What is the background of Kiran Bedi

Brigitte Voykowitsch

By Christina BuderIndia's daughters. Picus Verlag, Vienna 2000, 168 pages, ATS 204, -

You could already read about the fight of Medha Patkar and the author Arundhati Roy against the Narmada dams in the press, but more common are the pictures of the colorful saris of the Indian women or those of the victims of patriarchal violence without rights, which ends in widow burning and dowry murder .

There is hardly any other country in the South that is written as much as India, and in almost no other country in the world does the position of women excite the minds of Western readers so much. Between stereotypes and exotic fantasies, however, there is a variety of realities in the life of Indian women, which the journalist Brigitte Voykowitsch brings us closer to in the most interesting way. Her interlocutors range from activists in a lesbian group to the self-confident female supercop Kiran Bedi to Ruth Monorama, leader of a women's group of untouchable Dalits. With the 16 portraits of extraordinary women who defied traditional women's roles, the author not only introduces us to an active women's movement, but also succeeds in addressing the central socio-political issues of modern India in an informative way. The spectrum ranges from the conflicts over the Muslim minority to the fight against poverty to the culturally justified violations of women's rights. Seldom does a non-fiction book succeed in conveying background information from the perspective of the marginalized in such an appealing way.