Mary Wollstonecraft: The Pioneer of Revolution in Women’s Education and Womanhood

“I earnestly wish to point out in what true dignity and happiness consists, I wish to persuade women to endeavor to acquire strength, both of mind and body…and to show that elegance is inferior to virtue, that the first object of laudable ambition is to obtain a character as a human being regardless of the distinction of sex……”

Wollstonecraft belonged to an era which was tempered by seventeenth century English Philosopher John Locke’s revolutionary ideas and fervour. The spirit of radicalism was further empowered by French revolution which had as its stated ideals as liberty, equality, and fraternity. This phase of social and political turmoil pushed Wollstonecraft to come out with her political thinking and ideas regarding Women’s education and rights which were documented as “ Thoughts on the education of Daughters” followed by “ A Vindication of the Rights of Man” and “ A Vindication of the Rights of Woman” . Her works were more analytical which deals with the melancholy of social status of women, marked by debilitated education, no economic independence, and no career choice.  According to her, Women’s rights were to be seen not in the closet of their own but as a part of an ongoing movement for human upliftment and development. This should be seen in the context of the issue of human rights in general and for both men and women’s part of the revolution. She said that education is integral to the development of individual identity, to let the mind work freely irrespective of external impressions and associations. And this is essential in case of women when they had always been subjugated and hence more bound in an irrational way to first impressions. Their mind had always been tutored to please others, far from seeing the world in clear light of reasoning and understanding. She wrote: “Taught from their infancy that beauty is woman’s scepter, the mind shapes itself to the body, and, roaming round its gilt cage, only seeks to adorn its prison”. Instead of being the slaves of domination and enforced opinions, women should develop their own thought process. They should have subsequent access to a career and business. Defective education of women is the cause of social and personal ills. She believed that educated and well-versed women are essential to our society since they nurture the future generation of the country. They can be seen as companions to their husbands rather than attractive docile figures meant for pleasure. To further nourish the concept of equality of education, she argued that schooling should be co-educational where education and knowledge should be imparted to children irrespective of their gender and demand of work in future. This approach will help to cultivate the general human thinking towards broader perspectives of life, be it granting the equal status to women in society. She also laid emphasis on educating children to reason rather than accepting the facts as presented. In fact, the groundwork for her revolution for women’s rights was prepared on the basis of reasoning and observation of ordinary life.

Through her works, Wollstonecraft became the pioneer of feminism.  She challenged the existing social norms and refused to accept it. Instead, she became the political voice for women’s right whose legacy crossed the borders of England and travelled across the globe that is live 200 years after her premature death.


An Encounter with Magical Beauty

It’s going to be a month since I returned from Leh- Ladakh. When I was moving along those amazing terrains of the mountains, the stories and literary lines were building themselves. The moment our flight entered the zone of the giant mountains, till the second we moved out of it, everything was picturesque.  It’s true that beauty extracts the writer out of you.  I thought that I won’t be able to write much about it since it’s almost a month now. But, still, when I close my eyes, the beauty of the mountain, cloud, desert, land, and river unfold itself. A single land holding every asset of the nature; mountain, river, desert, and greenery. The jewel of this scenic beauty is the enchanting play of the colors of the clouds. The crystal-clear clouds made the vision exotic. From the deserts of the Nubra valley, the confluence of the Zanskar and the Indus to Pangong & Tsumoriri lake, every piece of the natural heritage seemed a blessing to the eyes.

I had never seen the more magnificent version of the Himalayan mountains than the various ranges over here in Leh- Ladakh. The pattern of the colors of the mountains, changing from Grey to red, to green at some places. It felt that somebody had painted on a canvas, to get the correct color contrast of a scenery. Indeed, it was the perfect canvas created by God himself.

We drove from Leh- Nubra – Leh – Pangong – Tsumoriri, the entire journey accompanied by the Himalayan ranges. The charismatic confluence of the Zanskar and the Indus, where the shining blue water of the Zanskar and the dirt green water of the Indus distinguish themselves very explicitly.               I remember, our camera and phones were constantly full in memory because we were not having the option to delete any of the captures. We were amazed that suddenly we turned into extraordinary photographers. But obviously, it was the muse, not the photographer, who was brilliant.

Once you land before a beauty, you also learn the skill to appreciate it and admire it. The luminous blue waters of Pangong and Tsumoriri gave the mirror image of the mountains and clouds in its vast space; perfect mirror image. Pangong lake at 4 pm was treasure to the eyes. ‘Blue ‘, everything was blue till one could stretch eyes. I feel blessed when I get the opportunity to encounter such visions that leaves me speechless.  Perhaps, speechless beauty is the reason that it is situated high up in the Himalayas which is not easy under normal reach. You have to endure a little bit of pain and strength to survive the twist and turns of roads to get here, but I guess that is the thrill. And off course every good thing comes with a price.

Monasteries add divine touch to the land of Leh-Ladakh. You can always find monasteries at some distances, which can be easily recognized by their peculiar tombs.  Prayer flags and wheels all over the mountains make you relate to the traveler magazines where we find such captures.

It is said that People belonging to the mountains are simple and clear at heart and yes they were. Their simplicity and innocence were evident in their hospitality of the travelers. They deserve the clean and pious beauty of the place. God has chosen these people to preserve the natural heritage and keep all the destructions aside which emerge out of the human desires.

There are countless feelings but everything which can be written about this land is less to justify the varied feelings which you experience after moving along these terrains. When you encounter something which is mesmerizing , then you are also lack of words to compliment it. Such is the magic of this land upon me.TsumoririThe travellersPangong lakeNubraMagnetic hillMagnetic hill roadIMG_20170830_155119IMG_20170828_154915IMG_20170827_160351IMG_20170827_160005IMG_20170827_155935IMG_20170827_155932IMG_20170827_115615IMG_20170827_080511IMG_20170826_182727IMG_20170826_182426IMG_20170729_012306 (1)IMG_1330IMG_1325IMG_1297IMG_1258IMG_1169IMG_116721314713_1433396373364572_6203309232235873630_n