Outside the whale
- BJP rubbishes Geelani's claim, calls separatist leader's 'Modi emissary talk' as 'false and mischievous'
- Modi's jibe at Mulayam: âBalaatkariyon ke liye Netaji ka mann ekdum mulayam haiâ
- Malaysian Airlines MH370: 4 questions about missing plane answered
- After denying a 'Modi wave', Joshi endorses Modi as India's next PM
- Elections 2014 LIVE: Sonia and Rahul were the primary decision makers while Manmohan was just a facade, says Modi
The challenge, though, for these new forms of activism is to press for change in a useful way. Their demands, right now, tend to petition the very state they revile, even to ask for greater control and repression. For instance, for all the valid protest against corruption, the only solution proffered was a heavy Lokpal bureaucracy, which would only add to, not reduce, the invasive powers of the state. Similarly, the current outpouring of anger about rape and sexual violence has focused almost exclusively on the state's solutions, rather than looking within for the social roots of the problem. Again, many of the answers are blunt — hanging and castration for rape, moral policing and bans for other manifestations of sexism, with Honey Singh's "rapist" lyrics, for instance, becoming a lightning rod for this anger. With this new alertness to toxic gender politics, attention has turned to things that were always around us — Bollywood's blithe objectification of women, the clear misogyny in certain popular songs, advertisements that speak to dangerous cliches about masculinity. Disturbingly, however, the reflex is to legally ban and punish, rather than to boycott and avoid.