Contents - Intersectional Identities: Disability and the Other Margins (Issue 28)
By Nandini Ghosh and Shilpaa Anand
Intersectionality in the realm of disability becomes even more complex to comprehend and expose, as marginalities both within the disability group identity and with other social identities have to be prioritised in relation to structure and context so that the experiences and sentiments of those who are oppressed may emerge.
By Anita Ghai
The fact remains I am a ‘person marked with polio’. I have no memory of an “able body.” Hence, the world that I grew up in gave me a message that to be disabled is to be defective and that disability in a conclusive analysis is intrinsically disapproved of. Not surprising therefore, it took me a long time to own my polio and disabled body and accept that I was disabled but not ‘defective’.
By Meenu Bhambhani
So what I am writing here is my personal experience of working closely with non-government organizations (NGOS), individuals with disabilities, and parents of individuals with disabilities, recruiters, trainers and operations managers of the organization where people got placed. These are my observations and reflections of past nine years. The conclusions are anecdotal and hence I would refrain from generalizing the findings.
By Kalpana Kannabiran
Dr. Saibaba teaches English at Ram Lal Anand College and is a wheelchair user. He has permanent post-polio paralysis of the legs and is 90 percent disabled. He is also a heart patient with high blood pressure and suffers from spinal pain. As a person with severe disabilities deserving of special treatment and care, the manner of his arrest, the grounds and the conditions of custody merit close examination. Whether or not he has Maoist ‘links’ or whether he is a ‘sympathizer’ is not as important.
By Sameer Chaturvedi
Writing about disability is a tough ask. The old maxim that says personal is political seems like an oversimplification of the life of an individual. And more so, I think there is a need to reflect on the “politics of disablement” that most disabled activists/scholars engage with. This article presents my personal thoughts and observations about what it means to be disabled. I am not claiming that it would present what every disabled person goes through in India.
By Jayasree Subramanian
To understand how children with disabilities configure in our minds as students learning mathematics, let us do a thought experiment. Suppose one enters a special school as a mathematics educator. Is one’s reaction likely to be as dramatic as my experience of visiting a remote village? Is one likely to feel a sense of alienation as a mathematics educator?
By Amita Dhanda
Unlike other social identities, difference is written into the heart of the construct of disability. Difference subsists not just between impairments that is mental, physical, intellectual, developmental and sensory but within each impairment grouping. Such large presence of diversity makes creation of dominant constructs difficult. Thus the only trait which can be universally adopted without dispute is the trait of difference.
By Rukmini Sen
How does one ensure care to my father in the metropolis of Kolkata? While Alice, a linguistics professor in Columbia University, did not receive suitably sensitive responses from her family in New York, how do I expect my father to receive sensible responses to his condition from his kinship network that is unfamiliar with the particularities of dementia?
By Jyotishmita Sarma
This essay attempts to demystify some of the commonly held misconceptions about the lives of persons with disabilities through the narratives of four women with different locomotor disabilities, residing in a rural and an urban set up in Assam. The narratives try to elucidate the point that although impairment plays a significant role in the lives of these women, it is not the single factor that shapes their lives.
By Nookaraju Bendukurthi
In the wake of mushrooming mainstream and alternative media in the country and constant cutting edge developments occurring in online media platforms at the global level, disability representation in media is becoming an important area to explore. There has been very little interest in Indian academia, particularly in media studies, to study disability representation either in terms of studying meaning and interpretation or to work towards theorizing disability representation.
By Bindhulakshmi Pattadath
My attempt here is not to keep the symbolic and the material/medical norms as two separate and distinct entities. Drawing on a public debate that emerged in Kerala in the context of the rape and murder of a young woman in 2011, I try to explain how these corporeal norms are created through the expulsion of the abject body. When I say corporeal norms, I mean bodily norms which are instituted within legal and moral-social orders.
By Himanshu Upadhyaya
O Dear Rohith,
I have been reading the lips of those who have been framing an academic analysis of your death.
There are those who wish to scrutinize the stylistics of the slogans shouted by your friends.
Then, there are those who keep staring at the words that were struck out from your suicide note.
By Yogesh Kumar Yadav
Whenever the question of toilet and open defecation is discussed, it is generally associated with women’s dignity, health issues, and environmental pollution. Woes of women with disabilities, who are compelled to defecate in public, remain invisible to the policy-makers. It is beyond the imagination to perceive the hardships faced by them while defecating in public. If at times, toilets are in existence their functionality is questionable due to their inaccessible nature.
By R. Srivatsan
In spite of the liberal intentions of administrative policy, atavistic and recalcitrant passions in implementing agencies regularly wreak havoc through wanton discrimination. Thus ‘good and progressive’ policy provides government an alibi of virtuous intention, which unfortunately is negated by ‘bad and reactionary’ implementation’s ambiguous, sometimes catastrophic, results.
By Avinash Shahi
In a conservative country such as India, the subjects of sexuality and disability are alien to the ‘mainstream’ discourses, particularly in rural India. In the quest of safeguarding family honor, the practitioners of patriarchy refrain from addressing, let alone acknowledging, the violence and sexual assault experienced by disabled women within the family and in the public domain.
By Deepa Palaniappan
The cross-disability framework within disability mobilizations is somewhat similar to the empowerment that ‘Dalit’ as an umbrella category has enabled for scheduled caste communities in India. To denote people with various impairments under one umbrella terminology as ‘disabled’ or ‘people with disabilities’ is an advocacy tool that intends to bring with it a sense of unity and empowerment. Yet, with better implementation of reservation and other policy successes, it has become obvious that certain types of impairments are getting ignored or side-lined by the system.