Women-Power - Gandhian Views.pdf - JUSTICE CHANDRASHEKHAR DHARMADHIKARI was born on 20th November 1927 His parents were Dada Dharmadhikari and Damayanti

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Unformatted text preview: JUSTICE CHANDRASHEKHAR DHARMADHIKARI was born on 20th November 1927. His parents were Dada Dharmadhikari and Damayanti Dharmadhikari. He comes from an illustrious Maharashtrian family settled in Multai in the Betul District of Madhya Pradesh. His father, Dada Dharmadhikari was a frontranking freedom fighter and a seminal Gandhian thinker. His mother was a freedom fighter in her own right and a symbol of life togetherness. Chandrashekhar Dharmadhikari was married to Tara Dharmadhikari—a highly educated and cultured person and true picture of life togetherness. His daughter is a medical doctor. His son Satyaranjan Dharmadhikari is a judge at Bombay High Court. His other son ShriAshutosh Dharmadhikari is a practising lawyer at Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court. Chandrashekhar Dharmadhikari as a mere lad of fourteen participated in the Quit India Movement. As a part of his family inheritance, he has devoted the major part of his life in interpreting and propagating Gandhian ideas in the context of our times. He made a sincere effort to imbibe Gandhian ideals in his own life. He has his own contributions to the public life by participating in the major intellectual discourses, particularly in respect of women empowerment. He has been a source of inspiration to the youth of our country. He practised law at Nagpur for many years and was elevated to the Bench, as a judge of the Bombay High Court. He worked as senior judge and acting chief justice of the Bombay High Court from 1972 till his retirement in 1989. He also worked as the first Chairman of the Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal. As a judge he delivered historic judgements in respect of the right of women, adivasi, children, mentally handicapped persons and other weaker sections of the society. He has been associated with a number of cultural institutions. He has been heading a number of Gandhian institutions including the Institute of Gandhian Studies, Wardha. For his contribution in the field of education and literary work, he has been the recipient of Gopal Krishna Gokhale Award, Government of Maharashtra Literary Awards and Karandikar Trust Dharwad Literary Award. He has a number of books to his credit in Marathi, Hindi and English. ii | Women Power: A Gandhian Discourse He has received the Padma Bhushan Award from the President of India in 2004. Besides, he has also received a Doctor of Laws (Honorary) from Rani Durgavati University, Jabalpur. Other awards which he received include the Distinguished Citizens Award from Rotary Club of Bombay, Michael John Memorial Award, Gandhi Jan Puruskar, RamashastriPrabhune Social Justice Award, Justice Ranade Award for social service, Rashtra Gaurav Puruskar, Go SevaRatna Puruskar, Hindi Seva Puruskar and a number of other awards. He is one of the few living Gandhians who had the privilege to be personally associated with Gandhiji from his very childhood. Prof. M.G.K. Menon, one of the most eminent scientists of the country rightly observes: ‘Justice Chandrashekhar Dharmadhikari has remained unbowed for the whole of his life, always true to his principles, and always listening to the small inner voice of his conscience. At the same time, he is the most affectionate, generous, courteous, gentle and mild human being that one could ever come across.’ THUS SPAKE BAPU ON BA "At this moment", he said, "how can I separate myself from my old and faithful companion…? I cannot even imagine life without Ba. She was a part and parcel of myself. Her death will leave a permanent void in my life which will never be filled." Referring to the last moments of Kasturba, he observed, "Ba's calling me thus at her last moment and her passing away while lying on my lap is really a wonderful thing. Such a kind of relationship between husband and wife does not exist generally among us." Women Power A Gandhian Discourse iv | Women Power: A Gandhian Discourse THUS SPAKE BAPU ON BA "We were a couple outside the ordinary. It was in 1906 that by mutual consent and after unconscious trials, we definitely adopted self-restraint as a rule of life. To my great joy this knit us together as never before. We ceased to be two different entities without my wishing it; she chose to lose herself in me. The result was she became truly my better half. She was woman always of very strong will which in our early days I used to mistake for obstinacy. But that strong will enabled her to become, quite unwittingly, my teacher in the art and practice of non-violent non-co-operation. The practice began with my own family. When I introduced it in 1906 in the political field it came to be known by the more comprehensive and specially coined name of Satyagraha. When the course of Indian imprisonments commenced in South Africa Kasturba was among the civil resisters. She