Saturday, 28 July 2018

Sister Nivedita on Education of Indian Women -3

Does this mean, however, that Indian women are not to learn to read and write ? Let us ask, in reply, if Indian women are inferior to all the other women of the world? Unless they, are why should it be supposed that they alone are unfit for an extension of the means of self-expression, to which all the other women of the nineteenth century have been found equal? Has Indian Dharma, with all its dreams of noble womanhood, succeeded only in producing a being so feeble that she cannot stand alone, so faithless that the door may not be opened in her presence, so purposeless that added knowledge tends only to make her frivolous and self-indulgent? Modern Europe has produced great women? Is modern India incapable of doing likewise? Is our future evolution to be determined by our faith, or by our fear? Are we to insist on remaining mediaeval, lest harm come of change ?

Even if we were so faithless as to answer 'Yes' to all these questions, it would be useless, for the Mother Herself has taken option out of our hands. Change is upon us, and necessity of change. The waves overwhelm us. Nothing is left for us, but to find out how to deal with them, how to make them forces of construction, how to live in our own day a life so lofty and so heroic that three centuries hence men shall look back upon this as one of the great ages of India, and desire to write a Mahabharata of the twentieth century.

Amongst other things, the education of the Indian woman must be modernized. Fathers feel this, where grandfathers fail, grandfathers know it, where fathers oppose. Let there be no fear! The Indian civilization is at least as great as any other in the world. There is no reason to believe that a little more sunlight will cause it to melt away ! The Indian woman is as great as any. No amount of added knowledge could ever make her mean.