Me and My Writings

Madhu Purnima Kishwar is currently Maulana Azad National Professor, ICSSR
She is also the founder editor of Manushi- A Journal about Women &Society, which was started in 1978. The Journal endeavored to promote informed activism through research-based writing and critiques on various issues in a manner that integrates women’s rights and concerns in each and every aspect of our national life and has steadfastly avoided the “ladies compartment” approach to women’s issues. The print edition of Manushi gave way to online edition in 2008. In 1993 she also founded Manushi Sangathan—a Forum for Democratic Reforms aimed at making governance more accountable and transparent, especially with regard to the rights of vulnerable groups. 

Both Kishwar’s professional academic work at CSDS as well as for MANUSHI are aimed at finding effective solutions for the economic, political and social problems confronting us in India today through patient study, non-partisan approach, live interaction with the concerned people and informed activism. Her aversion towards ‘ism’ and ideologies and authoritarian measures for social and economic reforms are quite well known. For her, truth, non-violence and compassion are the most reliable criteria to judge the worth of any idea or action. Another litmus test she considers important for evaluating the rightness or otherwise of ideas and interventions is whether or not they actually expand the horizons of freedom for the people and give due respect to their notions of good life.


Books authored or edited by Kishwar
Forthcoming
  • The Quintessential Oneness of  "Amar, Akbar Anthony: Bollywood’s Portrayal of Minority-Majority Relations in India”
Documentary Films and Media Work

Kishwar also makes documentary films on a variety of themes in order to mobilize opinion on issues.
  1. The following episodes of Manas Series in Hindi was telecast on Doordarshan:
    • Dowry: Compulsion vs. Need. The social and economic dynamics behind the spread of the culture of dowry despite stringent legislation.
    • The Disinheritance of Women from Family Property.
    • Liquor and State Policy: Why Anti-Liquor Movements Inevitably Turn Anti-State.
    • Governmental Controls on Agriculture and the Increasing Rural-Urban Divide being promoted through our Farm Policy.
    • License Permit Raj: a View from Below (Study of street vendors and rickshaw pullers in Delhi).
    • The Pauperization of our Traditional Technologists and Artisans.
    • Researched, scripted and anchored a prime-time program called News Watch for Doodarshan. This was an investigative weekly program of media review, which provided an informed critique of media reports on important issues, covering the content as well as the presentation of media reports.
    • Under the Agenda for India series commissioned by the national television channel Doordarshan she made thirteen episodes entitled “Kisse Kanoon Ke” reviewing the actual workings and impact of various laws enacted ostensibly to protect or strengthen women’s rights in India.
    • Conceptualized and anchored a series of youth programs entitled Baazgasht for the Srinagar Kendra of Doordarshan in 2006.
    • Her latest documentary film entitled A Tale of Four Cities, deals with the survival battles of street vendors against eviction drives in Patiala, Gwalior, Lukhnow and Hyderabad resulting in vendor suicides in the first three above mentioned cities.

  2. Researched, scripted and anchored a prime-time program called News Watch for  Doodarshan. This was an investigative weekly program of media review, which provided an informed critique of media reports on important issues, covering the content as well as the presentation of media reports.
  3. Under the Agenda for India series commissioned by the national television channel Doordarshan she made thirteen episodes entitled “Kisse Kanoon Ke” reviewing the actual workings and impact of various laws enacted ostensibly to protect or strengthen women’s rights in India.
  4. Conceptualized and anchored a series of youth programs entitled Baazgasht for the Srinagar Kendra of Doordarshan in 2006.
  5. Her latest documentary film entitled A Tale of Four Cities, deals with the survival battles of street vendors against eviction drives in Patiala, Gwalior, Lukhnow and Hyderabad resulting in vendor suicides in the first three above mentioned cities.
Manushi Geet

Kishwar has also written and set to music a cassette of songs on women’s issues entitled Manushi Geet. Some of these were used in a street play entitled Roshni created as a group effort by Manushi’s performance team under the direction of Feisal Alkazi.

