This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Sudha Shrinivasan. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

4 Reasons Why You Need To Stop Bullying Aamir Khan

By Sudha Shrinivasan:

“He’s a pretentious prick. He’s frightening, and he is moralistic. He’s hypocritical. He’s self righteous. He is holier than thou”.

As I write this, open letters are flooding the internet faster than the speed of sound, and my guess is that all of the new ones will pretty much say the same thing. If we’re done calling him names, and if we’re done sighing with disappointment, then there’s something that I’d like to say.

Picture Credit: National Media Museum
Picture Credit: National Media Museum

1) He didn’t even watch the video. How do you know that?

To begin with, let’s stop saying, “He hasn’t even watched the video, and he is only reacting to what he has heard”, No shit, Sherlock! That is what he told the media!

He heard about it, not from Vidyut or Pooja Bhatt or Russel Peters, he heard about it from Karan Johar and Arjun Kapoor – who were a part of the roast. He heard jokes that you haven’t heard, because those jokes didn’t even make it to the YouTube telecast.

So, in some ways, he reacted to a more complete version of the roast, as compared to those of you who chose not to spend 4000 bucks and watch it live. I did.

2) I am quoting him, “I’m all for free speech. No issues”. In fact, his films have been banned; his effigies have been burnt, because he chose to exercise his freedom of speech. And, if you think about it, this is exactly what the open-letter writers are doing. Isn’t this their version of effigy burning? Because, he exercised the very freedom of speech that is being defended by the open-letter writers.

Did he say that AIB should be banned? Did he say that the AIB cast should be jailed? What the fuck did he say? He said that he didn’t like it. That he didn’t think it was funny, and he wasn’t impressed by it.

In fact, what’s bothering me is how people like Russel Peters (who I usually think is hilarious) are asking him to shut up! How can we talk about freedom of speech when we are asking someone to shut up in the same breath! I mean, WTF!

He also said that actors are not artists. Don’t even get me started on that.

What if Aamir had come out in support of the AIB roast, and said that he absolutely loved the roast, then you’d all have been celebrating him, right?

So, what you want is not freedom of speech, you just want everyone to agree with you.

Your attitude is: “We roast. We are funny. You disagree. You are not cool.” Isn’t that attitude the same as that of the Right Wing?

3) BOSEDKBOSEDKBOSEDK. That’s the catch now, isn’t it? He produced a really funny film that was full of expletives, and now he says that he isn’t impressed by bad language? How dare he!

I know twitter is a medium of 140 characters, and it’s tough to understand anything that can’t be expressed in just that much space, so I’m going to try explaining it in 140 characters.

“Delhi Belly is a fictional film. Arpita, Farida Jalal, Reema Lagoo, Simi Garewal – are real people. The roast was not fiction. (I would have liked to add the word ‘Dumbass’ in there, but I ran out of characters.)”

If you have watched the roast on YouTube, you probably missed out on the super crass jokes about Salman Khan’s sister Arpita, who by the way, had not signed up for the roast. No prizes for guessing why they edited those jokes out.

Are we really so childish that we think that if someone produced a film that has abusive language, he has to enjoy every show, film, or work of art that has bad language in it?

By that logic, does Rohit Shetty have to jump with joy every time a car gets blown up, even if that happens in real life?

Does everything have to be simplified to such a stupid level?

4) What really gets my goat is how most people, who just can’t seem to have an opinion of their own, are sharing these rather smartly written open letters accompanied by their comments, such as, “My Point Exactly”/“Have Lost Respect for Aamir”. I mean, give him a break.

The man goes out and actually talks about LGBTQI rights, risking his conservative fan base. Famous people, some even from the LGBTQI community haven’t done that – it doesn’t count, if you’re joking about it. If you have the balls, take a stand on the issue.

The man takes on powerful god-men in a genuine satire. He makes a film about dyslexia that actually makes a huge difference to the way we look at parenting.

He actually apologises on National Television for having been a part of regressive films. He takes on the media and the politicians in the film Peepli Live. In almost every episode of Satyamva Jayate, he targets powerful lobbies.

And then, he voices his personal opinion on a fucking ‘roast’, and we lose respect for him, and we can’t stop writing open letters about how we’re disappointed in him?

What does this say about us?

