From the power of one to the power of many-Nek Chand’s Rock Garden in Chandigarh

The world is full of woe. Yet every so often I come across a person who shows that the human spirit is indomitable … I first heard about the Rock Garden of Chandigarh around 2011 when I inadvertently switched on to the ABC and found it was telecasting a BBC program Around the World inContinue reading “From the power of one to the power of many-Nek Chand’s Rock Garden in Chandigarh”

Women and the bhakti movement in India

The Bhakti Movement has been a most important social movement in India. Bhakti means devotion and surrender. It originated in South India in the 7th century. The movement brought religion and spirituality to many marginalized groups, particularly women whose religious expression was restricted in many ways. The women, or Bhaktins,  challenged the established social order throughContinue reading “Women and the bhakti movement in India”

A 100 years of herstories from the sub-continent: Indian Women 1918-2018

As a historian and sociologist, I am continually fascinated by the tangled tapestry of Indians fighting on different, often contradictory fronts, in the last 100 years. In the period till 1947, many Indians fought with the British in World War 1, even more fought against them for independence. Some like Mahatma Gandhi supported the BritishContinue reading “A 100 years of herstories from the sub-continent: Indian Women 1918-2018”

When it’s not safe anywhere: the long shadow of COVID-19

It is ironical that May events in­clude both Mother’s Day and Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month. Mother’s Day is not a happy one for the women who cannot take action to leave an abusive partner for fear of retribution targeting their children. The poignancy of this situation was even greater this year with theContinue reading “When it’s not safe anywhere: the long shadow of COVID-19”

Matruvat Paradareshu–All women are my mother

 What Mother’s Day means to me I subscribe to Vedic culture’s definition of ‘Mother’ as a title applicable not just to some­one who has borne a biologi­cal child but to females in general. Mother can be a child, adolescent girl or adult woman who teaches us the best ways to link to humanity, other livingContinue reading “Matruvat Paradareshu–All women are my mother”

Living History:Indian Women and Folk Music

As in many cultures, which have a significant oral and aural bias, Indian music is more than just entertainment.  Folk songs represent the oldest, richest and liveliest traditions of poetry in India and introduce to the modern urban reader the hundreds of non-literate women poets of the country. In some parts of the country, thereContinue reading “Living History:Indian Women and Folk Music”