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Lavanya Bahuguna

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Vidya Jain, Principal Maharani College, Tells What Gandhi Had To Say About Women

  • JWB Post
  •  June 17, 2015

I got an opportunity to meet Mrs. Vidya Jain, Principal Maharani College. Since it’s admission time, I dogged to make the most of those 20-something minutes with her.

Sitting in the Principal’s office was made easy when Vidya ordered cool buttermilk for our team. I learnt from Prerna Sahani that Vidya has done a quality research on Mahatama Gandhi that she would love to share with Team JWB. Not very well acquainted with Gandhi and his philosophies, I was thrilled to delve into the topic. So we began talking:

Before we talk about Gandhi, let’s know a little about you.  1

I am a student of Maharani College itself, and when I was elected as its principal, I was overjoyed. I have done M.A & later M.Phil from the university and the topic has always been ‘Gandhi’. I truly consider him as an alternative of improvement.

What kinds of improvements?3

Gandhi focuses on all important aspects that incline human with the Mother Nature and the working process of the Universe. He has written and spoken about environment, how societies should function, violence, women….

Women? I want to know more about this aspect of Gandhi.av-1-4

Gandhi has compared women with the utmost power sources according to Hindu beliefs like Goddesses Kali & Durga.

That’s interesting. What else?av-1-5

He has written that a beautiful woman is not the one with big eyes and long hair, but the one with good character that inspires her husband, family and others.

The new generation needs to work on it! Carry on…av-1-7

Gandhi also informed in his writings that managing a home is not a small task, it is equally challenging as running one’s career. This is something our men need to focus on.

I second you, mam.av-1-15

Gandhi was very much inspired by his wife and mother.

Err…but I have only heard that his relationship with wife wasn’t really good. av-1-10Well, arguments are a part of every relationship. Having said that, I want to share one incident where Gandhi’s wife denies cleaning a toilet. At that, Gandhi got angry and told her that no work is small and we must take delight in every task that comes our way. He even compares toilets with temples and emphasizes to make them as clean as a religious place.

Has he ever spoken about equality?av-1-13Yes. Rather he asks all of us to borrow good qualities from each other, irrespective of the gender. A mother is always worried if the child has eaten or not while most of the fathers ask about things like marks in examinations, etc. Gandhi calls this nature in women as ‘humane’ and not something ‘feminine’. He asks men to adopt this quality.

How do you make sure the girls in the college follow at least some aspects of the Gandhian Movement?av-1-9Self-reliance is one quality we try each girl studying here to adapt.

You are proud of Gandhi, aren’t you?av-1-12

Recently I had visited Turkey and saw a newspaper that published an article on Gandhi talking about women dignity. They are proud, so why shouldn’t we?

What, according to you, people can learn from Gandhi’s teachings?av-1-3He once said: ‘I am here for you and you be there for me’. Let’s all learn to be there for one another to support and spread love. He always taught the concept of ‘करुणा’ (compassion).

Talking to you is like a rendezvous with Gandhi. Thank you so much.2

Thank you for giving me the opportunity. I am glad you are writing about it.

Friends, isn’t Gandhi worth a read? I am definitely going to borrow some of his writings from the library.

Photography by: Nupur Agarwal

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