Dear Lovely Leadership members,
I hope this post finds you well!
I have been travelling so I had limited access to internet.
Now, I am back home and trying to manage time to know you wonderful members more closley and make this group a dynamic platform for debate and discussion and sharing resourceful oppurtunities/
Today, I want to share this incredible piece of Nandita Das with you.
This is quite inspirational.
I look forward to hear your thoughts on this!!!
Nandita Das has been on our radar for almost two decades now. From a stellar debut inDeepa Mehta'sFirein 1996, she's grown to becomea respected actor, a critically acclaimed director and, most importantly, a brilliant representative for the women of the 21st century.
She has strong opinions on subjects of significance, and she's not afraid to voice them at any given time. Vagabomb spoke to the multi-faceted lady at Delhi Gymkhana Club's 1st Literature and Ideas festival. She started off by sharing a slice of her childhood memories and how it felt growing up as a feminist in a staunchly patriarchal society.
As a student, she was very actively involved in street theatre. "My first real association with the cause was through the medium of theatre. We would go to rural setups and perform street plays and in one of these, I played the role of a victim of dowry. For me these incidents were just news stories and things I read on page 5 of the newspaper but for the people who were watching, it was their life.And that's when I started realizing that I can't be in my bubble of equality. Yes, you keep thinking that this discrimination is a thing that's happening to them. It's only when you grow up that you realize how the patriarchy exists in every little thing around you, there's sexism in every little thing."
She's been called privileged every time she starts talking on the subject. But concurring with what we've said a number of times, she emphasized on how rampant sexism is at every level of society.
She added, "And I know so many women who do that really. When you're serving food, you'll end up taking the crisperrotior the smaller piece of the cake. It's something that we're so deeply conditioned about." Sounds familiar, doesn't it? If you think about it, maybe our mothers have done that too.
Nandita is a mother too, and is often asked the same cliched questions as every other working mom in our culture. She said, "Here I am talking about gender equality, but there are so many times that I've felt guilty as a mother, trying to juggle everything."
Nandita has a young son,Vihaan, and while raising him, she realizes just how deeply-rooted sexism is in every member of our society. She adds, "Including men in the conversation is absolutely essential and I feel that's where we're lacking the most in the women's movement presently.The conversation, teaching our boys, has to start at a very young age, but the problem is that the adults surrounding these kids - teachers, parents everyone - are so deeply conditioned by patriarchy. It's an uphill task, but we have to start somewhere."
The feminist movement is still seeking responsible representatives in the Indian society, and Nandita explains itsnegative imageaccurately.
In the panel discussion, Nandita agreed with the ridiculousness of imposing restrictions on girls in the form of deadlines and dress codes, instead of imposing behavioural restrictions on the men and teaching them the basics of civil conduct. Another myth she burst: that there is nothing like an empowered woman.
At the event, journalists tried to question Nandita on the ongoing JNU debate, but Nandita, as any responsible figure, refused to comment on a subject she wasn't completely aware about. As a person who's been involved in far too many controversies, we completely understood her need for discretion. She told us, "I've been unwell and am not completely updated on the state of events. So I will not comment on it.Some people will take your words and completely twist them and use them out of context.I feel there is no point of criticising just for the sake of criticising. But yes, constructive criticism should be allowed and encouraged."
This is why we'll always support Nandita when senseless protesters attack her views. Because views like these deserved to be heard, shared, and discussed. Here's hoping for more wisdom from this brilliant woman.