The Dharma

A Short Poll !

As many of you guys know or might not know, The Dharma was created for my 11th grade IB Project. As the project is coming to an end, it is finally time for YOU to evaluate the outcome of my work during the past six months. Here is a google form with few questions so I could get a general idea of what you guys think!

Here is the link to my poll, please make sure you click “submit” for your response to be recorded!

As for the future of my blog, many of your responses will determinate what I will be doing next on The Dharma , whether it’s the end or the start of something new. In the meantime, until the definite end of my project, I will try my best to upload as frequently as I can.

I have thoroughly loved this new writing journey, although I still have a lot of improvement to make and I am far from being a great writer, I enjoyed every step of the creating process as well as writing these posts for you every week!

Before wrapping it up, I would like to first of all thank my supervisor for supporting me and helping me throughout this whole venture despite the fact my project was in English (as I attend a French school ) , all the South Asian tumblr blogs who allowed me to reuse their edits, my friends for encouraging me and giving me feedback and finally, I would like to thank each one of you guys who thought I was worthy enough of your time to click on my blog, read my posts, be patient with my mistakes and take the time to leave comments. I really appreciate it and it was extremely encouraging for me as a new writer!

Until the next time, thank you so so so much for reading my posts, I hope you enjoyed my blog and hopefully will comeback for more.

O Kadhal Kanmani, Tamil, 2015. Image Credit ;

The True Colors of Colorism in South Asia

In recent times, a lot of us have seen one, two or maybe even tons of post addressing colorism. I am definitely not the first person to write about this issue nor will I be the last one, however I thought it was important to have at least one post discussing the matter on my blog. I’d like to recall some facts and reflect upon the roots of colorism. How deeply engrained is colorism in our community? How did we get exposed to this idea of associating fairness with beauty ? How is colorism extremely gender-based ?

To begin, for anyone who has never experienced or acknowledged colorism, colorism is a prejudice towards people with a darker complexion within a same ethnical or racial group. Within South Asia, colorism wasn’t widely present as we know it today, in fact it was only recent times that this problem took place unlike other issues such as caste system which appeared back in Ancient India ( read more about caste system here). In a study led by Neha Mishra on the global perspectives of colorism, she highlights that Ancient India was a society that accepted the physical differences of each part of India. In fact, many hindu goddess and gods were described black in skin tone and extremely beautiful such as Kali, goddess of power, strength and destructor of evil spirits. In ancient texts, there was no mention of color in order to discriminate, dark skin wasn’t attached to a stigma and was embraced. However, as per any problem in this community, colonialism had its fair share in the implement of this “beauty standard”. Continue reading “The True Colors of Colorism in South Asia”

5 Movies With Inspiring Women Characters In Indian Cinema

In the last couple of years, we have seen a growing trend of women-centric movies across various cinema industries in India. Although misogyny in Indian Cinema has yet to disappear or even tone down, as you might have acknowledged while reading my blog post last week ( if you haven’t, you can click here ),  it is extremely comforting and empowering to see women take on new projects that women in the audience can identify with and look up to. Therefore, here are some of my favourite women characters throughout the years whether they are from women-centric movies or not.

1. Sweety from Size Zero/Inji Iduppazhagi , Telugu/Tamil, 2015 portrayed by Anushka Shetty.


Size Zero/ Inji Iduppazhagi, Telugu/Tamil,2015. Image Credit ;

Definitely an obvious favourite of mines for many reasons, I think this was a well-needed character. Sweety is a happy, optimistic and relatable character in every way possible. Although she lost her father at a tender age, he gave her a big legacy : his fun-loving personality and positive outlook on life. Sweety promotes self-love, determination and perseverance for her cause in this movie that deals with weight loss programs and body image for women. A movie that left me content and satisfied when I left the seat.

Watch the trailer here in Telugu and here in Tamil. Watch the movie here in Tamil.

Continue reading “5 Movies With Inspiring Women Characters In Indian Cinema”

Butchering Women On-Screen : A Trend That Feeds Box-Offices

Recently, South Indian Star Tamannaah Bhatia came out with a statement on twitter condemning the remarks of the director of her most recent release, Kaththi Sandai , a Tamil action-comedy-romance mixed film. Director Suraj has said in an interview that low-class film audience like him, especially men, pay to see women dressed in a revealing manner, in skimpy dresses and short skirts. According to him , boys should enjoy the movie , therefore actresses should wear less. He went as far as to say that actresses that make it to the top are the ones who show more , he even suggest actresses that wanna act to do a movie solely for that elsewhere. His movies are for entertainment. His statement is not only extremely regressive, it defines actresses in a derogatory way and also objectifies women in this already misogynist society. Top heroines like Nayanthara and Tamannaah, who are currently working on women centric movies, slammed the director and asked him for an immediate apology towards all woman in the industry. This is definitely a low for woman’s place in the industry and the image of woman on-screen, however, unfortunately, it’s not a low we haven’t seen before.

Directors like Suraj are the ones who perpetrate the portrayal of women in a very low angle and the presence of incredibly sexist jokes on-screen even in 2017. The number of movies that either demeans women, blames them or compromises their safety are insane. None of the directors have been held accountable for such productions. Let’s just take a look back at few movies from the last decade , shall we?

