September 21st, 2011
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“Unless you are free life is not worth living”: Mallika

mallika-sarabhaiKannur: “Unless you are free life is not worth living”, said danseuse and social activist Mallika Sarabhai at a screening of a documentary to create gender awareness under the auspices of the Kerala State women’s Developmnet Corporation. Her entire speech was centered on freedom, empowerment and fight against injustice and the need to break the schakles of a patriarchal society.

While talking on the need and the risks involved in breaking the shackles of a patriarchal society she said, “Change of any kind is risky, but always worth the trouble. When you change the power structure, the powerful will become insecure.”

According to her,” women are always at the receiving end of injustice. Empowerment is something that happens in your mind. Literacy or education does not necessarily mean empowerment. The feminine way of thinking was that both men and women should win. Men should be women’s greatest partners in their fight for justice.”

Talking on her transformation from an artiste to a social activist she said, she hailed from a strange family that had fought for women’s rights for atleast four generations and had several inter religious marriages. “Religion was never discussed in my family, she told the students of the Krishna Menon Womens College. It was her role as Draupadi in Peter Brook’s play ‘The Mahabharata’ in 1984 that persuaded her to merge her dance and her activism.

“It occurred to me that boys and girls are treated differently. It certainly hit me when I realized that who you are, what you believe in and which sect you belong to were all things that mattered. You have to decide what you will do when you become a parent. Will you bring up your sons and daughters in the same way? Will you bring them up as human beings or as Muslim, shia, sunni or namboodiri?”





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