A Contemporary Perspective  

 1. Introduction

As I reflect, I see Sita, more than any other character, is an integral part of the Indian woman's psyche. At every stage of an Indian woman's life, her name is invoked. I find it amazing that one great epic written by a poet thousands of years ago has shaped and continues to shape and reshape the thinking of an entire culture. And, how certain aspects of a character have been emphasized more than others to suit the political and societal norms of the day. They have been understood or misunderstood to manage relationships through control and power. I have often wondered what the impact of Ramayan would have been if we had not canonized these characters and focused primarily on the Sita agni parikshay. What if we understood them as the flesh and blood characters that Valmiki was attempting to bring to life in his great poem!  This reflection of Sita has taken me further along in my own quest of understanding Indian womanhood. In many respects I have come full circle. I was ambivalent towards Sita, then I rejected her, and now I have come to accept her as an Indian cultural icon. We can learn a lot from her character… Here I share my understanding of Sita .....  

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Sitayanam... A Woman's Journey... of Strength  

Copyright - Anju Bhargava, 2000, All rights reserved

 

Chapters

    1. Articles and writings by Anju 

    2. Ushavandanam by Kalidas
    3. Live speeches of Vivekananda: Part I  PartII  PartIII  PartIV  PartV
    4. Changing racial perceptions
    5.  


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