Wild Politics: Feminism, Globalisation and Bio/diversity: Lecture by Susan Hawthorne, 30th Nov at 5pm in Bangalore

Sangama and Aneka invite you

to hear Susan Hawthorne in a lecture entitled (as her book is)

Wild Politics: Feminism, Globalisation and Bio/diversity


30th Nov. 2009 at Ashirwad 5 p.m


“Being a feminist requires optimism because the basis of feminism is a belief that things can change, that we are not entirely caught in a deterministic trap

Susan Hawthorne: Author, academic, activist, publisher, poet and performer.

will set out her new feminist cultural, ecological, and economic theory.

She draws on over three decades of feminist activism and theorising and looks at the tensions between globalisation and community, between disconnection and relationship and argues that the impact of globalisation on women has been disastrous

She unpacks structures of power and knowledge, law and international trade rules as well probes issues that intimately affect our daily lives

and suggests what we need is a new politics, one which puts biodiversity at the centre

In solidarity

Shubha and Manohar


Discussion: Religion, inclusiveness and Sexual Minorities, Bangalore, 24 Aug 09

Sangama and Aneka

invite you to a discussion on

“Religion, inclusiveness and Sexual Minorities”

on 24th August 2009, Monday from 2 PM to 6 PM

at the NGO Hall, Cubbon Park, Opposite Vikasa Soudha, Bangalore – 560001. Phone: 080 22354784

Speakers include:

Swami Agnivesh

Guruji Vinaykar

Dr. Asgar Ali Engineer

Dr. Saleem Kidwai

Mr. Christopher Rajkumar

Fr. K. C. Abraham

Mr. David Selvaraj and

Ms. Manasi  Baindur

Issues of sexuality and gender are hotly contested in both religious communities and national cultures around the world. Further when the question relates to homosexuality and  transgenderism they invoke sharper responses, from ideas that this these are sinful, shameful, perversion and deserving of the highest punishment and wrath of god; to ambiguity and limited tolerance and even acceptance.

In the wake of the judgement on IPC section 377 by the Delhi High Court, that decriminalises homosexuality many religious bodies have condemned the judgement arguing that it was against religion, immoral and even against Indian culture. These people have been quoted repeatedly by the media and have also been invited to speak at various fora on these issues. This emphasises the notion that religious traditions are inherently conservative or even reactionary in their  commitments to powerful patriarchal and pronatalist (encouraging child bearing) sexual norms and gender categories.

However there have also been voices that spoke differently and adopted a more nuanced stand. These however have got scant attention. It is these voices that Sangama and Aneka is seeking to bring together to illustrate the diverse, complex and at times even contradictory traditions and practices that come under the broad rubric of “religion”. There are also sexual minorities who are people of faith; embracing both religion and their sexuality with joy  who are again invisible in the discourse. The basic tenets of all religions that are love and compassion; and recognizing the divine in all beings. This then makes the attitude of hate and violence inadmissible.

Religions have also been influenced by strong movements for rights and have changed their position on for example issues related to women. The texts and practices are constantly being reinterpreted by people coming from other perspectives and they have transformed religion. The time is now ripe for such an engagement between religion and issues of sexual minorities. We invite all of you to come and be part of this discussion.

Scuttling of Global Fund’s India CCM Election Process

My (representing Suraksha) candidature to contest India CCM Election was denied unfairly. Here is the letter explaining the same in detail:

4th April, 2009

Dear friends

We are shocked at the way our (Suraksha WRHCP) candidature to contest Global Fund’s India CCM CSO Elections 2009 (http://www.indiaccm-elections.org) under the sub sector ‘Organizations working on the issues of Sexual Minorities’ was rejected.

The stated reason for rejecting our application was “Your organisation has in fact not met the following criteria set by the CMM Election Sub-Committee.
– Primarily working in the specific sub-sector that is sought to be represented”

We are at a loss how the committee came to this conclusion given that most of our work and almost all of our funding in the past 4 years has been for working with sexual minorities, primarily from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

We are also shocked at the blatant unfairness of the whole process, given that the India CCM election process claims to be transparent and fair. Below we list the events that lead us to come to the above conclusion.

– Finalized list of eligible candidates was suppose to be uploaded to the website on 2nd April however the same was put up only on April 3rdafternoon

– The email informing the rejection of our candidature arrived on the afternoon of 3rd April

– On April 4th morning when we contacted Mr. Pawan Varma (Election Secretariat, MAMTA Health Institute for Mother and Child) and enquired about reason for stating that Suraksha doesn’t primarily work with sexual minorities, he stated that it was the decision of the Election Sub-Committee. When asked about the detailed information for rejecting our candidature and to the process to appeal against the decision, he asked us to send a email to him, which he will forward to the sub-committee. He said that a we may not get a response till the 6th given that 4th and 5th are holidays

– Given the urgency of the matter (voting starts 9am on 7th April) how fair is it to have the rejection of the candidate and no time/ process to appeal?

– When asked about the composition of the Election sub-committee, he said that he is not authorized to reveal this info. When questioned about the lack of transparency and lack of a contact point to discuss this matter, he asked us to get in touch with  Komal Khanna and Ashima Mohan  from the Secretariat of the India-CCM for The Global Fund. He was willing to give us only the land line phone numbers and not mobile phone numbers. He also stated that they will not be working on the 4th and 5th April. We called the landline phone numbers mentioned in the India CCM website on 4th morning one of the numbers is invalid and there is no response to the other number.

This makes us believe that these elections are seriously compromised and raises serious questions about democracy, transparency and participation.