went through greater physical trials than I. Although she had gone through several imprisonments, she did not take kindly to the present incarceration. My arrest simultaneously with that of many others and her own immediately following, gave her a great shock and embittered her. She was wholly unprepared for my arrest. I had assured her that the government trusted my non-violence, and would not arrest me unless I courted arrest myself. Indeed the nervous shock was so great that after her arrest she developed violent diarrhea and but for the attention that Dr. SushilaNayar, who was arrested at the same time as the deceased, was able to give her, she might have died before joining me in this detention camp, where my presence soothed her and the diarrhea stopped without any further impediment. Not so the bitterness. It led to fretfulness ending in painfully slow dissolution of the body." Women Power A Gandhian Discourse Chandrashekhar Dharmadhikari Translated from Hindi and Edited by RamchandraPradhan vi | Women Power: A Gandhian Discourse INSTITUTE OF GANDHIAN STUDIES, WARDHA All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publishers. The views and opinions expressed in this book are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations to which they belong. First Published 2018 © Institute of Gandhian Studies ISBN :978-81-932915-2-8 Published by Institute of Gandhian Studies, Gopuri, Wardha – 442 001 (Maharashtra) Price Rs. 400/- Printed at Om Laser Printers, 2324, Hudson Lines, Kingsway Camp, Delhi – 110 009 FROM THE PUBLISHER Life, thought and work of Ba and Bapu are increasingly becoming the major subjects of studies from different viewpoints and perspectives. Gandhi is taken to be the ripen fruit of thousands of years of Indian Sadhana as well as the seed for the future evolution of its spiritual and worldly seeking. His life, thoughts and philosophy hold an exceptional significance for the coming generations. They have all the potential to create and uphold a schema for a new and humane civilisational order. That is why the world community has begun to make sincere efforts towards building a new world order based on Gandhian philosophy. In the present seminal work, ‘Women Power: A Gandhian Discourse’ Justice Chandrashekhar Dharmadhikari, based on his lifelong engagement with Gandhian ideas has made an earnest attempt to delineate Gandhi’s views on women problems and road to their emancipation. We also humbly acknowledge tireless work put in by Dr. RamchandraPradhan who translated and edited the articles etc. from Hindi into English within a very short time. We are very happy to publish such a scholarly work by Justice Dharmadhikari on the occasion of Ba-Bapu sesquicentennial celebration. We are sure that like his earlier works, this book will also be well received by the academia and general readers. Bharat Mahodaya Director Institute of Gandhian Studies, Wardha viii | Women Power: A Gandhian Discourse INSTITUTE OF GANDHIAN STUDIES, WARDHA Publications 1. Essays on Gandhian Thought - RavindraVarma et al. (2004) 2. Explorations in Culture of Peace - Siby K. Joseph (ed.) (2006) 3. Essays on Conflict Resolution - Siby K. Joseph, Bharat Mahodaya (eds.) (2007) 4. Khoj Gandhi Ki - C. S. Dharmadhikari (2008) 5. Non-violent Struggles of the Twentieth Century: Retrospect and Prospect - Siby K. Joseph John Moolakkattu Bharat Mahodaya (eds.) (2009) 6.Contemporary Perspectives on Peace and Non-violence - Siby K. Joseph, Bharat Mahodaya (eds.) (2010) 7.Reflections on Hind Swaraj - Siby K. Joseph, Bharat Mahodaya (eds.) (2011) 8.Gandhi, Environment and Sustainable Future - Siby K. Joseph, Bharat Mahodaya (eds.) (2011) 9. Gandhi MeriNazar Mein - C. S. Dharmadhikari (2011) 10. Contextualising Gandhian Thought - Siby K. Joseph (ed.) (2012) 11.Continuing Relevance of Swadeshi - Siby K. Joseph, Bharat Mahodaya (eds.) 2012) 12. Contemplating Gandhi - C. S. Dharmadhikari - Translated and Edited by RamchandraPradhan(2014) 13. Trusteeship: A Path Less Travelled - Siby K. Joseph, Bharat Mahodaya, RamchandraPradhan(eds.) (2016) 14. Revisiting Development - Siby K. Joseph, Bharat Mahodaya, RamchandraPradhan(eds.)(2017) Dedication This book is dedicated to the sacred memory of my elder sister, Ushatai whom we called Babitai. She was the first child of my parents and with her coming Dada had attained the status of fatherhood. It was just after her birth that a new chapter in Dada’s life was opened when he joined the Non-Cooperation Movement led by Mahatma Gandhi after discontinuing his ongoing college studies. Chandrashekhar Dharmadhikari x| Women Power: A Gandhian Discourse UshaTamaskar Contents Preface xiii Translators Note: xxvii Part I: Gandhian Approach to Women Emancipation 1. Woman-Power 3-9 2. The Foundation of All Laws Relating to Women 10-19 3. Importance of Motherhood 20-30 4. Widowhood — A Blessing Not a Curse 31-33 5. Obscenity: A New Perspective 34-40 6. Empowerment of Women 41-45 7. Women Shanti Sena (Peace Brigade) and Peace Warrior 46-51 8. Respect for Women: A Spiritual Value 