The word ‘revolution’ typically suggests a powerful and sudden shift in power – for some individuals, especially women, a revolution may be brought about in the many little actions she performs to defy the unequal and unsafe world she lives in.
While the Hindi word ‘krantikari’ refers to a revolutionary, there exists a somewhat nuanced version of it – ‘Krantinari’, that combines ‘revolution’ (kranti) with ‘woman’ (nari). Some may argue for its inefficaciousness, but illustrator Lakhi Soni creatively puts across the word’s immense beauty.
Her three-part illustration portrays a woman in all her might, ready to fight whatever society may throw at her. Each of the illustrations suggests a quality that Lakhi associates with each ‘Krantinari’.
“The one with the chains is quite simply about getting work done,” she says. Elucidating on the one that uses fire, she says, “This image is Agni (fire), which is the energy I want to take from 2020 into this new year for all the Krantinaris, to stoke their inner flame.” Finally, her last illustration is all about love for others, as well as yourself.
It is easy to believe that revolutions are rare or occasional, at best. What Lakhi’s ‘Krantinari’ succeeds at explaining is that for women, revolutions take place ever so often -– in ways that many might find hard to accept. Simply living – and living safely and freely – consists of having to establish and assert power – just what a ‘Krantinari’ stands for.
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