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With her spirited pursuit of people’s welfare, Devi Ahilyabai Holkar set the benchmark for ideal rulership.
Devi Ahilyabai was the legendary Holkar queen, who ruled Malwa in the 18th century. Her 30-year reign was marked by spectacular peace, progress and prosperity.
Most notable among her achievements were the renovation of ancient Hindu temples and pilgrim spots as well as extensive provision of civic amenities to the people. She was equally accessible to the dispossessed sections of the society, and addressed their smallest grievances. Ahilyabai was also a patron of all that was good and enriching, both in the cultural as in the commercial spheres of life.
Devi Ahilyabai is remembered today not only for her magnanimity, but also for the impetus she gave to the handloom industry. The Maheshwari sari, which derives its name from Maheshwar, her administrative capital, was made famous by her.
Why we find her inspiring:
– Because she was impeccably fair and level-headed
– Because she was a humane ruler, synonymous with utopian governance
– Because in her progressive outlook, she was way ahead of her times
– Because she believed that it was more important to win hearts rather than kingdoms
A divinely gifted queen
Sari Safari: The Maheshwari Sari
*Photo credit: http://img251.imageshack.us/img251/461/121114ahilyabaiholkar.jpg
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Before expecting the daughter in law to love, respect and accept the new family, it is only fair that the family demonstrates all of these first.
If you are a married Indian woman, one of the first words you hear from your in laws is that you are now a daughter of the house. How true is that statement though? Are daughters in law really treated as daughters or is this only lip service?
A friend recently confided how hurt she felt when she wanted to visit her in-laws along with her husband but was told not to, because the in-laws wanted time alone with their son. Naturally, she was taken aback since she had always been fed this trope – that she was the daughter, not the daughter in law. Why then this sudden keeping at arm’s distance? Would a son in law ever be told not to accompany his wife on her visit to her parents because they wanted quality time with their daughter? That is unimaginable in a patriarchal society.
It is ok to want time alone with the married offspring but how does that meld into the Indian family system, where independent choices are less important than the whole family coming together?
Chhorii starring Nushrratt Bharuccha is another horror movie challenging the patriarchal standards that persist in society!
Adding to the list of horror movies that use the genre to challenge patriarchal standards, Chhorii is a scathing look at the so-called moral standards using which women are judged and turned into ‘witches’.
When does a chhorii (girl) become a chudail (witch)? Like the brilliant Bulbul from last year, Chhorii asks this question poignantly, making us search deep within ourselves for the answer. Bulbul becomes a witch in order to protect the women and girls of her village when she dies after suffering patriarchal torture at the hands of her husband and brother-in-law. Why is the witch in Chhorii a witch?
An amazing Nushrratt Bharuccha stars as Sakshi, a pregnant woman who comes to a remote village with her husband to escape loan sharks. But all is not right there, and Sakshi can sense it. The real horror is the patriarchal nature of their hosts, rather than the supernatural beings. Will Sakshi be able to escape with her and her unborn child’s lives? Watch Chhorii (now streaming on Amazon Prime Video) to find out.
She shook urban India's conscience, if only for a short while, but Bhanwari Devi's fight for justice was a significant landmark in the fight for women's rights.
She shook urban India’s conscience, if only for a short while, but Bhanwari Devi’s fight for justice was a significant landmark in the fight for women’s rights.
Raped for daring to oppose a child marriage in rural Rajasthan, Bhanwari Devi refused to keep quiet in deference to the prevailing notions of “shame.” Her case made headlines precisely because it brought deeply embedded bias out into the open. A judge who refused to believe that an ‘upper caste’ man would rape a woman from a ‘lower caste’ – showed us that the judiciary was hardly the ‘unbiased observer’ that many believed it to be.
Shamefully, the case is not yet over, showing us how hard the fight is in India, for an ordinary woman – even one whose voice galvanised so many people. Nevertheless, it had an impact on many areas including the landmark Vishakha guidelines that lay down rules for dealing with sexual harassment at work.
Ritu Dalmia makes her mark in the food industry with lip-smacking delicacies, jazzy restaurants, intriguing TV shows and fascinating cookbooks.
She got engrossed in her family business at the age of 16, which took her to Italy. It was in Italy where she discovered her love for Italian cuisine and she started to learn the nuances. 6 years later, she launched MezzaLuna, her first restaurant that specialized in a fusion of Mediterranean and Italian cuisine. (more…)