Some Impressions on Darpan by Dr. Raghunath Mashelkar

dr-raghunath-mashelkar‘Darpan –  Stories of Indian Woman in Transition’ is truly absorbing. Indeed, I found this work eminently readable and insightful.’

In the book, there is a wide diversity of characters of Indian Women that are portrayed by the author Sesh Damerla. They range from poor to the neo-rich, from those that are suppressed and victimized to those that triumph over the adversity showing exceptional courage and character, and also from that merely survive to those that have the urge to succeed. And who do succeed. These characters, be it Amita, Milli, Chandra, Meena, Kusum… all of them come alive because of the interesting ‘story telling’ style of Sesh Damerla.

Bharat Ratna Maharshi Dhonda Keshav Karve had made a profound statement ‘Sanskrita Stree Prashakti ‘. Meaning that an enlightened woman is a source of infinite strength. An enlightened and educated woman can achieve ultimate empowerment.

I was the President of India Science Congress in the year 2000. In my Presidential speech in Pune I had proposed a ‘New Panchsheel for New Millennium’. It was all about just five points; Child Centered Education, Woman Centered Society, Human Centered Development, Knowledge Centered Society and Innovation Centered India.

I quote from the points that I had made about creating a woman centered Indian society. Human Development Report 1992 had said, “No County treats its woman as well as its men”. Can the Indian of the next millennium afford to stand on only one of its legs? A woman has to be allowed the full expression of her potential and she has to be empowered to become a dynamic partner in the building of the new India of our dreams.

As Nobel Laureate Aung San Kay had said, “In societies, where men are truly confident of their own worth. Women are not nearly tolerated, but valued”. It is this change of value system. That will lead to the eventual empowerment of woman. In this change of value system, that will lead to the eventual empowerment of woman. In this context, the book beautifully brings out the challenge of empowerment of an Indian woman and what is could mean for our society, and indeed for our nation.

Anais Nin had said, “How wrong is it a woman to expect the man to build the world she wants, rather than to create it herself?”  As Sesh Damerla points out my stories attempt to reflect a majority of woman for whom transition has been an upward movement from total dependence on a man to survival and further on to empowerment,  be it total or partial.’ And she is absolutely right here.

I am sure the readers will find this collection of stories of an ‘Indian woman in transition’ both informative and inspirational.

Dr. R. A. Mashelkar,
National Research Professor, NCL, Pune.
President – Global Research Alliance.