‘#MeToo a revelation, gives women new voice’

Many children from in and around Himachal Pradesh also attended the literature festival, which saw experts from diverse backgrounds on one platform.
Audience during the first day of Khuswant Sing Literature Festival at Kasauli on October 12.(Ravi Kumar/HT)
Audience during the first day of Khuswant Sing Literature Festival at Kasauli on October 12.(Ravi Kumar/HT)
Updated on Oct 15, 2018 05:20 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Kasauli | By

“If a woman is a messiah, then #MeToo has become a shrine,” says 15-year-old Akshi Batra, a student of Punjab Public School, Nabha, when she was asked about her views on the theme ‘Strength of the Naari in The Age of #MeToo’ at the seventh edition of the Khushwant Singh Literary Festival in Kasauli. Akshi was a part of a six-member team from the school that had come to Kasauli to attend the event.

Talking about the wave that has become a talking point, Akshi added that it is the need of the hour to give attention to the movement. “Women have been dominated for long. But #MeToo has given them a new voice through social media platforms. It is helping women when they feel threatened.”

She said the sessions at the fest were topical and informative. “I expected the fest to be full of speeches. But it covered newsy topics, which was great,” she adds.

She said, “Books are relatable and even as a kid, I felt connected to the issues. There was nothing in the sessions that I as a youth couldn’t understand. The way personalities like Navjot Singh Sidhu and Karan Thapar answered queries made them stand out.”

Many children from in and around Himachal Pradesh also attended the literature festival, which saw experts from diverse backgrounds on one platform.

They opined that the theme was topical and well-chosen as it highlighted the importance of women rights.

Sharlene, of Auckland House, Shimla, echoed Akshi’s take on #MeToo.

A Class 10 student, she says the movement has a lot of aspects attached to it. “We have to go a deeper level and think of what this means for India. Women in India are gaining strength from each other which is why this movement won’t lose its steam. Everyone has to fight for themselves.”

When asked as to which sessions were the most enjoyable, she quips that the time and diversity at the fest was good. “Sessions on history were great,” she said.

Another student of Auckland House, Shimla, Prakriti, said that she enjoyed session on the status of the Mughal women was great.

On the status of women, Prakriti said the movement has been a revelation. “Women have been suppressed. With this movement, they can speak freely. Strength of the naari is not going to the boxing ring and beating up people. It’s about raising their voice.” She hoped that the movement continues and many more who have faced abuse come to the fore and name and shame the accused.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Sumeda is a content producer. She edits for the Himachal, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir and Punjab news desks of Hindustan Times. She is also part of the regional online portal and social media team.

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