Continue reading “Butchering Women On-Screen : A Trend That Feeds Box-Offices”

My Top 10 Movie Picks of 2016

As we said goodbye to 2016 last week and enter this new year , I would like to look back at few of my favourite movies from 2016. We had some great hits and also some pretty terrible misses, nevertheless here are the films I suggest you watch before you hop on to the very awaited list of movies that are to release in 2017. Note that the following movies are in no particular order.

1.  Kadhalum Kadandhu Pogum, Tamil.


Kadhalum Kadandhu Pogum, Tamil , 2016. Image Credit ;

Kadhalum Kadandhu Pogum is a Tamil romantic comedy-drama starring Vijay Sethupathi and Madonna Sebastian,  directed by Nalan Kumarasamy. The plot revolves around two jobless adults who live in the same colony and become each other’s support despite their contrasting personalities. A refreshing and definitely feel good movie.

Watch the trailer here and the movie here.

Continue reading “My Top 10 Movie Picks of 2016”

A Never-Ending Social Disease

First, we feel disgusted. Then, we feel ashamed. At last, we stop talking about it. This is how the majority of the issues and taboos within the South Asian community have been tackled down. Caste system is among those taboos that have been all of a sudden shut down and forgotten about. Whenever the topic is addressed, we are told that such thing doesn’t exist no more, in the Occidental World, and we should not bring it up neither. Think about it … is it truly because caste systems don’t exist anymore in the West or is it because we are ashamed to talk about the presence of it explicitly? We try masking the existence of such practice but doing that would also mean erasing centuries worth of our history, of the way our society was organized, the way each of our actions were orchestrated and basically ignoring the fact that we owe apology to those people we call “lower-caste”.

Still up to this day, many people in our natives lands struggle to have basic rights on a day-to-day basis because of how deeply rooted the caste system is. The only time you might’ve heard of caste systems are in movies or tv serials. Although they accurately show how marriages can be interrupted if they aren’t inter-castes, they forgot to address the inaccessibility of basic human rights those people face every goddamn day. Let’s take the story of a PhD student named Rohith Chakravarthi Vemula who got suspended from classes for three months, expelled from campus residency, forbidden to eat at the campus cafeteria, enter other campus buildings and vote in the student elections along with four of his friends. They were falsely charged for attacking a student from a right-wing student body. One fact that is really interesting is that him and his four friends were Dalits, a self-proclaimed name by “lower-castes” in India. Continue reading “A Never-Ending Social Disease”

Iru Mugan : A Movie You Will Fall In LOVE With

Review of the 2016 Tamil Action movie, Iru Mugan by Anand Shankar, starring Chiyaan Vikram, Nayanthara and Nithya Menen

Image Credit ;

Personally, I’ve never been a great fan of Vikram, his movies just never compelled me,   however, Iru Mugan is definitely a treat wether you are a Vikram fan or not. Vikram, Nayanthara and Nithya Menen have joined hands with director Anand Shankar to give us a thrill packed blockbuster and one of the most high grossing Tamil movie of 2016 and this , for all the right reasons.

The story starts in Malaysia, when an old man suddenly attacks the guards at the Indian embassy. When we figure out the reason why the old man behaved such way, we are introduced to a drug called “Speed” that gives you the power to be extremely powerful for one single minute. Continue reading “Iru Mugan : A Movie You Will Fall In LOVE With”

Remo : There Can’t Be More Basic Than This …

Review of Remo , the 2016 Tamil rom-com by Bakkiyaraj Kannan, starring Sivakartikeyan and Keerthi Suresh

Image Credit ; 

If you are going to sit down expecting a logical and coherent storyline, with depth in characters and a valourizing image of women, well don’t. However, if you are going to sit down expecting for an insane cinematography, a bomb soundtrack and a lighthearted entertainment, well you are just about fine to hop on the ride.

Remo is the story of a character named SK who is an aspiring actor in vain. One day, he randomly sees Kavya, a doctor, on the road and is convinced that she is the one made for him and if he gets her into his life, success will come to him in every aspect of his life. Continue reading “Remo : There Can’t Be More Basic Than This …”

The Pre-Paid Killings of South Asia’s Daughters

“Parents still prefer having a boy rather than a girl.” says a respondent to the online survey I’ve put up two months ago. Some may agree and others disagree in this Western world we live in, but in India, it’s a proven fact. In the early 2000’s, the country’s sex ratio has fallen to 927 girls for 1000 boys. Sex selective abortion has become an underground business that has been grossing more than 224 million US dollars in India with doctors going against the law to perform these sex selective abortions. Others who can’t afford sex determination tests, usually give birth and then get rid of the child if she’s a girl. This unethical selective process is expected to have an impact on the amount of human trafficking, sexual violence, child marriages and maternal deaths due to early marriage in the next upcoming years according to experts. There’s no need to mention that this is just an addition to the unusually usual high crime rate against women in India, a country where a big majority worship women goddess. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past several years or had never had the opportunity to sit down and watch one of those soap opera dramas your mum watches on Sun TV or its sister channels in the other languages such as Gemini TV or Surya TV, you are probably not asking yourself why this atrocity is so common. Nevertheless, if you are asking yourself, our groom buying traditions are one the main roots of this issue. Yes, I am talking about this toxic dowry tradition.

Continue reading “The Pre-Paid Killings of South Asia’s Daughters”

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