Nivedita Menon is an Indian writer and professor who is known for raising slogans against India in March 2016 during the protests in JNU on the Kashmir conflict.
Nivedita Menon was born in 1958 (age 64 years; as of 2022) in Mumbai. She attended the Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi and pursued a Bachelor’s degree. She also holds a Ph.D degree.
Hair Colour: Salt and Pepper
Eye Colour: Black
Parents & Siblings
Nivedita’s brother’s name is Dilip Menon, who is a historian at the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa and her sister’s name is Pramada Menon, who is the former co-founder and director at CREA.
Husband & Children
Nivedita is divorced and has a child.
In 2009, Nivedita joined Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and she started teaching at the International Studies School of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in Delhi. She also taught at the Political Science Department of Delhi University for seven years and Lady Shri Ram College for 15 years before joining JNU.
On 12 March 2016, Saurabh Sharma, a leader of the BJP student wing and joint secretary of the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) filed a complaint against Nivedita claiming that she made ‘anti-national’ remarks during a lecture in JNU on nationalism. In her lecture, she questioned the Indian state in providing human rights excesses in Jammu and Kashmir and Nagaland. The complaint against Nivedita was filed at Vasant Kunj police station in New Delhi. A news channel showed an edited video from her lecture and said that she was trying to manipulate students of JNU. In the video, she said,
Hindu Society is the most violent, to the root violent society in the world.”
In 1994, Nivedita won the A. K. Ramanujan Award for translating from Hindi and Malayalam into English.
- She is also known by the name ‘Nivi’ by many of her students.
- She replaced the beauty contests in Delhi University with the Freshers’ Talent Contest in the university in the 1980s because the beauty contests were criticized a lot at that time.
- In an interview, she stated that she received information about sexuality and politics by reading the work of global feminists like Betty Friednan, Germaine Greer and Gloria Steinem.
- Nivedita has written and edited many books about feminism and politics including Recovering Subversion: Feminist Politics Beyond the Law (2004).
- In 2012, a book was written by her titled ‘Seeing Like a Feminist’ gained a lot of popularity because of the rage against Delhi gang rape.
- Nivedita has written many articles, but one of her articles that gained a lot of acclamation was based on the Uniform civil code (UCC). In the article, she wrote,
The talk of a Uniform Civil Code has nothing to do with gender justice. It has entirely to do with a Hindu nationalist agenda to ‘discipline’ Muslims.”
- In the film ‘The Kashmir Files,’ which was released in 2022, Nivedita’s character was named Radhika Menon, a JNU professor who provokes her student to fight for ‘Kashmir’s freedom and the role was portrayed by actress Pallavi Joshi.
- She is also called a feminist writer because many of her articles are based on feminism and gender equality. Some of them include ‘Is Feminism about Women?,’ ‘Anti-Corruption Movement and the Left,’ ‘The Postnational Condition,’ and ‘Radical Resistance and Political Violence Today.’
- In an interview, she gave her opinion about why girls are blamed for wearing short dresses and getting raped. She said,
The notion of choice is not enough to answer this because such freedom of choice is always exercised within strict boundaries that are non-negotiable — class, race, caste and gender-based. Women do make choices but not in circumstances of their own making. And often, women choose options that go against normative feminist values. Here, we see the contradiction between two core beliefs of feminism — the belief in the autonomy of women versus the hegemony of dominant values that constrain the freedom to choose.”