PS: I enjoyed parts of the roast myself, especially the joke about Arjun Kapoor creeping Shakti Kapoor out. I fell off my chair laughing. My favourite film as a child was Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (QSQT), and I wish I hadn’t watched Gajini, or if wishes could be granted, then I wish that Aamir hadn’t acted in it.

Also read: “Why Is Aamir Khan Such a Pretentious Prick?”

This post has also appeared in BuzzFeed’s community section.

You must be to comment.
  1. xyz

    I am perplexed by the argument that he can not be wrong in this particular instance because he has stood up for xyz, and so on in the past. Also, you mention in the first “point”, that he has heard about it from Karan Johar or, Arjun Kapoor and so on. How do you make that assumption?
    And in context of real people not signing up for jokes, are you suggesting comedians seek permission from people before they make jokes on them? If you are, then obviously, all crass jokes about Rahul Gandhi ( made without permission) should be put in the same bracket as the ones in the roast? How many jokes would we be left with then?

    1. Voiceofreason

      because Aamir himself said that Karan Johar and Arjun Kapoor (Karan Arjun??) came to his place after the roast and told him about it.

  2. Voice of reason

    Agreed, But dont you think that some one who produces Delhi Belly really cannot really say that any roast was violent or abusive, That is hypocrisy right? ( last time i checked the dictionary, that is what hypocrisy meant). If tomorrow AIB guys would come up and say that Gangs of Wasseypur is too violent and crass, wont you call them hypocrites . The problem is, like most , whenever you want to say anything about Mr Aamir Khan, then all that people say is Satyameva Jayete, and how he is socially conscious , while i definitely agree to that but it does not mean that you can get away with Hypocrisy. Also Your comment on farida jalal and comparison with a fictional story is really ridiculous as the premise of the debate is hypocrisy , use of foul language on television ( or internet), so weather real or fictional, foul language is foul language.

    I do like his movies, but the fact that his comments are Hypocritical cannot be under mined.

    BTW i did pay Rs 4000 and did watch the show, it was hilarious and awesome. Again I am neither saying he is a bad actor, nor m I trying to take away his credit for his social contributions, we should be happy to have at least one responsible actor ( one who sells) in the industry, however having said that all I am against is his hypocrisy, that is really disappointing and what is even more saddening is people defending his hypocritical stance with his other un-related work…..

    1. VOICE OF LOGIC

      So yout argument about commenting on real people vs fictional people is…. well… baseless! Here is the thing, a work of fiction, (because it is unreal) does not offend the character, since the character is a work of fiction! This is fiction. If tomorrow you criticize a new religion in a movie named “fluffyism” and you will be fine. This is your freedom of speech. This is okay.

      Abusing someone or hurling abuses at someone like Farida Jalal is not okay!! It is not acceptable. This freedom of speech might hurt people. Might offend real people. Because unlike “fluffyism that doesn’t exist. This is real.

      There is a distinct difference. And like so many others, you didn’t get the difference either.

    2. Voice of reason

      Dear Voice of Logic, first how do you know if Frida Jallal is offended or Simi Gerewal is, did they say anything, they didnt so please shut up. How do you know, AIB did not take permission, are you related to them in any way, no these are all stupid, ridiculous and absurd imaginations. Secondly Humor will always make fun of some entity or the other, Why are pseudo-intellectuals like you not offended when time and again Dwarf people are used for comic relief in movies, or transgenders are used for comedy ( some one like Bobby Darling made a career out of this…), do the producers take permission from the entire transgender community. From people who look different, who speak different to people who stammer, we have made fun of all such people in the industry, why are you not offended then?

      Now coming to this article,this article tries to defend Aamir khan ( with double A) for clear and blatant hypocrisy, hence the rant, and like many of his fans it seems you didn’t understand the same….

    3. u

      UrnabaOhh plz 1st you collect all the information and then comment! She was offended for ur kind information. Salman khan was offended. Anil kapoor was offended.

  3. Chandrajeet

    Agreed, It seems everybody who didn’t find the roast funny pointed as a not cool guy.

    I personally too didn’t find it funny ( I had no problem with its abusive language as I wasn’t forced to watch it anyway ). I only watched it like around 5-10 minutes.

  4. Ra’s al Ghul

    What do you have against Gajini?

    1. Ra’s al Ghul

      Waiting for a reply.

