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Jaipur Literature Festival Takes A Questionable Stand On The #MeToo Movement

JLF's fast spreading presence in the international arena, calls for a more substantial stand on its part, as far as #MeToo is concerned.

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#MeToo, women, Indian Idol, victim
The hushed whispers are getting louder. Flickr

After several star speakers of the Zee Jaipur Literature Festival, including C.P. Surendran, Suhel Seth and Chetan Bhagat, among others, have been accused of sexually harassing multiple women, on the sidelines of the popular lit fest, the organisers, in a cautiously worded one-sentence tweet on Thursday, have supported the rising tide of the #MeToo campaign in India — but questions still remain.

“The ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival unequivocally stands by the women who have courageously spoken out for equity and dignity and is committed to supporting and amplifying their voices,” the official handle of the JLF said in a tweet on Thursday.

The statement came two days after a petition was started on www.change.org by writer-editor Rajni George, asking its organisers to support the #MeToo India and stand up “against sexual harassment”.

#MeToo
Jaipur Literature Festival

“We write today regarding the serious and credible allegations of sexual harassment made recently against a number of men in and around the literary world, as part of the MeToo movement in India.

“We, the undersigned, are dismayed, saddened and angered by these accounts. We admire the work that the Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) undertakes. As India’s largest and most recognised literature festival, we believe JLF is ideally placed to take the lead in addressing this urgent issue,” George’s petition said.

JLF’s response in the one-line tweet is general, and does not specifically mention whether any of the allegations that have now surfaced were earlier brought to the notice of the organisers.

It also does not make it clear whether the doors of the festival will remain closed for the accused in its future editions, or not. It further makes no comment whatsoever on several instances that are said to have taken place on the sidelines of the annual event.

#MeToo
Sanjoy K. Roy, with writers Namita Gokhale and William Dalrymple as co-directors, has been instrumental in bringing societal issues to the fore.

Notably, many of the accused have featured in prominent sessions at what is described as the “greatest literary show on Earth”, and, in many instances, the festival has been instrumental in increasing their popularity as well as readership.

On its part, JLF, produced by Teamwork Arts, headed by Sanjoy K. Roy, and with writers Namita Gokhale and William Dalrymple as co-directors, has been instrumental in bringing societal issues to the fore. In fact, the 2018 edition of the festival in January this year had come to a close with a hard-hitting debate on #MeToo, long before the campaign gained momentum in India.

Also Read: Watch Jaipur Literature Festival Live On Twitter

Many in the literary circles feel the benchmark that JLF has itself set over the course of its journey, its coming of age and gradual but distinct shift from controversies to substance in the recent years, its fast spreading presence in the international arena, calls for a more substantial stand on its part, as far as #MeToo is concerned. (IANS)

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7 out of 10 Women Cheat on Spouses in India: Survey

The survey also showed that in India, homosexual people trapped in traditional marriages also finding same-sex partners in growing numbers

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Seven out of 10 women in India cheat on their husbands because they do not take part in domestic chores and the similar number of women turned unfaithful because their marriage had become monotonous, a survey by extra-marital dating app Gleeden said on Tuesday.

In a survey titled “Why do women commit adultery”, Gleeden, which has over 5 lakh users in India, revealed that metros, like Bengaluru, Mumbai and Kolkata, have the maximum number of women who cheat on their spouses to escape unhappiness, ignorance, neglect in marriage and husbands’ non-involvement in household chores.

“Four out of 10 women on Gleeden said flirting with strangers led to greater intimacy with their spouses, which means infidelity can be helpful in re-sparkling a dead marriage,” Solene Paillet, Marketing Specialist, Gleeden told IANS.

Of the 5 lakh Indian Gleeden users, 20 per cent men and 13 per cent women admitted of cheating on their spouses.

Primarily marketed to women — specifically those who are in relationship — Gleeden app was launched in France in 2009. It arrived in India in 2017 and today, 30 per cent of its members in India are married women in the age group of 34-49 years.

choosing partners, expectations of spouses
Representational image. Pixabay

Nearly 77 per cent of Indian women who chose to cheat on their husbands reasoned that their marriage had become monotonous and finding a partner outside marriage allowed them to add excitement to their lives.

“By creating a platform specifically dedicated to married women, Gleeden has catered to the monotonous and diluted lives of lakhs of women in India, where nearly three fourth of its members who engage in infidelity have no regrets whatsoever,” Paillet said.

Also Read- Social Media Giant Facebook Announces First Browser API for Google Chrome

According to the survey, nearly 48 per cent Indian women who decide to have an extramarital affair, prefer to meet men on extramarital dating sites because they offer safety, privacy and security that is absent in real life.

The survey also showed that in India, homosexual people trapped in traditional marriages also finding same-sex partners in growing numbers. (IANS)