The field of art is as gendered as the rest of the fields. While men refrain from being dancers and women are encouraged, musicians too have such biases where certain instruments are considered suited more for men.

Mithu Tikadar is a musician, considered unusual in her choice of instrument: the tabla. Traditionally seen as the domain of male practitioners, Mithu constantly encounters discrimination in her field.

The worst was when her aunt told a young Mithu that she was a disgrace to all women. While she continues to face gender discrimination, Mithu is progressing in life — one step at a time. Since then Mithu has come a long way. Today she’s economically self-sufficient and is the only Dalit woman to have cleared the nationwide test on musical instruments that makes her eligible to teach in colleges. But her struggle with patriarchal mores continues.

 

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