The emergence of feminism in India
On the second of the Arth, the three-day mega cultural festival, saw people from every walk of life come and throw light on the various issues that were discussed on Saturday. The panel discussion on Feminism and Tradition: Compatible or at Odds? saw union minister Smriti Irani, actor Raveena Tandon and Historian Dr. Lavanya Vemsani put forth their views. The panel was moderated by Vikram Sampath.
The panellists discussed how the portrayal of women changed from Vedic era to that of the Manusmriti era. The panellists also discussed why women have been portrayed inferior to men traditionally, citing the example of Karvachauth and Rakhsha Bandhan. They also pondered if feminism was an imported concept and if it is applicable to India.
Union Minister Smriti Irani was quick to add that portrayal of women can be decided from the prism of tradition. She said one can find it to be positive or negative depending on their outlook. Vemsani brought to the notice that the positive portrayal of the women can be witnessed in Manusmriti. She also said that while seeking growth for women it should not be at the cost of men. She also mentioned that the media is not responsible for how the content is received. Bollywood industry was also questioned over the portrayal of women on big screen, and pay gap within the industry as compared to their male counterpart.
Raveena Tandon remarked about how traditions have evolved with time. She said an individual can practice whatever they want and their choices shouldn’t be judged. She also went on to talk about how scenario have changed in Bollywood in matter of work opportunities for women.
The panel was concluded with an active audience questionnaire to the panellists, and questions ranged from women security to representation matters and concluded by a 12 year old kid asking how dowry went on from being a tradition of gifting to a social evil.
Union Minister Smiriti Irani along with Bollywood actor Raveena Tandon along with moderator Vikram Sampath and historian Dr. Lavanya Vemsani