Select List of Book Chapters
  • Manushi Swaccha Narayani : Avatar of a Secular Goddess for Street Vendor” in The Cult of Goddess edited by Arputha Rani Sengupta, published by DK Printworld Pvt Ltd, 2015
  • Critique of Development Paradigm & Feminism in the Global South in Companion to Development Studies edited by Vandana Desai for Routledge Publishers, 2014
  • “Women’s Marginal Role in Politics” in section on “Seeking Women’s Rights: Fulfilling Constitutional Guarantees: Reality for Women in Politics” Volume 2 “Sources of Indian Traditions” Third Edition, edited by Rachel Fell McDermott, Leonard A Gordon, Ainslie T Embree, Frances W Pritchett, and Dennis Dalton, published by Columbia University Press, New York, 2014
  • “Women as Moral Touchstones: Durgas and Mother Indias in Bollywood Films, in Gender Politics & Performance in South Asia, edited by Sheema Kermani, Oxford University Press, Karachi, 2012
  • “When Police Becomes the Cause of Citizens’ Insecurity:  An Ethnographic Account (Volume of essays on police reforms edited by Ajay K Mehra,)
  • Reviewing Images of India”, published in  Cross Cultural Conversations, edited by Anandita Balslav, Sage Publication, 2011
  • Beyond the Politics of Zennana Dabba, in Making News, Breaking News, Her Own Way, a volume of essays by recipients of Chameli Devi Jain award for best woman journalist of the year, edited by Latika Padgaonkar & Shubha Singh,Tranquebar, an imprint of Westland Publishers, New Delhi, 2012
  • “Strategies for Combating the Culture of Dowry and Domestic Violence in India”, in “Daughters of Fire”, edited by Vimochana Editorial Collective, Streelekha Publications, 2011
  • “Legal Empowerment and Organization of Vulnerable Groups”, in Human Rights for Development: Ways and Means”, UNDP, 2011
  • India and Pakistan—60 Years Later, published in “The Great Divide: India and Pakistan” India International Centre, 2009.
  • “Urban Informal Sector: The Need for a Bottom-up Agenda of Economic Reforms--Case Studies of Cycle Rickshaws and Street Vendors in Delhi”: in Urban Poverty Report by Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Government of India, 2009
  • Gandhi’s Views on Women's Role in the Struggle for Swaraj”, in National Movement in India, edited by Shekhar Bandyopadhyay, Oxford University Press, 2009
  • “Continuing Popularity of Sita as a Role Model” in In Search of Sita: Revisiting Mythology”, Edited by Malashri Lal and Namita Gokhle, Penguin Book and Yatra Books, 2009
  • No’ to Zenana Dabbas : Deghettoizing Women’s Politics and Enhancing Their Representation in  Legislatures”, in India’s Political Parties, Readings in Indian Government and Politic” edited by Peter Ronald de Souza.E.Sridharan,Sage Publications, New Delhi 2006
  • “Creative Retailing” in Fast Forward: The Future of India’s Creativit”, in a Report by National Mission for Creative and Cultural Industries, Planning Commission of India, 2006
  • Gandhi on Women, in “Debating Gandhi--A READER edited by A. Raghuramaraju, Oxford University Press, New Delhi 2006.
  • “Beginning With Our Own Lives: A Call for Dowry Boycott", in Dowry & Inheritance", edited by Smt Basu, Women Unlimited & Kali for Women, New Delhi 2005.
  • Dowry and Inheritance Rights", in "Dowry & Inheritance” edited by Smt. Basu, Women Unlimited & Kali for Women, New Delhi 2005.
  • “Enhancing Women’s Representation in Legislatures: An Alternative to the Government Bill for Women’s Reservation” (with Jayaprakash Narayan, Dhirubhai Sheth & Yogendra Yadav) , in "Electoral Reforms in India", edited by Anjoo Sharan Upadhyaya, Concept Publishing Company, New Delhi 2005.
  • The Idea of India - Bollywood Style", in The India Mosaic: Searching for an Identity, edited by Bibek Debroy & D. Shyam Babu, Academic Foundation and Rajiv Gandhi Institute for Contemporary Studies, New Delhi, 2004.
  • “Arthik Azadi Ka Swawal”, in Bharat Ka Bhumandalikaran, (Hindi) edited by Abhay Dube, Vani Prakashan, Delhi, 2003
  • “Shah bano Ka Mukkadama”, in Secularism Banam Personal Law, (Hindi) edited by, Abhay Dube, Vani Prakashan, Delhi 2003
  • "Yes to Sita, No to Ram: The Continuing Popularity of Sita in India”, in “Questioning Ramayana, edited by Paula Richman, University of California Press, USA and Oxford University Press, New Delhi, September 2000.       
  • "Majoritarianism vs. Minoritarianism"  in Minority Identities and the Nation State, edited by D.L. Sheth and Gurpreet Mahajan , Oxford University Press, 1999.
  • "Learning to Take People Seriously” in “Anthropological Journeys”, edited by Meenakshi Thapan , Orient Longman, 1998.