    2. Ra’s al Ghul

      By deliberately ignoring a simple question, using the word ‘fuck’ in your article, and supporting a douchebag like Amir Khan, you don’t come across as cool. It makes you look more stupid than you already are.

  5. Ducard

    No one is saying they lost respect for Aamir Khan for his opinion about the AIB roast. It had to do with his blatant sexism in his show Satyamev Jayate that brought his fan following down, as he exposed to the world what a two-faced bigot he is, full of lies and double standards.

  6. Saravana

    Who the hell supported the roast? Mr. Khan is right!

  7. Ducard

    If Aamir Khan is such a supporter of domestic violence against women, why didn’t he raise his voice against mothers-in-law, who are the biggest perpetrators of psychological, verbal, and emotional abuse? I think we all know the answer.

    1. TheSeeker

      A woman can get away with anything :/ Something has got to be done with this gynocentric society.

    2. Gulshan

      very nicely explained

  8. Ducard

    40 boys were kidnapped by Boko Haram at the start of last month, and 89 four days ago. I have waited for four days for some kind of hype about the heinous incident but to my utter dismay, I see the same discriminatory silence that I witnessed when Boko Haram butchered, mutilated, shot, and burnt alive 59 innocent boys in one of the most gruesome incidents in history, which was not news.

    Every couple of days, I read about horrendous incidents against boys, too difficult to even describe, but they do not become newsworthy issues. Of course, kidnap a few girls and everyone will go berserk. Where is the Obama administration now? Where are feminists, who claim to fight for both genders? Where are human rights activists? Where are posters and banners condemning the kidnapping of these boys? Above all, where is the media?

    UNICEF estimates that the number is much higher than 89, and a total of 12,000 boys have been kidnapped to be used as child soldiers, but no one is batting an eyelid. When 133 boys were killed in an attack at Army Public School in Peshawar, the media termed it ‘an attack on schoolchildren’, deliberately omitting the gender. The media thrives on biased and bigoted reporting.

    Horrible and gruesome incidents taking place involving boys all over the world are brushed under the carpet. It is almost as though boys are not human beings. Kill an animal brutally and it will be a screaming headline, but a bullet in a girl’s head and she becomes an international icon, but slaughter and kidnap thousands of boys and no one raises and eyebrow.

    Of course, a sexist actor like Aamir Khan will only be concerned about Nigerian girls.

  9. Rahul Rana

    Great article. Indeed Aamir made it very clear that this was his personal opinion and he is for freedom of speech.

    There is still valid reason to call Aamir a hypocrite, and that is – his releasing of song “DK Bose” to general public.

  10. Sushant

    The author, in spite of spending so many words has still not been able to come up with a strong argument to puncture the open letter.
    The defense offered for legitimacy of ‘Delhi Belly’ is that it was a fictional piece whereas the roast was more close to reality or whatsoever. This in no way exonerates Mr.Khan because hypocrisy is after all hypocrisy.
    The author failed to address Mr.Khan’s selective voicing of issues as per the marketing schedule of his films and wants to give extra points to him for raising issues especially about the LGBTQ community. The author probably isn’t aware that several people from the industry other than Mr. Khan have been doing much more substantial work to create awareness i.e Celina Jaitley, Nandita Das etc.

    Finally, the research team of his popular show raising awareness about social issues have come under a lot of fire from activists and social workers for misrepresenting social issues and packaging them for effortless consumption rather than doing what they should do: raise awareness e.g Zero mention/reference to the paramount contribution of Dr. B.R. Ambedar while talking about eliminating manual scavenging, caste based violence and discrimination.

    I wish the author saw the merits of the argument of the open letter rather than the tone and had constructed a more weighted response. This article seems like just another angry response to an anger filled open letter and lacks complete objectivity.

  11. Pradeep

    This article which is been written by Sudha Shrinivasan i think now i have to think twice before reading articles which will be written by you because i think first of all the authors like you should think before writing anything about any topic or about anybody because people now a days are more active on different social media like this and they know what is reality and why i m saying this because after reading this article anyone can make out that this is the most manipulative article. I agreed with you for second point only but rest of every thing was just like to show a another side of coin and nothing more than that.

