Monday, March 09, 2015

A Unique Art Exhibition Spins Thoughts

A unique art exhibition in Ahmedabad raised a question in my mind:
Why is Tyaag /Sacrifice the leitmotif / prateek of Womanhood?

The week long Mirror of Art exhibition at the Ahmedabad ni Gufa showed off the end result of interactions between hand picked artists of Ahmedabad with young children from schools and from institutions handling special children.
The children who spoke to the artists overwhelmingly pointed to their Mothers as their inspiration.  Some opted for sisters, grandmothers or a teacher or two, but the over whelming choice was Ma.

The exhibition portrayed those children’s heroes –rather heroines in a myriad ways.  There were some exceptions of course,  Shweta Parikh’s portrayal of an older sister guiding her brother out of the dark morass of their live into more light;  Roma Patel’s teacher; a portrait of a tribal woman with twinkling eyes, imprisoned – if it canbe called that—in her own  wind blown hair; the bright eyed girls who inspired several artists, well known and then, not so well known but now well known from this exhibition.

The overwhelming numbers of MA paintings raised a needling question:       Why is Tyaag /Sacrifice the leitmotif / prateek of Womanhood?

Women are worshipped as MA, but as likely to be sacrificed at the fiery altars of dowry and male ego.  How many of the most virulent misogynists are those who bow before Ma in the temples and then go home to vent their inferiority by thrashing the ma at home?

Can PA s not attain that ‘sacrificer’ label as well?
Women who work, at home or outside, spend most of their earning on the children and the home. In millions of homes, a percentage of the man’s income, especially lower down the social scale, is set aside for his daru-paan-bidi.  Can those possible be given up to earn the “Sacrifice” label?
In the old days, it was the fathers who taught their children.  Why have they resigned from homework duty today?  Then women were rarely educated. Today they are, plus manage home and many other things. Were the fathers to at least guide their children in their studies, their esteem would definitely rise in the children’s eyes.
Was it always like this? Ancient records do no depict it thus. 
It was not there in the days of Chanakya.  Nor under the Mughals, although yes, laaj  probably came into being after the Muslims brought their purdah system with them.  
All these restrictions on women came in after the British took over India under Queen Victoria and her Victorian philosophies and her topi-brown chaddi wallas. 
Doesn’t it look like our Hindu ayatollahs are seeking inspiration from both the ISIS and the brown chaddi and topi wallas?    Instead of a ban on rape, we have a ban on those who speak about it after it has happened!!
What Next?   A Happy Rape Day? 

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