Sunday 8 March 2020

Article - How dance can help change sexism in Indian society: A perspective for International Women's Day - Simran Khurana

Just a few days ago, newspapers in India ran a depressing headline. "Court has deferred the matter as the mercy petition of one of the convicts (of the Delhi gangrape case), is pending before the President of India." And yet again, our judiciary system has let us down. The irony here is that this news breaks out in the same month as International Women's Day, a day we commemorate women.

The women of India probably let out a collective sigh of despair, knowing fully well how this game will play out. Courts do their administrative dance. Governments dither. Social activists who once shouted hoarse are now exhausted. The newspapers move on to juicier headlines. And the people of India get on with their business. Life goes on.The dead don't speak up for themselves. It is the living who make all the noise. Thus, while Nirbhaya's soul hangs in a void, we the people of India simply shrug and say, "It's like this only!"

Now, you'd ask me, "How is this related to dance?" That's easy. Dance is a mode of expression. Dance speaks the voice of the soul. Dance is how you connect the abstract and the real worlds. If you look at the Indian classical dance sphere, most dancers are women. In fact, it is probably one of the few professions where women outnumber men. Though dance was traditionally a male bastion, today women have taken to dance like fish to water. Since most dancers are predominantly women, should we not introspect on how dance, a powerful mode of expression has played a role in the upliftment of women?

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