kiskiKAHANI (the Ramayana Project)

300 Ramayanas and Counting . . .
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Reading Sita

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Date(s) - 1 Sep 2010
11:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Open Space

Reading Sita with Dr Malashri Lal, Namita Gokhale & Rashna Imhansly-Gandhy

Given the often emotive issues that are raked up when questions related to women’s positioning in society arise, or when issues related to caste, community and religion are debated, we feel it is important to look afresh at some of these icons and texts, the better to reclaim our syncretic and progressive cultural history from those who would deny it.

The seminar was held at Moolgaokar Hall. Dr. Malashri Lal and Namita Gokhale read from their book In Search of Sita (Penguin 2009) as did Priya Sarukkai Chabria. Pratima Kirloskar then chaired the discussion on Sita in the modern context and in our texts. Rashna Imhasly-Gandhy, a Jungian psychotherapist and a contributor to the book, also briefly shared her thoughts on the construction of Masculine and Feminine ideals and norms of behaviour. The audience participation raised some very relevant and important questions about culture and understanding, and the position of women in a largely patriarchal setting.

Art historian Aman Nath spoke about the portrayal of Sita in Victorian prints, how Raja Ravi Varma has been able to translate the Sita that we understand today.

The evening ended with a natya sangeet recital by Dr. Kshama Vaidya, a veteran of the Marathi stage, who has portrayed Sita and many other heroines from classical plays based on the epics.