Sunday 16 March 2014

Article - Enabling women through education (an artiste’s perspective) - Dr. Padmaja Suresh

Educate a woman and thereby educate a nation is a popular saying. Bhaarata, our nation is known to have been led by several women who had deep-rooted knowledge of many subjects and could openly debate with men. The education which a woman possessed was most useful in grooming herself and molding the children from within the family system which was itself a replica of a world class university. Art, culture, skills, values were all part and parcel of the process and means of acquiring knowledge with the larger end of spiritual goals.
Education enabled one to pursue the four goals, the Purusharthas with due regard to the Ashramas or stages of life. Women were not expected to earn a living and their knowledge reflected on their position as the backbone of every society to balance a peaceful co-existence. Our legends often quote some occasion or the other where even the deified lord turned to his spouse for advice at crucial moments. Stree Shakti is the energy that enables every movement, action and knowledge and this principle is portrayed as ‘the one who rides a tiger.’ Devi, called by various names, is the combined power of G-O-D as the generative, operative and destructive force. Every religion has similar representations. In yogic philosophy, SHE stands for fire and in fact, it was far easier for a woman to achieve the highest spiritual goals than man and hence, she was discreetly kept away by the men from many practices in order to reserve her attention on the family.

Arts, be it fine arts or performing arts, encompasses a whole stream of visual and spatial geometry, beauty and harmony. While the term ‘modern’ may permit loud expression, the term ‘classical’ characterizes subtlety. Either static or movement-based, they always provide scope for imagination and creativity and suggest an enhanced connectivity with the viewers. 

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