PATNA: "Sita is known in the world as a goddess and wife of Ram but in Mithila she is considered as a putri and adi-shakti, who is worshipped almost in every house of the region. Even folk songs are there based on Janki," said Dr Savita Jha Khan, chairperson of Centre for the Studies of Tradition and Systems (CSTS), at Madhubani Literature Festival (MLF).
She, along with many scholars and researchers in the flagship program of CSTS - MLF, elucidated what Sita still means in this world, where women are struggling for their empowerment despite of being embodiment of enlightenment and divine empathy.
Speaking at the 2-day virtual event, organised by the CSTS in association with the Maithili Machaan on May 20 and 21, Dr Khan said: "Through such literary initiative, we are working with a committed aim to ‘Revisit Sita’ in the light of the current context pulsating with possibilities of having unique outlook on Sita and the various meanings of her being."
She said that on day one at the Madhubani Literature Festival, organised on the occasion of JankiNavmi in virtual mode, different aspects of Janki’s traditions and challenges were covered.
"Understating Janki, Apni-apni Sita, Janki in the Age of Kaliyuga, Janki: An Eternal Journey, Mai JanakiNandani and the Singing Sita, were the topics covered by experts," she added.
Sahitya Akademi awardee litterateur Prof. Anamika (University of Delhi) and social activist, deputy mayor (Pokhariya, Nepal) Salma Khatoon, citing many literary works around Janki said that Sita should be understood as a strong woman, not as 'abla' (weak woman).
Prof Anamika said that Sita’s participation in philosophical discourse in Rishi Valmiki’s Ashram and her love for nature brilliantly indicates Sita's modernity. She also used a term 'Prajna' in defining Sita’s sovereignty and understanding as she takes her decision independently.
Other scholars like Professor Arvind Sharma, Ram Madhav, Dr Sachidanand Joshi, Prof. Sanjay Paswan, Prof. Pankaj Mishra, Dr Buddhinath Mishra, Dr Anamika, Salma Khatoon, Swami Chaityanand and Aradhana Ashish Pradhan were among others who participated in the Madhubani Literature Festival.
Ripuranjan Kumar Thakur, a scholar of DU, moderated the session.