Search This Blog

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Appreciating Women .. ..

To be featured on National currency is the greatest of honours – here is 1000 Austrian Shilling – the unit of currency from  1925 to 1938 and from 1945 to 1999, and the circulating currency until 2002. The euro was introduced at a fixed parity of €1 = 13.7603 schilling to replace it. Austria  is a landlocked country in the southern part of Central Europe, located on the Eastern Alps.

Today (8th of March) is International Women’s Day .. ..  Appreciating all Women I know ! and special greetings to all of them  ~ International Women's Day 2022.

In Dec 2021,  Indian  Harnaaz Sandhu took  the internet by storm  - becoming  the 70th Miss Universe. The 21-year-old won the title at the contest that was held in Israel, topping 80 contestants from all over the world, Harnaaz brought the Miss Universe crown back to India 21 years after Lara Dutta won it.  

In some ways this is a western concept – marking a day and attaching all importance to it by marketing it. Our literature has good place for women and traditionally we are taught to respect elders and mother. Our moral stories are replete with instances of obeisance to mother and femininity holding them in high regard; yet 8th Mar would be a special day. 

When the world was in deep darkness and caught in the old thinking about women, then India used to worship women as Maatri Shakti and Goddess. We had women scholars like Gargi, Maitreyi, Anusuya, Arundhati and Madalasa giving knowledge to society. Even in the troubled medieval times, there were great women like Panna Dai and Mirabai in this country. When the nation is remembering the history of the freedom struggle during the Amrit Mahotsav, there are so many women who have sacrificed themselves. Immortals like Kittur's Rani Chennamma, Matangini Hazra, Rani Lakshmibai, Veerangana Jhalkari Bai to Ahilyabai Holkar and Savitribai Phule in the social sphere maintained India's identity. 

Thousands of miles away, Anne ascended power to become the  Queen of England, Scotland, and Ireland from  8 March 1702 and 1 May 1707. On 1 May 1707, under the Acts of Union, the kingdoms of England and Scotland united as a single sovereign state known as Great Britain. She continued to reign as Queen of Great Britain and Ireland until her death in 1714.

Any reference to women of fame would not be complete with writing about ‘Avvaiyar’ -  great tamil poetess  whose statue also stands in the marina closer to Queen Mary’s college. She  lived in the southern parts attributed to sangam period. Reverred to be noble besides her extraordinary poetic skills, the term means ' respected old woman' or 'Grandmother'. Her works include Purananuru and Aathichoodi. She had cordial relations with the Kings Pari and Athiaman. Aathichoodi is a collection of single-line quotes written by Avvaiyar and organized in alphabetical order.

According to Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, King Janaka of Videha Kingdom held a Rajasuya Yagna and invited all the learned sages, kings and princess of India to participate. The yagna lasted for many days. The galaxy of scholars, included the renowned sage Yajnavalkya.  There  were eight renowned sages who challenged him for a debate, which included Gargi, the only lady in the assembled gathering of the learned.  Gargi and Yajnavalkya's exchange centered on the ultimate "warp" of reality ("warp" means "the basic foundation or material of a structure or entity). 

Woman in Cricket circles is not new ! ~ Remember seeing Indian womens’ play at Chepauk – captained by Shanta Rangaswamy, the first woman to lead an Indian cricket team, the first woman to win a Test series and the first woman to receive a lifetime achievement award from the BCCI, Shanta Rangaswamy was nothing short of a pioneer. But if she had to be broken down in the simplest terms, she was a batting allrounder, who ran in with the new ball and later made others run after it. She captained 12 out of the 16 Tests she played in since making her debut in Oct 1976.  She scored India's first Test century and smashed the first six as well.

487  years ago this month in 1535 occurred the siege by Bahadur Shah who attacked Chittor Fort.  Rani Karnavati, wife of the late Rana Sangha fought valiantly, was expecting help from Humayun, who betrayed and .. ..   13,000 women including Rani Karnavati committed Jauhar and 3,200 soldiers committed Saka.     

Can you think of one sport where men and women compete against each other as equals? – in Tennis – the mixed-doubles !!Stumped?  It is  horse racing, where female jockeys regularly jump in the hot seat alongside their male counterparts ~ and it is not riders alone .. it is the horses too.   The horses carrying them towards the finish line are locked in their own battle of the sexes.  

At  Tokyo Olympics - as the world watched, Elaine Thompson-Herah broke the Olympic record and defended her 100m title. Thompson-Herah stole the show with a quite breath-taking 10.61sec run that broke Florence Griffith-Joiner's 1988 mark by one hundredth of a second.

The Nobel Prize and the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel have been awarded to women 59 times between 1901 and 2021. Only one woman, Marie Curie, has been honoured twice, with the Nobel Prize in Physics 1903 and the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1911.

Bertha Sophie Felicitas Freifrau  von Suttner  [1843 – 1914] was an Austrian-Bohemian pacifist and novelist. In 1905, she became the second female Nobel laureate (after Marie Curie in 1903),  the first woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, and the first Austrian laureate. The photo of Austrian shilling at the start features her.

This is a post on ‘wonder woman’ ~ it would not require a Nobel for a woman or any accomplishment  to be impressive and an influencer .. ..    this post is dedicated to all the Women known and those who influenced me – the list would start with my mother, sister, wife – my teachers at elementary school,  my female colleagues, my women bosses and my dear friends).. ..

M. Thaiammal, runs a tender coconut (Ilaneer)  shop along with her husband Arumugam in Chinnaveerampatti village panchayat – she  donated lakhs of money for building Panchayat Union Middle School in the village.  Appreciations and greetings to all  Women known and those who influenced me

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
8th Mar 2022 

1 comment:

  1. Very nice.. My Appreciations and greetings too to all Women known and those who influenced me