Textually Yours

The gulabi gang and this hullaballoo

Posted in admiration, frustration, India, san francisco, women by arpitaincuba on January 22, 2009

a still from a film about the Gulabi Gang

a still from a film about the Gulabi Gang

hot PINK

Celebrated as the “bad-ass sari vigilantes of bumble-fuck India,” the Gulabi Gang is a fierce women’s group belonging to the lowest socio-economic strata of rural Uttar Pradesh who have taken up lathis(a cane that is traditionally a symbol of self-defence) to fight against female exploitation, unemployment, government corruption, male alcoholism, and crime. No doubt this is a group that deserves all the admiration for their efforts in community created solutions and resistance in action. However, I’m more concerned about how they might get exploited as “commodities of cool” here. When I observe the youth culture in the urban landscape of San Francisco, I notice that resistance is consumed more often as a fashion commdity.Images of Che Guevara and Chair Mao on Urban Outfitters shirts, and the keffiyeh around every pale necked hipster is an evidence of the appropriation of social justice figures

As my friend, Rosie right fully said–appropriation is the king to the wannabe intellectuals in United States. Appropriation is their intellectual capitalism.

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  1. Karmasutraz said, on January 27, 2009 at 8:40 am

    I didn’t even think on the lines of appropriation until you brought it up here. Now that I think about it, it’s not only intellectual capital; it is a sum total of all achievements, material or intellectual, that sometimes even people like us have misused to ‘belong’ or for a false sense of personal achievement. We’ve sat on the laurels meant for others for too long.


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