52-54 9. Gandhi’s Character: Key to the Treasure 55-58 10. Convocation Address at S.N.D.T. University on January 20, 2017 59-64 11. Women and Our Constitution 65-74 12. Gandhi: The Commander of Brave Soldiers 75-87 13. Mahatma Gandhi, Nonviolence and Women 88-111 14. Uniform Civil Code for Unity in Diversity 112-119 Women Power: A Gandhian Discourse xii | Part II - Some of the Prominent Gandhian Women Activists: Brief life-sketches 15. Ba: The Fragrance of Kasturi 123-126 16. Vimlatai: An Embodiment of Love 127-135 17. Radhakrishna: The Role model for Man-Woman Relationship 136-140 18. Radhabehan 141-146 19. Prabhavati: The Source of J.P.’s Inspiration 147-152 20. Niharbehan: The Life-giving due drops 153-158 21. Tara Dharmadhikari: My Life Companion 159-176 22. My Mother: Smt. Damayanti Dharmadhikari 177-188 23. Sarala Devi: A World Citizen 189-194 24. Janaki Devi Bajaj 195-199 25. Mahila Ashram 200-207 Appendices 208-242 i. Gandhi on Women Problems ii. Gandhi’s Last Will and Testament January 29, 1948 iii. Vinoba on Women Problems iv. Dada Dharmadhikari on Man-Woman Mutual Fellowship v. Dharmadhikari Family and Mahatma Gandhi vi. Dr. RammanoharLohia on Women Problems vii. Subhas Chandra Bose on Kasturba Gandhi Index 243-247 Preface The essays comprising the present volume were written on different occasions and in different contexts. It would be more true to say that I was persuaded, if not pressured, to write them by my friends and well-wishers. Some of these essays were originally written in Marathi. While penning them, I have no idea that they would ever appear within two covers of a book. I do not consider myself as an accomplished writer who could put his ideas in a precise form. In fact, no one considers me such an adept writer. I am primarily known for delivering lectures which contain many themes in between. Some of these essays are based on my lectures/addresses delivered at different occasions. As such they are bound to be tautological in nature. I have never tried to remove tautological portions from my writings as it is not an easy task to locate and avoid them. After all, what is tautology? Once I had asked Dada (my father) about it and he had responded in his characteristic style. He said that in fact there never occurs a tautological statement as each of them takes a new form and spirit. For instance, I take a statement like ‘I am feeling hungry’, he had added, I utter it at every day. Am I repeating myself on all such occasions? Do I not feel hungry every day? That statement is a matter of fact. So people would have to say the same thing in the same way on every day, lest they would find a big gap between their words and deeds.” Besides, even for presenting a fuller view of any subject, a number of tautological statements might be required; for the simple reason that every reader is not expected to read a book from cover to cover. He might make selective readings of one or two essays from a book. So to give him a total view of the subject covered in the book, an author would have to make repetitive statements in different contexts. Moreover in many cases, a tautological statement might amount to a new formulation. Hence, I do not feel the need for making any drastic cuts and changes in any collection of my essays just to avoid repetitiveness. So I strongly feel that it would be more expedient to leave all these talks of tautology to the discretion of scholars, literary critics and discerning readers. xiv | Women Power: A Gandhian Discourse My life and my entire thought processes greatly bear the imprints of my father’s thoughts. It was his thought process which constituted a point of departure for me towards the field of the Gandhian ideas. Perhaps, it would be more correct to say that it is he who initiated me in this area both in thought and action. He was of the opinion that without taking any individual or book as a last word, one should consider and ponder over on an issue in a dispassionate and objective manner. He often used to say that one should pay as much, if not more, attention to one’s own thought process as one does while perusing any book or writing. Because, thought processes should never cease to move, lest it becomes like a stagnant pool of water. I have been liberally using my father’s ideas and writings taking it as a part of my inheritance. Being his son is my original position; the rest has come to me as ex-officio. Hence, I consider myself nothing more than a coolie carrying the real wealth of ideas of Bapu and Dada. I am aware that the discerning readers and scholars might not be much interested in the present work. But I do often attend and hold sessions in the youth camps going on all over the country. I want the youth of the country to understand the basic Gandhian ideas. They should not only be fully aware of the problems confronting the country, but also contribute to its solutions instead of mere playing the role of fence sitters. My only expectation is that the present work should work as their patheya on their onward journey towards