Write To Talk

Theme: Changing Faces of Taboo

TEDxIITGuwahati in collaboration with LitSoc - DebSoc presents a unique opportunity to deliver a LIVE TEDx TALK on the 10th of Feb 2019. If you think that your personal anecdotes and views on the theme are worthy of an honourable dias then pour your heart out and prove the might of your pen. Submit any piece of writing - be it a speech, dialogue, article, poem, song, sonet, prose etc that expresses your work, experiences, desires or views on the subject matter that you think the world deserves to know about and we promise to provide you with a stage that helps you propagate your cause. The only requirements are that the write up must span 1500 - 3000 words and be an original work of art. The deadline for submissions is 12 January 2019, so hurry!

Stay tuned for further information!


  • Deadline - 12 January 2019
  • Word Limit - 1500 - 3000 words.
  • Participants may submit the piece of work in any format. For example: article, anecdote, speech, song, poem, sonet, etc. The work must not be fictional.
  • Participants must submit pieces written in English or in Hindi only.
  • The piece of work must be relevant to the theme . Any piece of work deferring from this central theme will not be considered for further rounds.
  • Participants must be a part of the IIT Guwahati community only. Every other entry will be disqualified immediately.
  • The entry must be submitted in form of a PDF file.
  • Every participant is allowed to submit only one peice of work. In case multiple submissions are received, the last submission will be considered as final.
  • Only original entries will be considered for further rounds and if an entry is found to be a plagiarized work, the entry will be immediately disqualified.
  • Every submission will be admitted for further rounds only at the discretion of the organisers of TEDxIITGuwahati.
  • In any matter of conflict, the decision of the organisers of TEDxIITGuwahati will hold the right of final say in the matter.
  • While we promote free speech, any work consisting of hate speech will be disqualified immediately.
  • The individual selected to deliver the talk must be present in person on the day of the talk, that is, on 10th February 2019. Pre-recorded videos, live streaming or substitutions will not be allowed.
To clarify what we mean by Taboo and its interpretation, we have provided here, for your aid, a comprehensive view of taboos.

Taboo is a practice/action/feeling/thought which is prohibited or restricted by social custom. They are products of ancient experiences and are based on an extremely conservative point of view. With the advancement in science and technology and broadening of social mindsets, a rising trend has seen plethora of questions being asked about the very logic of these taboos thereby allowing their gradual dismantling and reshaping into newer practices.

The theme can be interpreted in a myriad ways. Some interpretations of taboos as perceived by different kind of individuals are as follows.

  • An individual choosing to pursue a profession that has been labelled as gender specific, and thus goes against the societal rules. For example, a man choosing beautician as his career or a woman choosing to be sports coach.
  • An individual who is involved in social causes which spread awareness about aspects of human anatomy that are considered a taboo. For example: female menstruation, masturbation, sexual health, contraception, abortion etc.
  • An individual trying to understand the lives of the detested segments of the society and extend help to them. For example, social activists helping transgenders, homosexuals etc. This also includes individuals who pursue their dreams in spite of the fact that they belong to the aforementioned sections of the society.
  • An individual trying to fight for equality on behalf of a certain section of the society - women, untouchables, differently abled etc.
  • An individual trying to preserve and spread their unique culture through various means. Components of remote cultures like dressing and eating habits, rituals and traditions are often considered to be a taboo by the people who are not in direct contact with them.
  • Individuals who fight for the freedom to ‘love who they want’, those who believe love has no conditions or seams. This theme would be a reminder of the stigma surrounding inter-caste and inter-religion marriages in our country.
  • Individuals who are trying to reshape or dismantle any pre existing taboos and fighting for the rights of the victims.
As taboos are passed on across generations, more often than not, they are slightly reshaped. Sometimes they become more stringent, whereas sometimes they loosen up a bit. Moreover, in some scenarios the taboos undergo a drastic change and what emerges is a complete reversal of the whole practice, in terms of the victims of the taboo. With advancement in science and increase in the social sensibilities, the persons who still believe in the practices not backed by a sensible logic, end up being shunned by the society. Hence, sooner or later, the mist clears and “insensibility” turns out to be the biggest taboo of them all.

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