Santishree Dhulipudi Pandit, Vice-Chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, while delivering the keynote address at a seminar in Gulbarga University on Thursday put adequate women’s representation as a precondition to the development of any society.
“Ancient Indian civilisation was prosperous because all the important public portfolios were held by women – education or knowledge by Saraswathi, wealth or finance by Lakshmi, and even power by Shakti. We had a great feminist civilisation where all the important responsibilities were given to women,” Ms Pandit said stressing the need for adequate women’s representation in all public spheres.
She was delivering the keynote address at a seminar on nationality and national unity organised at Gulbarga University as part of the 19th conference of the Political Sciences Teachers’ Association.
Pointing to the vast gap between men and women in employment in India, Ms Pandit said that only 23.6% of women graduates, as compared to 71.6% of male graduates, were able to get employed in India and emphasized the need for constructive measures to fill the gap.
She says, “India ranks 135 among a total of 146 in the Global Gender Gap Index. It is even behind Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. Only Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan perform worse than India in South Asia.”
Apart from this, in her brief address, Ms Pandit also raised issues regarding four major issues in our society – language, religion, caste and gender – and presented her views on the ways to address them.
“India had 27 official languages and 600 dialects. Every language is as important as the other one. Do we need a link language for better communication among the speakers of these native languages? The issue came up in the Constituent Assembly and the members were equally divided between Hindi and English. With an extra vote by the president of the Constituent Assembly, Hindi became the language of the Union. In my opinion, every region should become multilingual and its people should be able to speak more languages for better communication,” Ms Pandit said.
In her written speech she further emphasized the need to reformulate and deploy India’s narrative.
“We have a rich legacy but we have been in a state of self-denial due to eurocentric dominance in our academic ecosystem, unlike the Chinese who have been able to promote their grand narrative in the community of international relations. We need to acknowledge and celebrate this cultural continuum as we remain buoyant as a civilisational state despite the various invasions which couldn’t deter our cultural ethos nor obliterate our existence. This calls for creating an ecosystem of scholarship based on the Indic Renaissance,” she noted.
Credit: The Hindu
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- Staff Reporter