Remembering ‘‘Chitrangada’’!
In his dance drama—Chtirangada, Rabindranath Tagore presented an integrated image of woman's sexuality and her identity as man's comrade outside home. She may not accept being ignored, not being placed on a pedestal. Tagore endowed Chtirangada as a fiery beauty, with accomplishment and intellect, she is irresistible. She is "mother of affection and a princess of valour". She is the symbol of feminism, feminist and female. Chtirangada as the boy-like identity in the stage of imitation followed by her surrender to Arjuna; She is feminist in her fight against for disguise and the female self when she recognizes her female power. According to Pt Nehru, she is a symbol of a new gender construction. The origin and development of women's studies as an academic discipline in India reminds one of the above so far as women's gender studies and women's movements are concerned. Sometimes, it is claimed that this discipline is suffering because of patriarchal thinking and politics. It is as "all are blaming nobody". It perhaps chooses wrong roots since the inception of women's/gender studies as an academic discipline because it is mostly limited to "intensive activity" framework (i.e. action oriented project, NGOisation) and research. The academic programme (i.e. teaching curriculum, its employability and pedagogical growth and practices) is weak. How would this discipline reduce violence against women? When there is a lack of transformation of knowledge what did Tagore describe in his dance drama?

Today, the emergence of various fields of academic discipline is only career-oriented to attract the younger generations. Thus, education is now for a career. In a true sense, people earn education. It does not carry them. So, if women's /gender studies show career prospects, the student will choose without considering its ultimate focus as an academic discipline. The women's/gender studies will partly meet slightly the target of women's movements and gender equality.
Harasankar Adhikari, Kolkata

Vol. 49, No.24, Dec 18 - 24, 2016