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Ten Powerful Women of Santiniketan.

 
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Tonu



Joined: 07 Aug 2008
Posts: 630


Location: Delta, British Columbia, Canada

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 6:52 am    Post subject: Ten Powerful Women of Santiniketan.  Reply with quote

Ten powerful women of Santiniketan

(Produced by : Tan-Chatterjee foundation)


Introduction:
Rabindranath, a forerunner of social change, particularly with regard to the status of women in India, made Viswa Bharati a centre for experimentation of his progressive ideas. Under his influence, many many women have distinguished themselves as “true feminists” believing in the principle that women should have political, economic and social rights and privileges equal to those of men. Due to lack of resources, only ten women have been selected  for analysis in this book.

Others may be aded at a future date.

The term powerful is used here to denote the strength of character possessed by all these women in that they all exhibit attributes such as determination, tenacity, and adherence to the ideals of the interconnectedness of all beings.

Much of the success of Ashram’s aspirations to create the ideal community, may well be ascribed to women such as these and many others.

Despite different personalities, temperaments and life experiences of each individual, there is little doubt that Rabindranath remained the major source of empowerment and inspiration for each one of them.

A biographical sketch of each woman is explored and authored by individuals whoa re well versed in her life and social activities.

Especially emphasized are family background and place of origin; how and why they came to Santiniketan; their day to day interaction with fellow Ashramite and Ashram values; interesting anecdotes and finally why the author thinks his or her “subjecct” is dynamik and powerful.

These narratives not only create human interest but point to the direction that Viswa Bharati was taking under the leadership of Rabindranath in shaping a new India.

The ten ten individual selected are :

  1. Indira Devi Choudhurani (Author - Tirthankar & Mandakranta)
  2. Amita Sen (Author ?)
  3. Kana Dutta (Author - Anjana Sen?)
  4. Sagarika Roy, Mrs Dhira Roy (Author - Supriya Roy - Nini)
  5. Mahasweta Devi (Author - Uday Narayan Singh)
  6. Uma Roy (Authors Soumen Bandopadhyay)
  7. Sujata Mitra (Author - Santanu Mitra)
  8. Sanjida Khatun (Author ?)
  9. Wen Dasgupta (Author - Tan Lee, Tan Cheng, Tan Ajit, Tan Chameli)
  10. Shyamali Khastgir (Author ?)


We plan to bring out a new edition to include the younger generation, and more women, such as :
a: Mistuni Bevins
b: Sharmila Roy Pommot
c: Piyali Palit
d: Pramita Mallick
e: Bodhirupa Ganguli

We invite more suggestions and authors/ biographers for subsequent volumes.

----------- Leena Chatterjee ----------------


Last edited by Tonu on Fri Nov 30, 2012 7:05 am; edited 3 times in total
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Tonu



Joined: 07 Aug 2008
Posts: 630


Location: Delta, British Columbia, Canada

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 6:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

From : Shivaditya Sen

missing Malati Chowdhury who was 'The' inspiration to Shyamali di in many ways. . And of course Gauri Bhanja. Abanindranath adviced his disciple Nandalal to take special care of Gauri, for in his words " She has touched fire" .

I would like to see Sumitra Benegal, Supriya di, Kshama Ghosh in the list. Shubhra di's contribution towards reorientation of Ananda Pathshala at paradigm level can not be missed. I know I am also subjective!


Last edited by Tonu on Fri Nov 30, 2012 6:54 am; edited 1 time in total
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Tonu



Joined: 07 Aug 2008
Posts: 630


Location: Delta, British Columbia, Canada

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 6:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

From : Sharmila Roy Pommot

Wonderful intiative! congratulations!

However i am surprised by the absence of names of the following persons.