    I don’t thing so if u r in support of this colorful language which was used in AIB thn u r cool otherwise vice-verse. Its your point of view which u r trying to make ppl understand otherwise ppl who had seen those videos either they liked it or they hated it because what so ever may be the reason. So i don’t agree with u on this point and the next point which u tried to cover up was about “Delly Belly”.

    Ok i agree it was fictional movie according to u but don’t u think it was played in real, in all the theaters and the song Bhag DK bose have u really sung the way it has been written or when ever u heard this song u always get something else in mind? for me it’s like when ever i heard this songs its was more of like Bhag DK boseDK boseDK boseDK bhag. now the song was available everywhere it was used to played on all the platforms and that time who cares man it’s amir khan. Now few ppl created one show by extending its reach and content by adding some bollywood masala and played only on youtube. now we have forum were we can see ppl who r talking more about this show rather thn wht the ****** amir said and he is right *******************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************.

    He has his own opinion which he shared with us but he forget tht he also did the same thing only difference is that he had created one video in which he said all the crap tht he said last time while he was putting his opinion on AIB. Like him every thing has both the side few ppl might have liked his sati savitri roop and few ppl not but the article like this enforcing ppl to forget everything and follow the opinion which is shared through this article c****** s****.

  12. Name*

    very well expressed absolutely right

  13. Tanjil

    Pooja Bhuat Ki Jai Ho – Mr Idiot Aamir Khan must Shut Up now!!! Aamir has keep speaking some quality garbage since his TV show Satymev (illegal Gay activity to be allowed) and made PK (fully Hindu God abusing movie). Aamir confess his own guilt by saying that violence does not take place by physically but also verbally if you insult someone. So Mr Idiot Aamir has committed the biggest violence by insulting Hindu God & their God men a lot of times through PK movie. Mr Idiot Aamir, we all request Please Shut UP Shut UP Shut UP Shut UP Shut UP Shut UP Shut UP Shut UP Now!!!! If you Aamir Idiot sir do not know what to say as a top class celebrity then definitely next time Slap On is waiting for you from the public. If Aamir does not shut up then the Indian rights of freedom of speech will blow up – ‘Russell Peter Ki Jai Ho, Mr Idiot Aamir Ki Bolti Bandth ho’…………..!!!!!! Lets all please thumbs up, If you are in favor of Mr Idiot Aamir to Shut Up…………!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Manish

    Excellent article..I praise the author/writer for supporting the Actor in her ways that I seem is completely apt and appropriate.

  15. aman

    Speaking of satyamev jayate, don’t know if anyone remembers this but smriti irani used to host a talk show called kuch dil se… this was when kyunki was a new show.. before she joined BJP. it was such a sensitive show which featured issues of women and men… poor, middle class and rich. Used to love that show.

  16. rahul

    An entrenched aamir khan apologist i suspect in an overtly impudent tone! The implied lesson forced down our throats is expletives are ok on a fictional canvas and aamir khan’s grouse was against verbal violence if you can make the connection. If you are smart enough you would be able to easily guess why aamir was ruffled and who ventriloquised him!

  17. Mariya Pillai

    THANK YOU!!!! for writing something positive about the Aamir’s Opinions.
    I liked the show but I can’t dislike or badmouth about someone who didn’t like it.
    People forget coin always has two sides.

  18. Pancha

    You laugh at people’s humiliation how about people humiliates you and other people laugh at you

    1. Pancha

      What? Freedom
      We know prostitute nobody force you to b prostitute
      It doesn’t mean We r allow to do that bad thing.
      Bad thing is bad
      Very offensive
      How can u laugh at humiliation and racist comment

    2. Manodeep

      So you think prostitution is bad?

    3. Joker

      No it is good. Send your mother, sister, wife and daughter.

  19. athoughtcloud

    I am really happy I got to read this article and thank you for having the guts to write such an “uncool” article. As you rightly put it, ““We roast. We are funny. You disagree. You are not cool.” Isn’t that attitude the same as that of the Right Wing?” It is exactly the same kind of attitude. The only difference is this. Everybody knows the right wing is on the conservative side and are not fans of “freedom of speech” (except when it is their own hate speeches). On the other hand, people who champion the AIB roast and would like to shut people up who don’t like it, consider themselves liberal and are in theory all for “freedom of speech” (well, as long as you agree with them). It would have been amusing if they could see the irony.

