Grace and glory

In Indian mythology, the female energy is depicted as Shakti — the embodiment of strength against injustice combined with beauty, love and compassion. Shakti is also represented in the trinity of Durga, goddess of valour and vitality, Lakshmi, goddess of wealth and well-being, and Saraswati, goddess of knowledge and art.

Women just need a reminder that all these Goddesses are holding such important portfolios (Defence, Wealth and Education) and that they better start claiming their own portfolios too. Women must be proactive. ‘‘Somebody else has to empower us’’ is itself a sign of weakness. Women are innately powerful and they only need to realise it.

Every woman has within her the right blend of strength with grace, courage with compassion, affluence with values, and wisdom with vision. In her lies the seed for a profound social transformation. In many facets of life the world over, the modern woman has epitomised this ideal of Shakti, using her innate strength to create a more humane and just social order.

In public life, many women have worked to highlight issues that increase global peace, social welfare and international equity. In economic life, they have worked to make corporations more socially responsible and communities stronger. In literature, they have found new voices to raise social consciousness. Women always make an impact wherever they go. They can shape societies and countries.

It is women who can inculcate values in the many people around them. I see women as a source of introducing values into children, the family and society. She is the glue who can keep everyone in the family intact. To keep them together, a woman brings celebration into the home. If the woman of the house is depressed, there can be no celebration. Neither can there be celebration where womenfolk are not participating. Women should be more celebratory, watch over and keep their family and society together. In fact, that is their responsibility.

The real strength of a woman is her emotion when she channelises it in the correct way. Women’s freedom and empowerment should not take away from their motherhood and their maternal or feminine qualities. The fine female qualities like softness, gentleness, compassion, nurturing instincts should not be lost while becoming powerful.

So, women have a challenge to maintain two aspects of their empowerment — being in a certain amount of dominance and retaining the submissiveness, which is a woman’s beauty. It is indeed a challenge to bring about a balance between feminism and dominance in any field.

A truly empowered woman is one who is confident, creative and one who brings people together rather than create disharmony. Only her own sense of insecurity and her lack of confidence in herself can prevent a woman from being truly empowered.

I want the women of India to bring back the glory to the country, the culture and its civilisation. Our whole civilisation is based on the woman-force — Sthree Shakti. That’s why we call India ‘Bharat Matha’. We never say ‘Bharat Pitha’. Our country is named and personified as a woman. Though ‘Bharat’ is a male name, we associate it with the mother/woman.

  • Strength of a woman is persuasive not aggressive.
  • Strength of a woman is elastic not brittle.
  • Strength of a woman is subtle not obvious