  • "Mothers and Disappearing Daughters: Sex Determination Tests in India", in, The Politics of Motherhood: Activist Voices from Left to Right, edited by Alexis Jetter, Annelise Orleck and Diana Taylor, University Press of New England, 1997.
  • "Scholar, Fighter, Mother: The Life of Ratnamayi Devi", in Representation of Gender and Identity Politics in South Asia”, edited by Renuka Sharma , Indian Book Centre, New Delhi, 1995.
  • "Learning to Take People Seriously” in The Changing Face of India, edited by Ved Bhasin and Om Prakash Saraf, Konarak Press, New Delhi, 1994.
  • "A Horror of Isms" in, The Woman’s Question, edited by Marry Evans, Sage Publications, London, 1994.
  • "Prem aur Vivah in, Stree Ke Liye Jagah, edited by Raj Kishore, Vani Prakashan, 1994.
  • "Sampradayik Hinsa se Sangharsh Kaise Karen” in, Ayodhya aur Usse Aage, edited by  Raj Kishore,  Vani Prakashan, New Delhi, 1993.
  • "Khuli Duniya, Bandhe Log" in, Vinash Ko Nimantran, edited by  Rajkishore, Vani Prakashan, New Delhi, 1993.
  • "Some Aspects of Bondage: The Denial of Fundamental Rights to Women" in, Expanding Government Lawlessness and Organised Struggles, edited by  A.R. Desai,Popular Prakashan, 1991.
  • "Scattering the Seeds" in, On Being a Teacher, edited by  Amrik Singh, Konarak Publishers, New Delhi, 1990.
  • "Indian Women: a Decade of New Ferment" (with Ruth Vanita), in India Briefings”, edited by Marshal M. Boutton and Philip Oldenburg, West View Press, 1989.
  • "The Daughters of Aryavarta: Women in the Arya Samaj Movement, Punjab" in, Women in Colonial India; Essays on Survival, Work and the State”, edited by J. Krishnamurthy, Oxford University Press, 1989.
  • "The Continuing Deficit of Women in India and the Impact of Amniocentesis"  in, Man Made Women, edited by  Gena Corea, et al, Indiana University Press, Indianapolis, 1987.
  • "Pro Women or Anti Muslim?”  in, The Shahbano Controversy, edited by Asghar Ali Engineer, Orient Longman, 1987.
Published Research Papers in Journals
  • “When Communities Become Nationalities: Politics of Intercommunity Relations in India”: Beyond Borders: The SAARC Journal, 2008
  •  “A New Plebiscite Deal for J&K”, Economic and Political Weekly, January 15, 2003
  • “History of Affirmative Action for Women in India”, Paper for Asia Pacific Forum on Women Law and Development, Thailand, 2002
  • "Traditional Female Moral Exemplars in India", "Education about Asia”, Vol. 6, No. 3, Winter 2001.
  • "Equality of Opportunities vs. Equality of Results: Needed Improvements in the Women's Reservation Bill", Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. XXXV. Nov 47, November 18, 2000.
  • "Women and Politics: Beyond Quotas”. Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 31, No. 43, October 26, 1996.
  • "Breakdown of Conflict Resolution Mechanisms in Contemporary India". in a symposium on the “Limits of Tolerance” in Seminar,  435, November, 1995.
  • "The Primacy of Cultural Issues in Manushi". Journal of Culture and Policy, Institute for Cultural Policy Studies, Australia, Vol. 6, No. 2, 1994
  • "Codified Hindu Law: Myth and Reality", Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. XXIX, No. 33, August 13, 1994.
  • "Ways to Combat Communal Violence", Alternatives, 1991.
  • "Violence on Gurupurab in Jammu". (With Smithu Kothari), Economic and Political Weekly, April 15, 1989.
  • "Struggle of Indian Women". Philosophy and Social Action, 14(4), 1988.
  • "Integrity in Women’s Issues". Seminar, April, 1988.
  • "Nature of Women’s Mobilization in Rural India”, Economic and Political Weekly, (in two parts) December 24 and 31, 1988.
  • "The Burning of Roop Kanwar". (With Ruth Vanita), Race and Class, July-Sep., 1988.
  • "The Struggle of Indian Women”. Philosophy and Social Action, 14(4), 1988.
  • "Mahilayon Ke bare Gandhiji ke Vichar". Arthshastri, Oct-Nov., 1988.
  • "Toiling Without Rights: Ho women of Singhbhum", Economic and Political Weekly, (in three parts) Vol. 22, No.s 3-4-5, January, 1987.
  • "The Daughters of Aryavarta: Women in the Arya Samaj Movement in Punjab", Indian Economic and Social History Review, February 23, 1986.
  • "Arya Samaj and Women’s Education: Case Study of the Kanya Mahavidyalaya, Jalandhar". Economic and Political Weekly, 31(17), 1986.
  • "Gandhi and Women". Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. XX, Nos. 40, & 41, 1985. (This has been translated and published in Telugu as a book.) Reprinted in Race and Class, London, summer, 1986).
In addition to the above, Kishwar has written over 150 articles, many of them research based, in Manushi journal.  She also writes for various mainstream newspapers.

