Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Meet Our GEMS: Kavitha Muralidharan

Questioning Patriarchy
by Meera Srikant

Kavitha Muralidharan is Associate Editor of India Today and has previously worked as Head of the Reporting Department at the Hindu and Special Correspondent at Deccan Chronicle. She has also worked at several other leading publications including The Week, India Today and News Today. She has covered important developments in politics and other spheres in Tamil Nadu and has written features on various issues including health, cinema, literature, environment and human rights issues. Kavitha is the winner of the Press Institute of India - International Red Cross award for humanitarian reporting in conflict situations for her coverage of the Sri Lanka war. She has also authored several books in Tamil and English.

Why is this issue important to you?

This issue is important to me because it is an important issue. Gender issues are often looked over, side-lined and swept under the carpet, with no effort to find a solution. I am passionate about gender issue because a woman is as much a human being as a man is and it is a crime to deny anything to her in the name of gender.

What is it you feel most strongly about?

What I really strongly feel about is violence against women and the ways to stop it. It is in the system (especially Indian) to see woman as a lesser human being and use violence to exercise one's authority and power over her. I think this is nauseating and needs to be addressed.

Tell us about your activity and what you hope to do with it

Because I have just taken a new assignment, I can hardly do anything for Prajnya campaign this year. However, in the coffee and conversations session, I hope to make up.

Three things you would suggest to keep these individual actions going
Be responsible: I feel it is the responsibility of every human being to make sure the world is a better place to live for both genders, not just woman's. It is the responsibility of every human being to step into action whenever an act of violence is committed against a woman. There are so many of them on streets - from abuses to physical violence.  

Begin from home. It pains when I see women with patriarchal bent of mind and I think for those who are aware, change should begin from home. We should basically question patriarchy at home. 

Ask: Nothing like asking for an answer. At every interview I have attended in the last couple of years, at every seminar I address, I ask them if there is a sexual harassment committee in place. This really helps. 

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