The Weaker Sex


Among my favorite columnists are Tavleen Singh (IE), Lucy Kellaway (FT), Shekhar Gupta (IE), Veer Sanghvi (HT), John Kay (FT), Arun Shourie (IE), Shobha De (Week). (I have been careful in not mentioning my guru, for it may err on the side of bias). I have greater respect for the intellectual content in all of these writers. But I read the women writers with much greater interest.

Tavleen Singh of Indian Express (New Delhi) writes with enormous fire. She dumps political correctness for some straight talking. Not shying away from what should be apparent and should be told that way. For so many of her male counterparts, it’s regular to seek refuge in words, in order to obscure what is an uneasy truth. Ms Singh has no such pretensions. Nor does she pretend to be a pseudo-secular in a country where the rest of the media & so-called intellectuals are just that. She does not spare cowards & ineffective, either out of fear or for just because they happen to be gentle or honest. The line of thinking is clear.

Lucy Kellaway of Financial Times (London) is not far. While these two ladies write in spheres completely different from each other, their writings have many similar elements. Ms Kellaway ridicules team building exercises revered by the HR departments. She tries to breathe sense into those who labour to understand boss’s jokes as serious humor. Thank god, someone speaks the truth, even if it truth is not always fashionable.

The consistency is even more striking. How week after week, for years these ladies have kept up the onslaught.

Once my guru had remarked: “if there is such thing as a weaker sex, it can’t be women”.

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