May her tribe grow- 21 August 2013

Durga Shakti Nagpal has given women one more reason to celebrate. In a way, she does not represent only womanhood. For, what she stands for is courage for being good. Yet, Durga Shakti is a woman and has now become a centre of national attention because she stood up against mining mafia and got counted. So, women can feel proud that one among them showed the courage so much needed in this world of political baseness.

In his seminal book “The Difficulty Of Being Good”, famed author Gurcharan Das discusses the various dimensions of what constitutes goodness in a practical world and how one can retain or conserve or preserve one’s goodness despite the lethal attacks from the big bad world. For reference and context, he uses the story of ‘Mahabharata’. Durga Shakti Nagpal’s story also can have similar references and contexts.
True that those who are opposing Durga Shakti Nagpal, sacking her, refusing to take her back, and insisting that what they did was legally right, have proved to be of a superior strength (howsoever negative). Yet, Durga has proved herself to be rather an equal even though in a terrible minority. For, what her action has resulted into is something this nation of ours was looking for — a rallying point in favour of goodness.
This is something like what Anna Hazare or Baba Ramdeo gave us sometime back — a rallying point against corruption. That they did not succeed in a material sense, is another thing, but they did trigger a national sentiment the like of which the nation had not seen in quite some time. Durga Shakti Nagpal is causing a similar wave, though in a smaller measure.
Still, I must insist, her trigger is of no less an importance. She is courageous and is ready to face the consequences of whatever she does. But look at the fact that she is a young woman who may have so much to lose just because she has the courage to stick her neck out. Is it, then, not a reason for us women to celebrate — that one among us has achieved that kind of freedom from fear of the unknown consequences?
As I make this point, I wish to assert that if all women start conducting themselves on life’s journey with courage, like Malala of Pakistan too did, then womanhood could become a matter of blessing and bliss and not the curse which many among us feel.
Is it not the world’s experience that wicked men are terribly afraid of courageous women, and therefore they want to force those women into submission by wickedness to which average women would never stoop? At least for me, this awareness is good enough to stand up and get counted.
This is not the place and time to tell how I have faced various situations in life, but I can say on the strength of my own experience that courage offers us an armour that wickedness cannot penetrate. Durga Shakti Nagpal has strengthened this belief in my mind. And therefore, I now have one more reason to celebrate the power of the woman to make signal contribution in fight to make this world a better place.
This is not going philosophical in a bombastic manner; this is only being realistic in assessment of the contribution Durga Shakti has made. She may not have many people to count upon, but their number is not small enough not to matter. In fact, for a woman like Durga Shakti Nagpal, even a small number of supporters are good enough and big enough to matter.
When I look at Durga Shakti’s story from this angle, I realise that she has given us women at least one good reason to celebrate.
Gurcharan Das makes exactly a similar point.
In this context, I can only say, may Durga Shakti’s tribe grow.


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