Madhu Purnima Kishwar bigraphy, stories - Activists

Madhu Purnima Kishwar : biography

1959 -

Madhu Kishwar is an Indian academic, and writer. She is the Senior Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), based in Delhi, and the Director of the Indic Studies Project based at CSDS which aims to promote the study of Religions and Cultures in the Indic Civilization”. She studied at Miranda House as well as at Jawahar Lal Nehru University. In 2013, Madhu Kishwar wrote Modinama (Chronicles of Modi) in which she has been critical of the media for their false propaganda about Narendra Modi's role during Gujarat violence 2002 and in its aftermath, Kishwar had earlier been critical of Modi, in the context of the violence.

Documentary Films and Media Work

Madhu Purnima Kishwar has produced several documentary films on subjects of social cause:

  • The Manas Series for Doordarshan on the following themes was shown on the national channel.
1)Dowry: Compulsion vs. Need. The social and economic dynamics behind the spread of the culture of dowry despite stringent legislation.
2)The Disinheritance of Women from Family Property.
3)Liquor and State Policy: Why Anti-Liquor Movements Inevitably Turn Anti-State.
4)Governmental Controls on Agriculture and the Increasing Rural-Urban Divide being promoted through our Farm Policy.
5)License Permit Raj: a View from Below (Study of street vendors and rickshaw pullers in Delhi).
6)The Pauperization of our Traditional Technologists and Artisans.
  1. Researched, scripted and anchored several episodes of a prime-time programme called News Watch on the Doodarshan Channel.
  2. Under the Agenda for India series commissioned by the national television channel Doordarshan she made thirteen episodes entitled “Kisse Kanoon Ke” reviewing the actual workings and impact of various laws enacted ostensibly to protect or strengthen women’s rights in India.
  3. Conceptualized and anchored a series of youth programmes entitled Baazgasht for the Srinagar Kendra of Doordarshan in 2006.
  4. Kishwar has also written and set to music a cassette of songs on women’s issues entitled Manushi Geet. Some of these were used in a street play entitled Roshni created as a group effort by Manushi’s performance team under the direction of Feisal Alkazi.

Editor of "Manushi"

Kishwar is founder editor of Manushi - a Journal about Women published since 1979. It has been described by Amartya Sen as "a pioneering feminist journal", though Kishwar does not accept this polical label and is wary of all "Isms. She has explained her reasons for rejecting "ism" labels inan article entitled "Why I do not call Myself a Feminist.

She is Founder President of Manushi Sangathan, registered under the Societies Registration Act, is a forum for research based activist interventions. It works for democratic reforms that will promote greater social justice and strengthen human rights, especially for women. Kishwar’s work with Manushi Sangathan includes:

  • Carrying out investigations on violations of human rights of minority communities and right to livelihood of vulnerable communities and occupational groups;
  • Advocacy for policy and legal reform to free the livelihoods of the self employed poor from harmful statist controls;
  • Provide legal aid for women, including Public Interest Litigation on behalf of vulnerable individuals and groups;
  • Making documentary films as part of advocacy campaigns on issues that require serious policy reform;
  • Ground level research on the gap between the intent and actual impact of various laws enacted for women’s rights and propose workable laws and policy reform for strengthening women’s rights.
Living octopus

Living octopus

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