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Lavanya Bahuguna


Vidya Jain, Principal Maharani College, Tells What Gandhi Had To Say About Women

  • IWB Post
  •  June 17, 2015


Recently, I got an opportunity to meet Mrs. Vidya Jain, Principal Maharani College. Since it’s the admission time, I dogged to make the most of those 20-something minutes with her.

Sitting in the Principal’s office was made easy when Vidya ordered fresh buttermilk for our team. Editor Prerna Sahani had told me that Vidya has done a quality research work on Mahatma Gandhi which she would talk about with us. Not very well acquainted with Gandhi and his philosophies, I was thrilled to delve into the topic. So we began talking:

Before we talk about Gandhi, let’s know a little about you.  


I was a student of Maharani College, so when I got elected as its principal, I was overjoyed. I have done M.A followed by M.Phil from the University and the topic has always been ‘Gandhi.’ I honestly consider him as an alternative of improvement in the society.

What kinds of improvements?3

Gandhi focuses on all important aspects that incline human with the Mother Nature and the working process of the Universe. He has written and spoken about the environment, how societies should function, violence, women….

Women? I want to know more about this aspect.av-1-4

Gandhi has compared women with the ultimate power sources according to Hindu beliefs like Goddesses Kali & Durga.

That’s interesting. What else?av-1-5

He has written that a beautiful woman is not the one with big eyes and long hair, but the one with a good character that inspires her husband, family, and others around her.

I agree.av-1-7

Gandhi also informed in his writings that managing a home is not a small task, it is equally challenging as running one’s business. This is something our country’s men need to acknowledge.

I second you, mam.av-1-15

Gandhi was very much inspired by his wife and mother.

Err…but I have heard the otherwise that his relationship with his wife wasn’t beautiful?! av-1-10Well, arguments are a part of every relationship. Having said that, I want to share one incident where Gandhi’s wife denies cleaning a toilet. At that, Gandhi got angry and told her that no work is small and we must take delight in every task that comes our way. He even compares toilets with temples and emphasizes to make them as clean as a religious place.

Has he ever spoken about equality?av-1-13Yes. Rather he asks all of us to borrow good qualities from each other, irrespective of the gender. A mother is always worried if the child has eaten or not while most of the fathers tend to question mostly about educational activities. Gandhi calls this nature of women as ‘humane’ and not something ‘feminine.’ He asks men to adopt this quality.

How do you make sure the girls in the college follow the Gandhian Movement?av-1-9Self-reliance is one quality we try every girl embraces.

Clearly, you are so proud of Gandhi, aren’t you?av-1-12

Recently I visited Turkey and happened to read a newspaper that published an article on Gandhi. It talked about women dignity. The world is proud of him, so why shouldn’t we?

What, according to you, people can learn from Gandhi?av-1-3He once said: ‘I am here for you and you be there for me.’ Let’s all learn to be there for one another to support and spread the love. He always taught the concept of ‘करुणा’ (compassion).

Talking to you is like a rendezvous with Gandhi himself. Thank you so much.


Thank you for giving me the opportunity. I am glad you are writing about his eternal movement.

Friends, isn’t Gandhi worth a read? I am definitely going to borrow some of his writings from the library in the coming days.

Photography by: Nupur Agarwal

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