In her book New Feminisms in South Asian Social Media, Film, and Literature (2017 written with Sonora Jha), Professor Alka Kurian listed recent feminist actions, which she sees as a “radically new kind of feminist politics” inspired by the concept of rights and the tactics of youth-led protests since the Arab Spring of 2011. Mainstream feminism hadn’t focused on sexual harassment (called Eve-teasing), but rather child marriage, abortion of girls, and dowry violence (such as brides burned to death in supposedly accidental kitchen fires). Kurian traces the contemporary willingness to address this issue to the arrival of Western media and increase in the number of independent women professionals during economic liberalization in the 1990s and the resulting backlash from conservatives–including increase in violence against women. Like other recent social movements, there’s emphasis on intersectional issues including caste (rights for Dalits) and religion (equality for Muslims). Kurian sees the concern for the rights of minorities as the Fourth Wave of Indian feminism. She gives examples of recent campaigns that generate increasing support:
2003: Blank Noise Project against Eve-teasing
2009: Pink Chaddi (panties) movement
2011: Why Loiter Project on women’s right to public spaces
2012: The gang rape of Delhi student incited huge protests and new legislation with harsher punishment of rapists.
2015: Pinjra Tod (Break the Cage) movement against curfews for women in student dorms
2017: Bekhauf Azadi (Freedom Without Fear) March
2017: #MeToo led by younger actresses about Bollywood abuse.