The book is about bringing justice for all, especially the vulnerable – women, LGBTQIA++, tribals, scheduled castes, migrants – by capturing their voices, creating knowledge out of these voices, empowering them to challenge unfair structures and systems, and showcasing how these organic human rights defenders stand up for justice for themselves and others.
Their resistance is modelled after that of Stan Swamy – uncompromisingly nonviolent, in full conformity with Constitutional principles and with the invocation of the relevant laws of our land. Stan Swamy’s intellectual conviction about the efficacy of social analysis tools, his indomitable spirit which did not allow him to remain a ‘mute spectator,’ and his determination to ‘pay the price’ for his dissidence, constitute the provenance of the various instances of resistance mentioned in this book.
Spirited leaders got sparks from him which in turn have flared up into full-fledged torches in sites of injustices. Stan Swamy’s principles and practices had a cascading effect in all realms of human experience where there is denial of justice, from irrelevant education, ruthless and rootless development, and predatory administration, to enslaving clericalism, pervasive and exploitative patriarchy and dehumanizing homophobia.
Many examples such as that of an illiterate woman questioning the corrupt practices of governance, or women starting a #MeToo movement in the hallowed halls of the Church, will prick the conscience of armchair activists, prodding them into action.
This book is for anybody who cares about justice. It goes beyond boundaries and ennobles us to embrace a consciousness that includes the whole earth, and to raise questions on intergenerational equity.
Title: If Not Now, When? Disquieting Feminist Questions
Editors: Astrid Lobo Gajiwala, Kochurani Abraham and Prashant Olalekar, SJ
Publisher: Indian Social Institute, New Delhi
Price: Rs. 300/-
Dr. Neena Joseph