    Aamir Khan did not ask to ban the show for Pete’s sake. He just said he didn’t find it funny. It is just a matter of taste. Just because you like a movie, do you blast everyone who did not like the movie? It is that simple. I don’t know why people have this urge to crucify him just because he said he did not like something. There have been countless times I have not agreed with him, but he has a right to his opinion just like I have.

    Then there is this huge blown up thing about him being a hypocrite and they bring up everything he did including dialogues from his movies which he didn’t write. He said he would not want his children to watch Mardaani or Ghajini because he thinks there is a lot of violence in such movies. So what he said about AIB roast kind of comes from the same point of view. He may be a hypocrite in some ways, but then all of us are in some way or the other. What I find especially funny is when people who cared a hoot about any of the things discussed on Satyamev Jayate suddenly take up cudgels against him and act all morally superior. This thing called hypocrisy is not a one-way street, my friend!

    I don’t find it humorous when people target a person’s skin colour, sexuality, gender, religion etc. to make a joke. It might sound humorous to some people, but I find it pretty cheap and whatmore, pretty easy. It doesn’t take that much of effort to make fun of people who are different from you in a group which shares your point of view. You know they will laugh with you anyway. It is also part of an entertainment culture that places novelty on the provocativeness/shock value of the piece. I am not a fan of that culture since it becomes dated the moment its shock value is absorbed. It ceases to be funny the moment everybody finds it banal. AIB has potential, I hope they don’t limit themselves to a particular brand of humour.

  20. Sarita

    Thank you for this much needed alternative view point. What is happening is pure bullying. The group which says “We decide what everybody should laugh at” is as dangerous as the one which says, “We decide what Indian culture is”. Aamir did not like the show and said so. He got enough idea of where it was going with the jokes after listening to two of the show’s participants and watching some videos. As someone who watched the show, I cannot find anything wrong in his reservations about the jokes on sexual orientation and skin colour. Yes, some of it may have been genuinely funny to others and Aamir may have missed out on that/ he may not have found them funny anyway. But then it is his opinion and something worth listening to since the opinions now seem to be pretty divided between ‘this show is so funny. You didn’t find it funny? You are an idiot” and “This one is vulgar and against indian culture”. Isn’t there space for a group who did not find the show that funny and found some of it offensive who do not think though that it should be banned? To be honest, I really thought some of the so-called liberals had come beyond making fun of somebody’s skin colour. If it is supposed to be some meta-joke, then sorry, your joke will be lost on the majority who will exactly take it for what it is. The progress we have made as a nation in this matter is basically just adding a ‘Fair and Handsome’ to’ the ever popular Fair and Lovely’.

    Anyway, what happened instead was basically a personal attack which reached the other extreme where everything Aamir did was dubbed as ‘hypocritical’ just because he said he did not enjoy a show the majority on social media did. I find this kind of intolerance pretty dangerous. Those who enjoyed the show should have pointed out why they did so instead of attacking another for saying he did not like it. Instead, the easy way out seemed to be to paint him as a hypocrite so as to basically nullify all his arguments. He may/may not be a hypocrite, but what he said for me was an important alternative viewpoint.

    Bringing in the comparisons with Delhi Belly seemed quite childish to me. It was a movie based on a particular cross-section of society and this one a show that targetted real people. It is not like he is telling you what you should laugh at and what you should not. So, give him the right to not laugh at things he doesn’t find funny. And talking about hypocrisy? Ain’t it hypocritical to quote Russel Peters who say actors have no brains and just repeat stuff written by other people to castigate Aamir for “looking down upon other artists”? Well, I sure find it funny.

    I know this won’t make sense to rabid fans of the show, but to the others, I hope this at least shows them that Aamir’s criticism of the show should not be dismissed outright. There is something in there to debate. That is the sign of a truly democratic society. To call someone who expresses an unpopular opinion a hypocrite is surely the easiest way to go about it. The more difficult thing would be to try to understand why the person said what he/she said (honestly, after the LGBT episode, I think Aamir has done enough to merit at least a more balanced appraisal) and then respond to it.

