New stories with attitude

Combative? Urvashi Butalia

Combative? Urvashi Butalia  

Urvashi Butalia brings the same fire to women’s issues

Do I look combative,” asks Urvashi Butalia as she swishes her wild salt and pepper hair. “Aw! I am growing old, I am no longer that combative,” says the lady who mixes feminism and her writings to bring a devil-may-care attitude to her persuasive best.

Urvashi is a bundle of energy as she sits down to talk, then gets up to point out her favourite posters of the women’s movement in India.

“ The idea was even more ambitious. I wanted to put together a book on the women’s movement in the world, it was pretty difficult. At that moment, a friend Sumati Ramaswamy came up with the idea of doing the Indian part,” says Urvashi about the posters that with a few words are able to relate how the women’s movement is deeply entrenched in the country.

From a time where she interviewed and documented Partition survivors’ tales into a gut-wrenching “The Other Side of Silence” to a time where she is cajoling, persuading women’s organisations into parting or sharing the posters for her show, Urvashi Butalia has come a long way. Check her on that, she says: “Yes. One cannot let go of one’s past. ”

Working on another book about a eunuch Mona that deals with identities and sexuality, she promises to ready it by December. Urvashi wears another hat — that of a publisher who pushes the envelope when it comes to women’s issues.


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