India: Feminist Dialogues tribute to Bina Srinivasan
Bina was instrumental in helping to initiate the Feminist Dialogues process in 2004 prior to the World Social Forum in Mumbai. Through intensive e-mail discussions with the nascent grouping of women who would come together as the FD CG and a grant that Bina helped to secure, the initiative forthe first Feminist Dialogue was born. Bina served as the first coordinator with a planning team from across the world working through internet chats. Those chats were intense! From the mundane to the profound, we juggled translation issues, analytical and political perspectives. Through it all, Bina pushed and prodded and challenged and argued and helped us to move forward.
The FD returned to Porto Alegre, Brazil in 2005, and a regional event was held in Africa in 2006. The process continued with a Feminist Dialogue at the World Social Forum in Nairobi in 2007. Bina was an instrumental player in each step of this process up to Nairobi, often doing the most rallying to keep us all moving.
Central to the Feminist Dialogues has been the inter-linkage of neo-liberalism, militarism and fundamentalisms as forces undermining women's human rights around the world. Bina lived these linkages as she actively struggled for the rights of poor women and against virulent Hindu fundamentalism in Gujarat while contributing to this global dialogue that also made connections to militarism and fundamentalism of the Bush Administration, Israel and elsewhere.
Bina was an active writer—writing articles and reflective pieces, in e-mails and blogs on a range of issues that she cared deeply about. Her recently published book, Negotiating Complexities—A Collection of Feminist Essays (2006), bears witness to this wide range of issues.
Bina's death is a profound loss to her own community in Gujarat, and to the global women's movement and to each of us in the Feminist Dialogues Coordinating Group. We miss her kindness, her quirky humour, her warm enthusiastic openness to people, her intuitive intelligence, her intensity, her impatience, her willingness to take up any challenge and run with it, her fiery belief in the power of feminist transnational organizing – we will always miss her. We are committed to honour her life by taking up the challenge of continuing in her spirit and negotiating complexities as she always urged us to.
The Feminist Dialogues Coordinating Group and Carol Barton
August 25, 2007