The recent public remarks by an Indian university vice chancellor, Vibhuti Narain Rai, that Indian women writers are no better than prostitutes (chinaal) has unleashed a (well-deserved) storm of controversy and (appropriate) demands for his resignation.
In the name of everything matrilineal, and human, this is the stuff of feudal history.
Unfortunately, this kind of slander is no anomaly. When Arundhati Roy won the prestigious Booker Prize for the indelible novel God of Small Things she remarked that by some in India she was derided as “the hooker with the Booker.” But these sort of attacks, while vicious and intolerable, have not been able to squelch a burgeoning movement of Indian women writers who dare to write stories about the hearts, lives and sexuality of India’s women and other dispossessed citizens in their fiction. In fact Wikipedia lists 137 names in its “Indian women writers” category, among them some favorites of ours. Read it and go out and buy their books.