Rethinking feminist response
Presenting her views on moral policing in the context of the pub attacks in Mangalore, noted historian and author Lata Mani raised questions about the feminist responses so far to the event.
She was speaking at the National Law School of India University in a lecture attended by students, members of the Alternative Law Forum. Titled “Towards a new poetics of practice: rethinking feminist response to the Mangalore pub attack,” she spoke about the movement that sprung up in response to the Sri Rama Sene’s vigilantism.
She said that in the light of the momentum generated by these events, we may be in a moment in which new activist formations can be forged in response to Right Wing lawlessness. “We must move away from the purely liberal discourse of rights towards greater engagement with the questions of culture and ethics.”
The talk highlighted the tussles between various social segments and the cultural practices that characterise them. For the students of the NLSIU, it was food for thought. Dr. Mani encouraged her audience to recognise that this subtlety is not impossible to translate; and can be achieved through a process of negotiating spaces with sensitivity for cultural environments. Such an approach will encourage an inclusive standpoint in the face of a multitudinous set of angers which occupy the public space; whether these angers be of the girl in the short skirt, the unemployed bystander, the underprivileged labourer or the mob.
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