Divya Kandukuri is striving to make India's #MeToo movement more inclusive

Divya Kandukuri is striving to make India’s #MeToo movement more inclusive

"Marginalised women should be leading the movement"

By Sunetra Choudhury  December 10th, 2018

Freelance journalist and a Bahujan activist, Divya Kandukuri also runs a mental health support group for the marginalised. Kandukuri raises important questions on the inclusiveness about the current wave of #MeToo cases in India. She criticized organisers of a #MeToo meetup in Mumbai, which was set to take place in a tony neighbourhood at an art gallery i.e. a space that was not accessible to all. She also calls out senior feminists for not recognising Raya Sarkar as the pioneer of the movement in India. Sarkar, a student in the US, brought out a crowd-sourced list of alleged sexual harassers that included the who’s who of Indian academia last year. The list, where the accusers remained anonymous, was not supported by many Indian feminists because they said it didn’t go through “due process”. Kandukuri says, “I don’t feel connected to the current movement. The women who are talking about it are elite and have social capital. But if I come out, I don’t have any security. I depend on my monthly salary. Marginalised women should be leading the movement because savarna women’s methods of activism are not inclusive. They should just step back and listen and learn from marginalised leaders and act on it.”

On Kandukuri: Georgette dress, Rs. 7,199, Genes Lecoanet Hemant. Metal nose pin and watch, Kandukuri’s own

Photograph: Prarthna Singh
Styling: Rahul Vijay
Hair: Tenzin Kyizom
Make-up: Sergio Alvarez/Faze Management
Assisted by: Akshita Singh (Styling)