ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Flattening the Curve or Flattening Life? Public Service Announcements in the Pandemic

We employ a feminist political economy lens to explore the impact of the current pandemic on vulnerable communities in the United States and India. We examine three epidemiological public service announcements—social distancing, sheltering at home, handwashing—which are necessary to protect and save lives. However, we argue that the PSAs are deployed in an uneven social and economic terrain that deepen structural inequities across gender, caste, race, sexuality, and class. This expression of hierarchies during the pandemic also reflects the failure of global capitalism to provide for people and life. Ultimately, communities have stepped in with an emphasis on relationships of interdependence, and we see in these actions a potential way to form transnational feminist solidarity. */ */ */

The Self in Dalit Literature

Self-determination involves interrogation of the social hierarchy and morally regressive conditions created by the caste system in order to push the “untouchables’’ beyond morally minimum humanness. The self is also determined to produce resistance within such conditions but also radically interrogate such conditions. Self-determination thus involves transcendence of the self and the adversarial other.

An Unholy Festival

In a number of Indian festivals, the rituals and practices alienate different sections of society and even exploit them. Such is the case with the Holi celebrations in Charthari village in Uttar Pradesh where the dalits and women bear the brunt of the hard work that goes into observing the occasion but are not permitted to participate in the "enjoyment". This raises questions about interpretations of Holi as the carnivalesque churning of social hierarchies.
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