(Shakti, mixed media on canvas, 22' x 30")Indian Woman: you carry India on your back. You are looked upon with contempt, indignation, misunderstanding. The Western World looks at you as a "third world" statistic-counting your daily caloric intake, your life span, your numbers.
Does anyone hear you, touch you, love you? Does anyone see you picking tea leaves ("For Export Only") under a scorching sun...back bent?
Are you only worth 5 cows, 2 gold bangles and silk sari? An exchange from father to husband?
Indian Woman; you are ripe and raw, you are old and gray. You are worshipped, eroticized, beaten, raped, killed. You are mother, daughter, wife, sister, friend, lover, enemy.
You are me. You bear witness to the violence committed against you. You are Mother language speaking the truth.
Indian Woman: true ancient feminist. Full blown Shakti: you carry the whole of India on your back and Her future in your hands. You will rise, like Kali in a rage-and shine like the sun...
I wrote this 4 years ago for my solo exhibition Shakti: Homage to the Indian Woman. Dear readers, there is a time for hope, a time for tears, a time for grace. And... there is a time for full on rage. That time is now!
(3 women, mixed media on canvas, 22 x 30", sold)“We detest daughters! We hate them so much that we kill them before birth. And we kill them after birth! We kill them as they take their first breath. We kill them while they are suckling infants. We kill them as they learn to walk. We kill them as they learn to talk and say ‘mama’ and ‘baba.’ We kill them as they learn to smile and trust, and love, and ask for their favorite foods – mangoes or sweets. We kill them as they learn to play with their friends, and listen to stories about fairies, princesses, and far away dreams. We kill them because we hate them. We kill our daughters in the millions.” -Rita Banerji from Gender Bytes
India just released the 2011 census and the gender ratio discrepancy is staggering. Girls are being murdered in such large numbers and...nothing is being done about it! Nothing! So you see my dilemma...as it has always been. I have Mother India running in my blood and I love HER with all my being... but I have to face the fact that I come from a society and culture that hates me, murders me, denies me my basic human rights and will do the exact same thing to my Tara. The silence, denial and sheer ignorance that surrounds this genocide is nothing short of madness.
(my Tara...precious jewel)
Who will talk for these unborn babies? I will. Who will give voice to their unheard cries? I will. Who will stand up for these most defenceless victims? I will. And you can too. Rita Banerji, who started the 50 million missing campaign, has asked me to be a Voice of the Campaign and I will! If you are interested in the same, please find out how here...all it entails is about an hour or so of your time, speaking at a university or college about this atrocity of untold proportion.
*to sign the petition go here
* to find out more about this atrocity go here or here
*please stop by later on this week when I will be posting part 2 of my interview with Rita Banerji.