24 July, 2021

The Chilly Justice Of The Gulag

Raya Sarkar’s letter reveals a feminism that seeks to fight patriarchy with Stalinist methods, discarding human warmth and personal engagement

Illustration by Sajith Kumar
The Chilly Justice Of The Gulag

I must confess I write this paper with a sense of hesitation, even doubt. My friends warned me that this is the time of political correctness where debate is not welcome and controversy is read as obscene. I feel the sadness of a generation where movements were a part of the everyday imagination. Whether it was ecological, Marxist, feminist, human rights or peace, political movements defined a way of life, a style of thinking, even living. We felt that, in defining a relationship, we were inventing a way of life. Politics also ­defines the way we look at the personal, the intimate, the ­domain of sexuality and friendship. Yet today what was a playing field, a space for friendship, has become a minefield. It is like being asked to undo the storytelling of a generation. Part of this rupture, at least for an academic, comes with the Raya Sarkar affair. For me, the man-woman relationship had a sense of celebration, of tolerance and humour. It was open and open-ended; it was not that we did not make mistakes, but we lived with them. There were moments of poignancy,...

Latest Magazine

August 02, 2021

other articles from the issue

articles from the previous issue

Other magazine section