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Verve People
July 07, 2018

The Women Driving India’s Digital Revolution: Harnidh Kaur

Text by Zaral Shah. Photograph by Joshuva Navalkar

This author and poet encourages women to freely discuss sexual harassment and body image issues

Harnidh Kaur, 23

Driven by her fervent love for India and a desire to right its numerous gender-related social injustices (she calls herself a “raging feminist” in her Twitter bio), Harnidh Kaur is active on various social media platforms and encourages women to freely discuss sexual harassment and body image issues. In addition to being an author and poet, she also runs a food-centric Instagram account.

“I think my online presence is an incredibly authentic depiction of who I am as a person. I’m very honest about my life — the good and the bad. I’m also acutely aware of the intersections at which I exist, as a plus-sized woman from a minority community. It’s very important for me to put my experiences out there because I keep thinking of how isolated I felt when I was younger. Maybe my words will help someone else feel less alone. I do this mostly through writing. It’s massively cathartic for me.”

“I love Instagram. Mostly because I get to interact with so many fabulous young women! Sisterhood and solidarity are in, and Instagram is definitely reaping its richest awards.”

“Feminism is not a pedestal. We are not in a massive race with a definite end goal. It’s a vast change that burrows into the very fabric of the life you lead. It’s a confusing, tiring, and often faltering process. No one is born with the language, social tools and apparatus to become the best feminist they can be. I just make my journey towards learning and growing very public and honest. I make mistakes, massive ones, but I choose to carry on. That’s what matters. All I am is relatable. I take amorphous confusing ideas and break them down.”

“I started writing because I grew up around poetry. It’s a massively subversive form of literature. The grammar rules bend, the rules of syntax break, and the idea that what you see is what you get is trashed. To write poetry is to actively reject the belief that everything has to make sense in the limited scope you’re allowed — there is more, much more that you don’t know and never will. I write about contexts — mine, the world I live in, and how I navigate it. Most of it is deeply personal — and, by virtue of that, deeply political.”

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