    
Kishwar has been associated with the following organizations:
  • Board of Trustees, Indian Social Studies Trust, 1997 onward.
  • Member, Governing Council, Common Cause, 2007 onward.
  • Core Group of the Expert Review Committee for reviewing research fellowships at the Centre for Contemporary studies, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, 2009 to 2011
  • Member, Task Force, Criminal Justice, National Security and Centre-State Cooperation, Inter-State Council Secretariat, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, 2008 -2009.
  • Member of Steering Group for a series of seminars on “Public Representation of Religion called Hinduism”, set up by School of Arts, Histories and Cultures University of Manchester, 2007-2009.
  • Member, Board of Governors, Janaagraha, Centre for Citizenship and Democracy. Bangalore, 2005 onward.
  • Member, Advisory Board, National Commission on Enterprises in the Unorganized and Informal Sector, Govt. of India, 2005—2009.
  • Life Member, Editor’s Guild of India.
  • Member, Advisory Board, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library Society (1989 to 2003).
Awards Received
  • Annual Award for Community Service by Indians for Collective Action, September 28, 2008
  • Vidula Samman, instituted by Vikas, An Institution Dedicated to the Cause of Education and Knowledge, Calcutta, 1998.
  • Deshasnehi Award, India Development Foundation, Bangalore, 1998.
  • Prabha Puruskar, for "distinguished service to the cause of women" Keshav Smarak Sansthan, Lucknow, 1997.
  • Haldi Ghati Award, Outstanding Journalist of the Year, Rana Mewar Foundation, Udaipur, 1993.
  • Chameli Devi Jain Award, Best Woman Journalist of the Year, Media Foundation, New Delhi, 1986.
  • Order of Human Rights: All India Sikh Conference, 1985.

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Madhu Kishwar

Madhu Kishwar
इक उम्र असर होने तक… … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …اک عمر اثر ہونے تک

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