Kavita Krishnan

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Kavita Krishnan
Kavita Krishnan 02.jpg
Born Kavita Krishnan
1973 (age 44–45)[1]
Coonoor, Tamil Nadu[1]
Nationality India
Education St. Xavier's College, Mumbai, Jawaharlal Nehru University
Organization All India Progressive Women's Association (AIPWA)
Political party Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation

Kavita Krishnan is Secretary of the All India Progressive Women's Association (AIPWA).[2] Krishnan is also a member of the politburo of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) (CPI-ML),[3] and the editor of its monthly publication, Liberation.[4] She is a women's rights activist who has publicised the problem of violence against women following the 2012 Delhi gang rape of Nirbhaya.[5]

Early background and personal life[edit]

Kavita Krishnan was born to Tamil parents in Coonoor, Tamil Nadu. She grew up in Bhilai, Chhattisgarh.[1] Her father worked as an engineer at a steel plant while her mother taught English. Krishnan received an MPhil in English Literature at Jawaharlal Nehru University.

Biography[edit]

Early Activism[edit]

Kavita Krishnan became part of a theater group led by Arun Ferreira in St. Xavier's College, Mumbai and she would participate in street plays and protests. Her serious stint with political activism took place when she joined the Jawaharlal Nehru University where she earned her master's degree and was elected Joint Secretary of the Students' Union in 1995. She was a member of the All India Students Association while she studied in JNU.[6] She became seriously involved with activism when she met the student leader Chandrashekhar Prasad who was also a student at JNU and a member of AISA. Fondly remembered as Chandu by the students of JNU even today, Chandrashekhar was murdered along with fellow CPI(ML) leader Shyam Narayan Yadav on 31 March 1997 in Siwan, Bihar while addressing a street meeting. Kavita Krishnan's life as an activist took a serious turn after this incident. Chandrashekhar, who had been the President of the JNU Students' Union the year before Krishnan was elected the Joint Secretary, was the first to recognise her passion and to suggest her to work full-time for women's rights.[7] Following Chandu's murder, thousands of JNU students participated in mass demonstrations, demanding action against former Rashtriya Janata Dal parliamentarian Mohammad Shahabuddin, whose men, they alleged, had carried out the attack.[8] Krishnan was part of the protests in Delhi, where the student protesters were attacked by Laloo Yadav's men at Bihar Bhawan.[9] She spent eight days in jail for her participation in the protests.[10][11]

Role in 16 December protests[edit]

While emerging as one of the most influential activists[12] during the massive anti-rape protests that followed the rape and murder of a 23-year-old girl in India's capital city, New Delhi, Kavita Krishnan has contributed substantially to shaping the discourse of the movement. One of the speeches that she made at the protest outside Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit's house quickly went viral on YouTube[13] and has received over 60,000 views so far. In this speech, she laid out a kind of manifesto of the movement, one that represented a major break from the securitised, protectionist standpoint which was rife at that time and articulated women's freedom as the main demand.[14][15] In this speech, she argued against the prevalent commonsense that death penalty was the solution to rape. She pointed out that the conviction rates for rape in India are extremely low and, therefore, methods such as chemical castration and death penalty can't act as deterrents. She made a strong case for arguing on the basis of women's "unqualified freedom", "freedom without fear". Her views on death penalty have been influential in shaping the discourse around rape in the aftermath of the post 16 December anti-rape protests.[16][17][18] The demand for "Freedom Without Fear" became a rallying point for anti-rape protesters, and Kavita Krishnan's views on "Freedom" were extensively published.[19][20][21][22][23]

Criticism[edit]

Kavita Krishnan has been criticized for her perceived double standards when it comes to the issue of free speech.[24] Krishnan has also been criticised for her tweet on Prime Minister Narendra Modi stalking daughters.[25] In 2016, Krishnan was severely criticized for calling the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani as extrajudicial killing.[26][27]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "The Mass Mobiliser". Archived from the original on 12 December 2015. 
  2. ^ "AIPWA blog". AIPWA. Archived from the original on 31 May 2014. Retrieved 30 May 2014. 
  3. ^ "CPI(ML) Politburo Member Comrade Swapan Mukherjee Cremated Today". CPIML official website. 8 September 2016. 
  4. ^ "CPI (ML) Liberation | Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal". links.org.au. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 22 February 2016. 
  5. ^ Kumar, Sanjay. "Interview with Kavita Krishnan". The Diplomat. Archived from the original on 23 May 2014. Retrieved 30 May 2014. 
  6. ^ Iqbal, Naveed. "The making of an activist". The Indian Express. Archived from the original on 2 July 2015. Retrieved 25 March 2015. 
  7. ^ Bazliel, Sharla. "Kavita Krishnan on Delhi gangrape". India Today. Archived from the original on 12 December 2015. Retrieved 25 March 2015. 
  8. ^ "Three sentenced to life in Chandrasekhar murder case". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 27 February 2014. Retrieved 25 March 2015. 
  9. ^ Joshi, Rajesh. "Red Island Erupts". Outlook. Archived from the original on 4 April 2015. Retrieved 25 March 2015. 
  10. ^ Krishnan, Kavita. "Tongueless in Tihar". Tehelka. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 25 March 2015. 
  11. ^ "INDIA: Student leader arrested for 1997 protest". Green Left Weekly. Archived from the original on 23 October 2015. Retrieved 25 March 2015. 
  12. ^ Ray, Tinku. "NPR Blogs". NPR. Archived from the original on 21 March 2015. Retrieved 25 March 2015. 
  13. ^ "Kavita Krishnan, Secretary of the All India Progressive Women's Association (AIPWA)". YouTube. Archived from the original on 28 March 2015. Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  14. ^ "'Freedom Without Fear Is What We Need To Protect, To Guard And Respect'". Tehelka. Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  15. ^ "View Point: Kavitha Krishnan, Sheila Dixit and this rape culture". The Alternative. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 25 March 2015. 
  16. ^ Jha, Nishita. "An Interview With Kavita Krishnan". Tehelka. Retrieved 25 March 2015. 
  17. ^ "'On the death penalty for rape' Kavita Krishnan". Death Penalty Research Project, NLU. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  18. ^ Sandhu, Veenu. "Interview with Kavita Krishnan". Business Standard. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  19. ^ Gupta, Rahila. "Women demand freedom, not surveillance - An Interview With Kavita Krishnan". Open Democracy. Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  20. ^ Rao, Dipanjali. "Freedom without fear". Indian Link. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  21. ^ "Rapists fear women's freedom; convene Parliament to pass bills on sexual violence: protester Kavita Krishnan". IBN Live. Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  22. ^ Banerjee, Poulomi. "Our right to pleasure is always ignored: Kavita Krishnan". IBN Live. Archived from the original on 26 March 2015. Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  23. ^ Krishnan, Kavita. "Patriarchy, Women's Freedom and Capitalism: Kavita Krishnan". IBN Live. Archived from the original on 21 March 2015. Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  24. ^ "Free speech in Delhi, a barricade in Kashmir". Archived from the original on 10 April 2016. 
  25. ^ "Kavita Krishnan's 'PM stalking daughters' tweet sparks row". Archived from the original on 28 November 2015. 
  26. ^ "Why India Must Not Blink Despite J&K Protests After Burhan Wani Killing". Archived from the original on 12 July 2016. 
  27. ^ "Decoding Burhan Wani and Kashmir unrest: Is 'Indian oppression' to blame?". Archived from the original on 12 July 2016.