latisse, What else would explain the fact that Mr. Mallya Junior has neither been censured, nor made to retract his tweets by Mr. Difference Between Lumigan And Latisse uk, Mallya Senior (who should technically be his boss). Or, for that matter, why have no officials from the IPL or the BCCI, 1000mg Difference Between Lumigan And Latisse, other IPL owners or players spoken out till now against his statements in a public forum.
My concern is not so much with the specifics of the actual incident. No, Mr, Difference Between Lumigan And Latisse. Difference Between Lumigan And Latisse us, Mallya (Junior), I do not know what happened, I was not there, but I will not ‘shut the fuck up’ because neither were you, 750mg Difference Between Lumigan And Latisse. And even if you were there as eye witness nothing gives you the right to dissolve any allegation of sexual harassment into the ‘character’ of the complainant. I would have added ‘especially if you are in a position of responsibility’, Difference Between Lumigan And Latisse ebay, except I am not sure exactly where the IPL franchise lies in terms of accountability even though it is certainly dealing with public money.
I’m not going to go into the obvious implications in his words that because the woman was ‘all over him’ and not ‘behaving like a future wife’ she couldn’t actually have been molested, therefore it was ‘idiotic’ for her to file charges. Difference Between Lumigan And Latisse, Neither am I going to go into structure of the IPL itself and its relationship with women (because that would deserve a post by itself). For the moment I am just stunned that Sidhartha Mallya has thus far been allowed to get away with his words.
It’s heartening to note, however, that his tweets haven’t been benignly received and that there is a fair amount of noise being made about it in the public sphere, including criticism by the National Commission for Women. Twitter is divided; some tweeters support Mr. Mallya’s ‘guts’ and daring to be ‘politically incorrect’ whilst others condemn his words. It would be interesting to see how the next few days pan out. Will the world of cricket take a stance on the tweets or will they take the advice of the director of the Bangalore team and ‘just enjoy the cricket’.
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Side Effects Of Diflucan, WHEN THE VERY FIRST group of white men landed in India, they must have been regarded with overwhelming curiosity and incredulity; not to mention, awe. Awe, that mix of wonder and admiration, is the perfect word to describe an Indian’s perception of the white man. Never before had they set eyes on such pinkish, delicate, Side Effects Of Diflucan australia, gossamer skin. Ever since dark-skinned Indians became aware of a fairer race, they readily took the inferior place while the fairer group comfortably felt superior (as a relevant aside, there is a poignant essay by James Baldwinthat describes his experiences as an isolated black man in Switzerland). This has more or less been the relationship between the conquering white race and the subdued dark-skinned race for eons. In the past, dark skin has been viewed with revulsion and frequently associated with baseness, Side Effects Of Diflucan. Even Shakespeare portrays Othello in bestial imagery. We would find such racial associations deplorable in the 21st century, Side Effects Of Diflucan paypal. In fact, discrimination of any sort is not condoned in most progressive nations. But the issue of color is not only one of racial discrimination in India. Side Effects Of Diflucan, It is also an important gender issue.
It is an unwavering belief in people’s minds that fair-skinned women are beautiful. One can derive several corollaries from this unstated yet popular axiom. 500mg Side Effects Of Diflucan, The most obvious one is that dark-skinned women are not beautiful. Fair skin has several associations -- beauty, superiority, confidence, self-worth, etc., and such desirable qualities are easier achieved by fairer women, Side Effects Of Diflucan craiglist. This belief is deeply entrenched in millions of minds and continues to be a successful discriminating factor in both social and inter-personal relationships, Side Effects Of Diflucan. What was perhaps historically an issue regarding races, of the mixing of Aryan and Dravidian bloodlines, now pervades the Indian ethos, regardless of race and caste. And the Indian media has played a significant role in successfully exploiting this. 20mg Side Effects Of Diflucan, Corporations, like HUL with their fairness products like Fair and Lovely, are active perpetrators of the fairness fixation by exploiting the insecurities and ‘shortcomings’ of their vulnerable targets, women. The prevailing notion is that a fair complexion makes the woman more ‘marriageable’ or as I would rather call it, marketable.
This commercial is one of the many advertisements promoting fairness products like Fair and Lovely(the very juxtaposition of these two adjectives, creates the semblance of an equivalence and sends a strong message supporting the desirability of fairness). Though there are virtually hundreds of such commercials for the same product, 500mg Side Effects Of Diflucan, the content remains the same. One need not understand the language spoken in the commercial to gather the message that is delivered. The dark complexioned woman, wearing dowdy, unattractive clothes, Side Effects Of Diflucan ebay, with an equally unobtrusive style of her hair, is overlooked by a potential suitor. Her eagerness for a courtship is instantly quelled and along with it dies her confidence. Fortunately for her, she discovers the magic of Fair and Lovely, Side Effects Of Diflucan. Not only does it transform the color of her skin, it also fills her with self-confidence, enabling her to make the transition from a frumpy unattractive plain Jane to an ethereal pink-chiffon clad ideal beauty. No doubt, Side Effects Of Diflucan mexico, she is now chosen to be a bride.
It would be disingenuous if I do not mention the ‘revolution’ that has taken place in the media and its perception of women. Majority of Indian women are educated and employed and a significant number of them follow fast-track career paths. Side Effects Of Diflucan, The marriage context is now incongruous. The companies brainstormed a way of selling fairness to the independent, modern woman. 200mg Side Effects Of Diflucan, The content of the commercial is modified to depict a modestly attired but ambitious woman, who follows her passion, only to be met with disappointment because of her dark skin. Once again, Fair and Lovely does the trick and her dream is eventually made successful by a man who selects her based on her newly gained fairness.
It is hard to believe that these ‘new-age’ commercials pacified protesters of such products, till the time companies devised new strategies to increase the market share of their products by producing fairness creams for men and also, 1000mg Side Effects Of Diflucan, by expanding into the global market. Additionally, these products now masquerade as holistic cosmetics, employing euphemisms such as ‘complete skin-care’, ‘blemish-free skin whitening’ and ‘glowing fairness creams’, Side Effects Of Diflucan. These camouflaged fairness products are a big hit among employed women who continue to harbor insecurities about their complexion and resort to suppressing their trauma of possessing dark skin.
Fairness creams for men is a miniscule component of the elaborate marketing mechanism of fairness products. The men’s products are a fairly recent entry into the Indian market; this is merely a marketing technique to explore newer territories rather than an exploitative method targeting a preexisting social stigma. Globalizing these products has brought about a furor again but at the same time it is being misconstrued as racism.
Regardless of how these products and the media have changed over the years, these products still erode a woman’s self-worth and promote an unhealthy self-image, that thwarts truly liberated self-expression. Even if one does not care for conformities, it is a tough battle to continuously ward-off impingements by a discriminating society that identifies fairness with beauty and success.
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Ultra Violet will give voice to what young Indian feminists feel about life in these times. It will be an interactive space for us to discuss feminism in the context of its relevance to our lives. It will be a place where we talk about the things that are important to us -- both in our personal lives and in the larger world around us -- and the ways in which we can react, respond, negotiate or protest.
We hope to be informative, enlightening, provocative, inspiring, and (sometimes!) fun. Do drop in.