Gods abandon the land where women are not treated well: Amish Tripathi
Bestselling author Amish Tripathi spoke to a packed house at a special edition of SheThePeople.TV’s Bombaywaali on Wednesday about his to be launched book on Sita, the second in the Ramayan series.
this is the first time he had made a female protagonist the title character of a book
“I tell the story of Sita as one that most people aren’t familiar about, that of her being the adopted daughter of her parents, to a strong prime minister who follows the path of dharma, to a warrior,” he said.
The second book of the Ramayan series, Sita-Warrior of Mithila, will be launched by the end of May and narrates the version of Ramayan from Sita’s birth and ends with her kidnapping by Raavan. It is not the version of the Ramayan from Sita’s perspective. Amish draws heavily on the varied versions of the epic to us tell a story that has been eclipsed by the televised version which played in our drawing rooms in the 1980s and has now become the accepted version of the narrative.
While Sita has been projected as docile and subservient in the popularised version, Amish chose to focus on versions that projected Sita as a trained warrior princess who in fact battled off many Asuras and was hopelessly outnumbered before being kidnapped by Ravana. “Interestingly, even the popular phrase Lakshman Rekha, which we use to denote a boundary of propriety, is not a term that was ever used in the original Valmiki Ramayan. In the original Ramayan, Sita Maa is also a far more stronger character. My version of the Ramayan is closer to these older versions.”
In the original Ramayan, Sita Maa is also a far more stronger character
The feminine energy, or Shakti, is what is we need to bring back into focus given what is happening with women in the country he said. “I’m a patriot and I love my country, but that does not mean we should be blind to the aspects that need improvement. Even our ancient scriptures state that the gods abandon the land where women are not treated well.”
He stated that respecting women was one of the primary premises of most of our ancient texts and we need to remember that in the Rigvedas there were hymns written by rishikas, Maharishika Lopamudra, Gargi and Maitreyee, and that was the status of women in ancient India, they used to write the scriptures on par with the male rishis.
We need to remember that in the Rigvedas there were hymns written by Rishikas, Maharishika Lopamudra, Gargi and Maitreyee, all women
The Sita of his book is a fighter, one who is completely focused on justice and hard as nails. The author discussed how versions of the Ramayan differed from writer and region, and discussed how in the version prevalent in South India, Ravana was endowed with positive qualities. Given his books are very popular with a younger audience, he stated that the current generation interprets myth and religion in their own way, and they develop their own unique connect with them. We need to re-examine why India lost the status of ‘most developed’ nation it enjoyed in ancient times, and look within ourselves to see how we reduced ourselves to being ruled by a handful of British. Amish discussed how though he has written strong female protagonists in his previous books, this is the first time he had made a female protagonist the title character of a book.
SheThePeople’s Bombaywaali series of conversations features iconic personalities who exemplify the city of Mumbai. This was a special edition which focused on the character of Sita as redefined by Amish, and was hosted by Door No 1 in Bandra.