Gauri Bhanja
Jamuna Sen
Latika Roy
Rani Chanda
Kanika Bandopadhya
Nilima Sen

I feel also that a chapter can be added on 'nepothyer anupreronadayini',the discreet presence of these ladies,the spirit of sacrifice  and their dedications to the mode of living of the Asram.
They are
sarbasree
Thaandi.(mme kshiti mohan sen)
Monoroma Ghosh
Sudhira bauthaan
Amita Thakur
Khoma Ghosh
Bina Dey
Latikamasi's mother.
Ila Ghosh
Sarala Kisku
Purnima Thakur
Nutudi,Roma.
Arati Basu

among others.
Among the so-called younger generations i shall suggest
Subhra Thakur
Alpona Roy

Warm regards and love,
Sharmila,Tuku.di.
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Tonu



Joined: 07 Aug 2008
Posts: 630


Location: Delta, British Columbia, Canada

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 6:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

From : Tonu

I shall pass your comments to Leena Chatterjee.

The underlying theme of the publication, I think, covers what Leena Chatterjee writes on the first sentence of her “Introduction” - of Rabindranath being a forerunner of social change in India. And she focuses on women’s empowerment, a crying need of the time, an issue that Rabindranath not only supported morally, but encouraged in practice within the overall scheme of nurturing a living breathing community in and around Santiniketan, that would set an example for a future India.

Incidentally, Leena di seems to believe that ten is a good number per volume and might be hesitant about having more persons in a single volume, preferring to have more volumes and the “powerful” women spread across them. I understand that Tan Lee da wished the first volume to have 12 or 15, but Leena di feels different.

Also, she appears to be more focussed on the “true feminists” that imbibed Tagore’s vision of equality among the sexes and empowerment of women, rather than women who did important work for the Ashram. Its about women that broke the glass ceiling and rose above the conventional bubble allowed to women in the then Indian society, and who could venture out and occupy equal and overlapping space with men in the wider world. Rabindranath had written enough on it, and Leena di believes there are women from Santiniketan of the time that actually make good examples of this true feminism.

To quote Leena di -
Quote:
many women have distinguished themselves as “true feminists” believing in the principle that women should have political, economic and social rights and privileges equal to those of men.


Further, from her own words -
Quote:
strength of character possessed by all these women in that they all exhibit attributes such as determination, tenacity, and adherence to the ideals of the interconnectedness of all beings.


By interconnectedness of all beings I think she means that women are not only connected, but also truly equal but not in a confrontational way, and that this was a vision promoted by Rabindranath, towards an ideal and modern Indian society that would be equitable and offer equal space for women of the likes of “Chitrangada”.

Her effort, in a sense, might be to have a series of publications on these pathbreaking new age Chitrangadas, as modern day feminists that sort of metamorphosed into real life out of pages of Tagore’s own writings. This is the impression I got from her words.

Believe she herself is a “true feminist” in that sense, and a strong follower of the concept of “true feminism” that was explained in greater depth and fuller light by Rabindranath than either Gandhi or Karl Marx (two more pathfinders Leena di is an admirer of), and her project appears to be on that plane. I have not discussed this with her though, so I could be wrong. Perhaps you all will talk this out with Tan Lee da, or send further proposals to Leena di, which I shall pass on to her.

Anyhow, its not just listing of the women, but also, finding a biographer who can write up their story in ten or fifteen page articles, and show how these women qualify. So the search is also about biographers.

Tan Lee da is going to Santiniketan. Perhaps a better prepared list can be handed over to him, or discussed with him, including the names of the authors, or the biography itself, if already prepared.

Perhaps you all can think a bit about it.

Meanwhile, I shall pass this to Leena Chatterjee.

Take care and best wishes
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Tonu



Joined: 07 Aug 2008
Posts: 630


Location: Delta, British Columbia, Canada

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 6:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

From Leena Chatterjee

I love the suggestions and thank you all. Please keep them coming and find biographers.

If you believe you know of a deserving individual, and know of a knowledgable person who can write up a biography on her, explaining how she deserves to be mentioned in the list, then I would request you to get this write up done and passed either to Tan Lee physically when he is in Santiniketan, or passed to Tonu, by email.

I shall be honored to look at each biography and edit them as needed to sort out the volumes.

Thanking you
Leena Chatterjee

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