We appeal to all fair minded people and organization to raise your voice against this wilful scuttling of the election process.

Please feel free to contact us for more information.

In Solidarity

Elavarthi Manohar
Suraksha WRHCP
Bangalore, India

Copies to:
1. Communities Delegation to the board of the Global Fund
2. Developing Country NGO Delegation to the board of the Global Fund
3. Developed Country NGO Delegation to the board of the Global Fund
4. India CCM Secretariat

“You can’t ignore us anymore!” – Transgender Activism in India, Public Lecture in Bangalore, 6th April 2009

Dear friends

A first in Bangalore – A Public Meeting exclusively focusing on diverse transgender issues in India….  

Aneka invites you to:  

“You can’t ignore us anymore!” – Transgender Activism in India  

On  6th April 2009 (Monday)  

From  5 p.m. to 7.30 p.m.  

At Vishranti Nilaya, CSI Women’s House, 18 Infantry Road (Diagonally opposite The Hindu Office), Bangalore  

Five activists share their experiences and insights on working with transgender people in different parts of India.  

Issues of SRS – Challenges for Law, the Medical Establishment, State and Society  Tista Das (on M2F) and Christy Raj (on F2M)  

Being Transgender in Rural Tamil Nadu: Challenges in Organising – Muthukumar Natesan  

Working with Hijras in Bangalore: Dilemmas and Challenges Elavarthi Manohar  

Patriarchy and Transgenders: Challenges for the Feminist Movement in India Anindya Hajra  

Chair Person: C. K. Meena, journalist and writer 

In Solidarity  

Elavarthi Manohar and Shubha Chacko

Take Back the Night/Take Back The Streets Attracts Large Audience

March 8, 2009 – Fearless Karnataka/Nirbhaya Karnataka’s Take Back the Night/Take back the Street at Banappa Park, Bangalore on International Women’s Day saw 500 hundred people gather between 9pm and 11pm. The celebratory mood at the event was evident from the variety of performances that included songs, plays, dances, and video projections. Maraa, a theatre collective, performed a street play related to the spate of attacks on women that Bangalore has witnessed in the last month. The organisers, in a unique display, collected clothes that women were wearing when they were harassed on the streets. These were displayed on a clothes line amidst the audience, and in addition to the usual suspects of sleeveless t-shirts and jeans were also ordinary salwar kameezes and kurtas.

These performances were interspersed with testimonials from women who talked about harassment and discrimination.  Revathi from Sangama talked about harassment of women who are sexual minorities including hijras. Yashoda from Karnataka Dalit Mahila Vedike spoke of the oppression faced by Dalit women and girls including sexual exploitation.

The event at Bannappa Park was preceded by a series of interactions by members of Fearless Karnataka/ Nirbhaya Karnataka in locations across Bangalore where women have been recently attacked. They performed street plays and conducted an opinion poll to get responses from bystanders on their views and reactions to women being harassed on the streets. These locations were Rest House Road, Cunningham Road, CMH Road, Ulsoor and Vasantha nagar.














More pictures….

Fearless Karnataka: People tell police – Make Bangalore safe for women

A large number of people gathered in front of DGP’s (Director General of Police, Karnataka) office yesterday (March 7) evening to put pressure on the police to perform their duty – to make the city safe and secure, to prevent attacks on women and to end moral policing.

There were a lot of new people, whom I haven’t seen before in any public protest. There was a lot of high energy, giving us hope in these times of gloom. There were students, youth, techies, artists, lawyers, activists, media persons and ordinary people.

There were also familiar faces – sexworkers, sexual minorities, human rights activists, dalit activists, women’s rights activists from various groups including Alternative Law Forum, Aneka, Karnataka Dalit Mahila Vedike, Karnataka Komu Souharda Vedike, Karnataka Sexual Minorities Forum, Karnataka Sex Workers Union, Manasa, People’s Union for Civil Liberties, People’s Democratic Forum, Pedestrian Pictures, Sadhane, Samara, Samanatha Mahila Vedike, Sanchaya Nele, Sangama, Suraksha, Vimochana

Lets hope this new energy will succeed in putting an end to intimidation, moral policing and mindless violence.


Media Coverage:

DECCAN HERALD (Slide 2 of 14)












A woman holds a placard during a protest rally against recent alleged attacks on women, outside Karnataka state police chief’s office on the eve of international women’s day in Bangalore, on Saturday….


THE HINDU – Safety of women should get top priority, activists tell police 

The Karnataka police should treat the issue of safety and dignity of women in public places as top priority in the light of the series of attacks on them in Bangalore and in other parts of the State in the name of moral and cultural policing, activists of Fearless Karnataka, a forum fighting against moral policing and attacks on women, have said….


NDTV – Women fight for a safe Bangalore

Women in Bangalore are fighting to make the authorities in Karnataka understand that women do not feel secure and that it is an important issue. On Saturday, they took their demand for security to the door of the state’s DGP….


THE TRIBUNE – Fearless Karnataka flays moral policing

Volunteers of Fearless Karnataka, an umbrella organisation of various local women right groups, today urged the Karnataka Director General of Police to stop harassing women who may like to file an FIR with the police to record assault or molestation cases. A large number of activists, a majority of them women, had gathered at the DGP’s office here today to protest against the ongoing “moral policing” by thugs directed at curbing the freedom of women….


INDIAN EXPRESS – Karnataka police assure protection to women

Carrying placards reading “Make Bangalore safe for women” and “End violence against women”, a group of activists trooped into the office of a top Karnataka police official Saturday evening and sought action to stop increasing cases of harassment of women in the state, particularly in this capital….

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