Saturday, 18 June 2016

Feminism - Kodanayaki

Yes, this is my feminism. Not the right to miniskirts or otherwise. And this is the feminism of my village women. And of my country.
Kodhainayaki's story is an inspiration for everyone.Women Rights and Empowerment is not just about Right to wear minis or to imitate men. It is something beyond; spreading knowledge,educating them,awakening the hidden potential ...What we witness today is mindless outrage, five star activism and right to imitate men. Real empowerment comes when women folk stand up to men to take their own decisions. In caste based reservation, the benefit is yet to reach the lowest level. The fruits are enjoyed by creamy layer. Same with women empowerment and feminism.
Kodhaynayaki was an orthodox madisar (nine yards saree) clad Iyengar woman married at the age of five. She was an illiterate who never attended school.Yet wrote an incredible 115 books, including a detective novel in Tamil. Single-handedly she edited and published a monthly Tamil magazine, Jaganmohini for 35 years. Read her story..It would give you goose bumps!

"An orthodox madisar (nine yards saree) clad Iyengar woman was married at the age of five. Even though Kotai could not read or write, she often used to sing verses from Thiruvaimozhi at home. This helped her to a great extent to become proficient in Tamil Language, which became the seed for her future career as a playwright.She never went to school and yet wrote an incredible 115 books, including a detective novel in Tamil. Single-handedly she edited and published a monthly Tamil magazine, Jaganmohini for 35 years.

An ardent patriot and Gandhian she even went to prison in 1932 during the Indian Freedom Movement. A pioneer feminist, she was also a Carnatic music composer and performer.A native of Triplicane, she took part and played a notable role in almost every sphere of social activity of those turbulent times and dynamic decades.She also ran a school in Triplicane exclusively for women where she taught among other subjects, music, tailoring, handicrafts, embroidery, English and Hindi. In her 115 novels, she dealt with socially relevant issues of the day like the dowry menace, ill-treatment of women, women's education, ills of the Devadasi system, untouchability and many more.In one article she strongly advocated the teaching of classical dance (Bharathanatyam) as part of the school curriculum. That was the period when the dance was treated as `pagan and vulgar'. She composed music too and created new ragas like Hamsapramari and Dharadhari. She exhorted women to come out of their kitchens and fight for the freedom of the Motherland and also the emancipation of women.
She met Mahatma Gandhi and Kasturbai in 1925. This meeting produced a great impact in the mind of Kothai. Impressed by the simplicity of the Mahatma, and his powerful oration, Kodai renounced her interest in luxurious living and started wearing only Khadhi Sarees, discarding silk dresses and gold and diamond jewellery.Kothainayaki was good in midwifery. She used to help needy women irrespective of caste or creed, free of cost in attending to their deliveries.Kothai was a member of Film Censor Board for 10 years. It is said that she used to go to Cinema Halls, incognito, to check whether the scenes censored by the Censor Board were reintroduced on the sly and were being screened. And in one such incident, she directed that the offending film be sent to the Censor Board for fresh certification"

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