  21. sonup

    AIB roast video, directed by Tanmay Bhat &Co, is a smutty video. And far from being embarrassed or apologetic about this, everyone involved wears it like a badge of honour. The sad truth is that ‘AIB roast video’ revels in making you cringe, not laugh. Adult humor tends to work best when some things are left to your imagination. But the makers of this video force-feed the audience images and dialogues and references so discomfiting, the only laughs you’ll hear are nervous chuckles. I’m going with one-and-a-half out of five for ‘AIB roast video’ It’s vulgar, but too silly to qualify as an ‘adult comedy’.

    The above was actually a review of Grand Masti written by Rajeev Masti. I have merely substituted the word Grand Masti with AIB Roast video..and i rest my case.

  22. madakhan

    I too have lost respect for Aamir Khan, but not because of his opinion of the roast. I lost respect for him when he insisted that Gajini wasn’t a copy of Memento.

  23. My 2 B

    If he has watched the Roast, his opinions are all the more ridiculous for it. That. Or it’s just poor vocab.

  24. ruch

    You love Aamir Khan. It’s clear. But let’s also look at what people are criticizing and why. The AIB – an expensive ticketed show for willing consumers and an edited show for online voluntary viewers – was BANNED. There’s an FIR against the makers. Basically, the Govt said that THEY will decide what an adult and willing population of a country (and probably the World of Youtube) is ready to view. And Aamir – a respected voice of reason (sic) with access to mass media chose to say that as an adult, he too finds the material offensive and thus tacitly agreed with the Govt’s position that “see? this is why we need to control what comes out of peoples’ mouths. Even adults need protection.” That is why it’s hypocritical. The same man who endorsed DK Bose and the Balatkar monologue in All is Well hung his ire on offensive language instead of the Govt stance to take control (baby steps) over what media we consume. His apology for previous regressive material doesn’t hold any water because it’s the same regressive material that has given him the platform to hold forth and be taken seriously today. What one needs him to do is represent the shocking lack of freedoms we have anyway (we can’t talk about politicians or make fun of religious quirks or even talk about the very sex life that has given us such a huge population!) instead of adding to the offended brigade.

    1. Calls spade a spade

      Your argument makes perfect sense & I completely agree with it.

  25. ritu

    I think there is a lack of understanding here – no one is questioning Aamir Khan’s previous works as an actor, or the greatness he strives so hard to portray, or any of the other pretentiousness – the POINT of the AIB roast criticism, in public was simply this – you are an actor, a producer, a director, and a star with immense power- you speaking out against your own community, during a trying and testing time for them, when free speech is being mangled, murdered and bloodied everywhere in the WORLD, how is that okay? Ek taraf we light candles and say Je suis Charlie – doosri taraf we encourage bans and censorship and give mandate to the people who are already baying for the comedians blood? How is that being one with your profession? how is that ethical? He has time and again done this- wore his pretentious hat and gone on narmada bachao andolan – without realising that it is coca cola that uses river water in India, meant for farmers, and re packages it and sells it for 20 bucks a bottle – and he did the same here too. And yes- he makes good films- that does not mean he can speak when convenient against those who are trying to do something different than him – voh kare to delhi belly, AIB kare to oohh it was a bit too much – and the discussions are not about whether AiB was funny, not funny, good not good, its about whether we can allow anyone from banning and silencing any creative dialogue? and what do these smaller bans lead upto? We are already facing an unbelievably juvenile and restrictive censor board, can we afford to do more? must Mr. Khan not use his tremendous power to stop censorship from making us into Saudi Arabia and Taliban? something to think about.

  26. WhoCares

    First of all fuc you didnt even write this you just copy pasted it -.- .

  27. saurabh

    It’s really disheartening to see that you have commited the same mistake you accused the opposition has in this debate. Your over zealous tone, unnecessary aggression, lack of cohesion in your thoughts and not to mention misrepresentation of the entire fiasco does not serve well for a supposedly unbiased writer and a professional debater. All the people who did oppose are simply referring to Aamir Khan’s hypocrisy. He used the same argument of free speech when in a national press conference he was asked what does he feel about Amitabh Bachchan’s objection about the obscenity n Delhi Belly.To which in a cunning over confident tone he responded ” Is bare mein toh unhe ye hi keh sakta hoon…. Bhaagbhagdkbosedkbose…”.
    And then went on to give a good morality lecture to the media about how free speech is necessary even if it is provocative.
    I hope you collect your irrational angst, learn to be truly rational and become a successful writer. Best of luck 🙂

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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