Journalist Kunal Majumder has many reasons to believe in feminism. Raised by an empowered mother, and surrounded by women editors he truly believes women are part of the change they want to see. And so is he. An equal playing field, fair opportunity and some real hard work in making organisations balanced – that’s how we need to make a start says Majumder, one of the founding editor at CatchNews.
Why do you believe you are a feminist
Three reasons. Firstly, I was born to a woman who would beat the shit out of her sons if she caught them being disrespectful towards any women. Secondly, I grew up in an extended family where all cousins – irrespective of gender – got the same opportunities. And finally, I always had woman bosses. So I guess I have had no other option but to be a feminist.
Feminism to you is…
Unisex Indian cricket team!
Why must men be part of this conversation?
Because they created the problem.
Do you believe India’s definition and understanding of feminism needs to evolve? How?
Of course! Currently it is mere tokenism. Sadly in popular notion, feminism is associated more with activism. It needs to be something that is ingrained in every family beyond seminars and parliamentary discussions. Every mother needs to bring up is her sons to respect her daughter and every daughter to realise she is an equal to her son. A girl needs to demand her rights. Meanwhile we need affirmative action. Parliament needs 50 percent reservation for women. Corporates will have to give equal playing field, so that number of female employees increase. At Catch, we have done the same and have evolved to a situation where 50 percent of staff members are women. This is not by design or reservation but merely offering an equal playing field.
Five feminists you admire
That’s easy. Top of the list is Lalu Yadav who opposed women’s reservation bill but made his illiterate wife the first woman chief minister of Bihar. That’s true empowerment.
Secondly, Lalu’s BFF — Mulayam Singh Yadav for supporting women in politics by giving his daughter-in-law Dimple Lok Sabha ticket…
I can go on… Jokes apart I think the feminist I admire the most is my mother — Nibedita Majumder for bringing up two sons who always respect women. Second on the list is my school teacher Usha Gupta who spent 40 years in an only boy’s school teaching the need for equality between genders. Politically I really admire Periyar for truly pushing for women’s right in south India during freedom struggle. Raja Ram Mohan Roy and Ishwar Chandra Vidhyasagar for bring around so many reforms in Hindu society that makes lives of so many Indian women easier. Sampat Pal Devi of the Gulabi Gang is another feminist I really like.
Kunal Majumder is Head of Operations & Speed News – Catch News and one of its founding editors
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