social change. This book is also meant for those who think that Gandhi and his ideas have become anachronistic and outdated. The first thing I want to say is that let a girl live and happily enjoy her life, even with her male friend but she should not develop a dependence syndrome. Such dependence is the main weakness in the life of a woman. Neither a woman nor a man could live alone. Then how is it that a woman develops a dependence syndrome on her male companion? The fact is that she suffers from a fear complex. I have come across many women who are neither scared of the lion nor of the ghost. But I have not yet seen a woman who is not afraid of man. In other words, for a woman man is more dangerous than a lion or a ghost. Man is also scared of woman as he does not want to fall a Preface | xv prey to her charm. Even a woman considers her body and beauty as her wealth and real assets. At present, we are passing through a transitional phase. Old values and status symbols are falling apart. We have not yet succeeded in evolving new social values and norms. Old tradition and growing materialism in human life have put him/her under the grip of gadgets and external agencies. Simultaneously, they have also made them self-centered. Human feelings and human values are being lost in the thick clouds of the crowd. The culture of tyag (sacrifice) is being replaced by the culture of Bhog(eat, drink and be merry). We want change but at the same time, we are also scared of it. At times, we feel that the solution for all our problems lies in the writings of Gandhiji. The way we look for the meaning of a word in a dictionary, so do we look for a formulae solution to our problems in Gandhi’s writings? We often forget that in a dictionary what we get is a synonym and not a real meaning of a word. We have to find ‘meaning’ in our real life. To that end, we have to fully understand various dimensions of any question in the first instance. That would require of us deep thinking, reflection and meditation on all the issues involved. The problems confronting us today were not there during the life time of Gandhi and Vinoba. Today our country is passing through a critical phase. So instead of those who prefer to walk on a beaten track, we require a generation of a few committed activists, realist and objective thinkers who have the potentiality and capacity to identify the needs and aspirations of the people. Such people alone could mold and take the country in the right direction. In other words, we need a group of such dedicated youths whose thoughts and actions are in keeping with the tune of our times. I strongly differ from the opinion of those who think that the new generations has deviated from the real path and as such they are a spoiled lot. I would like to tell such people that it is not the new generation but the people belonging to our old generation that have actually failed. It is not children but their parents who often move off from the right track. Someone has put it in a poetic language; the dust was on one’s face, but he went on wiping it out from the surface of the mirror. xvi | Women Power: A Gandhian Discourse Now we have to dust off our faces instead of the mirror and get into the roots of the problems confronting us today. How could we forget that when an abominable and tragic incident of gang rape had occurred in Delhi, it is the youth of the country that raised a powerful storm of protest movement? As a result, a committee headed by Justice Verma, the Ex-Chief Justice of India was set up which recommended certain changes in the legal provisions. Subsequently, those changes were carried out in our legal system. But that in itself would not suffice to meet the challenge of the situation. Unless a radical change occurs in the reactionary mindset of our society, all such legal changes would be like dusting off the mirror instead of one’s face. Because, we should never forget that honour/prestige are the qualities of the mind and not of the body. If the mind and heart remain pure, a woman would not lose her modesty even when being physically violated. Because, such a crime is not confined to an individual case, it actually afflicts the entire society. As such its roots lie in the words of Kahlil Gibran, “And as a single leaf turns not yellow but with the silent knowledge of the whole tree”. Thus such acquiescence of the gentlemen is the first cause of the crimes committed by the evil doers. The woman who has been violated is actually a victim, but the society looks upon her as an accused. She is taken to be a woman of blotted and loose character. In the words of Kahlil Gibran: the corner stone of a temple is never higher than the lowest rung of its foundation, and for the crimes committed by the evil doers, the gentlemen are never free from such sin...
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  • Fall '19
  • Sociology, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Satyagraha, Gandhism, Ahimsa, Dada Dharmadhikari

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