Education About Asia: Online Archives

Traditional Female Moral Exemplars in India

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By Madhu Kishwar

While I was growing up I was oblivious of and somewhat indifferent to religious matters. During my childhood, secular figures like Mahatma Gandhi and Nehru (India’s first Prime Minister) were more important as symbols of inspiration than our vast array of devis and devatas (goddesses and gods). However, our deities do not presume to punish us, or even get angry with us, if we choose to ignore them. One can be an atheist while being an integral part of the Hindu community.