articles by Gita Aravamudan

India

Pregnant elephant's death in Kerala symptomatic of wider malaise of escalating man-animal conflict in India

Elephant specialists and wildlife conservationists have since observed that the Kerala elephant is the latest victim of a steadily escalating, years-long man-animal conflict. The solution lay not in online petitions but in something almost unattainable: a proper, well-planned nationwide land use policy which took into serious consideration the needs of wild animals and forest dwellers.

India

With roots in democratic socialism, how the 'Kerala model' ranks well-being above wealth for its people

How did Kerala become a model for development and social reform? The answer lies in its several movements that worked in tandem over a period of time, slowly eroding the old unjust power structures, and working towards establishing a more equitable society.

India

With Kerala's nurses on frontlines of coronavirus fight, a brief history of nursing profession in the state

Historically, intrepid nurses from Kerala travelled to remote corners of the country and the world — a trend that continues today, as they are on the frontlines of the fight against the coronavirus outbreak.

India

Assisted Reproductive Technology Regulation Bill addresses regulation lacunae in fertility industry, but its non-inclusiveness is troubling

When it comes to women and their wombs, legislators don’t seem to understand the necessity of having well thought out, supportive — and timely — laws. The Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) Regulation Bill 2020 is a case in point.

India

Mohan Bhagwat may 'blame' education, affluence for incidents of divorce, but most vulnerable remain trapped in difficult marriages

Despite the rise from 0.50 per 1000 in 1988 to 3.0 in 2015, India still has one of the lowest divorce rates in the world. It is the educated and affluent who have the means and the social support to go through with a divorce.

Life

Exploitation, trauma and sexual anarchy: Sister Lucy Kalappurakkal and Jesme's stories shed light on a church engulfed in moral turmoil

Karthavinte Namathil (In the Name of Christ), the tell-all autobiography of Sister Lucy Kalappurakkal, has come out at a time when the church in Kerala is going through a phase of intense moral turmoil.

India

Sabarimala row: Women devotees bear the brunt as politicians, interest groups continue to weaponise temple entry issue

It’s still early days — the Sabarimala season continues till mid-January. But the message has already been delivered: No person in authority, no government official, no police personnel is going to protect a woman who is of “menstruating age” if she tries to enter the shrine.

India

Bishop Franco Mulakkal case mirrors trajectory of #MeToo movement, how backlash has impacted survivors

In cases like that of Bishop Franco Mulakkal and many men named in the #MeToo movement, the all-powerful male professional network kicked in months after the allegations were made public, and the women who were courageous enough to speak up lost jobs and assignments. It has now reached a stage where the survivors who complain against the powerful are vilified and the accused are ironically projected as victims.

India

As an AP woman bears children at 74, ethics of fertility treatments and necessary restrictions must be grappled with

Fertility experts strongly feel that this growing trend of using IVF to satisfy the demands of over-aged parents is setting a detrimental precedent. The Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Bill, 2017, which continues to lie in cold storage, is the only proposed legislation which deals with a situation like this.

Entertainment

Mission Mangal undermines hard work of ISRO's women scientists by oversimplifying science, focusing on personal lives

Mission Mangal is like a well-made ad film which successfully uses every possible trope and well-tested stereotype in order to reach a larger audience. Its focus remains the domestic issues of its characters, who bond over solving complicated technical challenges using some sort of naive "scientific" jugaad

India

Surrogacy Bill 2019 disempowers women, supersedes more pressing legislation on artificial reproductive technology

It is obvious to anyone acquainted with fertility treatment that it is the whole process of Artificial Reproductive Technology (ART) which has to be regulated. Surrogacy is just one small aspect of it. Passing such a Bill before passing the ART Bill (which has been in cold storage for more than a decade) is meaningless.

Life

Evolution of Bangalore: From Garden City to Silicon Valley, how immigrants made the city their own

Bangalore, or Bengaluru, a city of immigrants founded by Kempe Gowda, stands tall as one of India's fastest growing metropolises, housing a whopping 12 million people on its gradually shrinking land. Here's taking a closer look at how it went from being 'Garden City' to the Silicon Valley of India, in the matter of mere decades.

Life

Taapsee Pannu's Game Over delivers an important message at a time when MeToo movement is going through turmoil

The Taapsee Pannu starrer Game Over is a well-scripted and tightly edited movie with minimalist sets which cuts across genres.

Entertainment

Do Ilaiyaraaja's repeated, misplaced outbursts detract from magnitude of maestro's accomplishments?

Music maestro Ilaiyaraaja made news last week, but not for his music. The incident in question happened at a live concert, during which he shouted at a security guard for bringing water to the thirsty VIP singers on stage.

Entertainment

Nayanthara's response to Radha Ravi's sexism may have jolted Kollywood, but will male stars break silence?

Last week, when Radha Ravi spoke in the same crude vein about Lady Super Star Nayanthara, he probably didn’t expect his sexism to rebound and hit him

India

Pollachi sexual assault case shows how social media makes survivors vulnerable, can be misused by predators

The circulation of the videos made by those accused in the Pollachi sexual assault case have made both the perpetrators and survivors identifiable.

India

Pollachi sexual assault case: Questions about police's conduct at press conference, nature of investigation loom large

Many questions remained unanswered in the Pollachi sexual assault case, including why other survivors have not come forward, and why the police revealed details about the first survivor

India

As Vatican summit on sexual abuse yields few concrete measures, Kerala's survivors face anxious future

The papal conclave ended with vague promises of concrete measures and special programmes. For the survivors in Kerala, this means nothing — except a continuation of their trauma and uncertainties.

India

Kerala nun rape case: Rebellion within Church is new, but women in convents have long suffered abuse

Nuns often find themselves in suffocating and tough situations within convents. Many have spoken up about the low salaries they are paid, and about how they cannot complain about the sexual harassment they have faced at the hands of seniors in the church, for fear of ostracism

India

From Sabarimala protests to the nun rape case, Kerala society’s attitude towards women reflects a dichotomy

What is that hidden misogyny in this society which continues to allow such complex Lakshman rekhas to be drawn around women? And the answer is not simple. Because Kerala society itself is so complex and its social history is unlike any other.