原創翻譯:龍騰網 http://www.uhhij.com.cn 翻譯:chelsea0129 轉載請注明出處

What Educated Women Can Do IndiraGandhi, the fourth Prime Minister of India 1976


An ancient Sanskrit saying says, woman is the home and the home isthe basis of society. It is as we build our homes that we can build ourcountry. If the home is inadequate-either inadequate in material goods andnecessities in the sort of friendly, loving atmosphere that every child needsto grow and develop—then that country cannot have harmony and no country whichdoes not have harmony can grow in any direction at all.


That is why women’s education is almost more important than theeducation of boys and men. We –and by “we” I do not mean only we in India butall the world – have neglected women education. It is fairly recent. Of course,not to you but when I was a child, the story of early days of women’s educationin England, for instance, was very current. Everybody remembered what hadhappened in the early days.


AsI said, we do have many shortcomings, whether it is the government, whether itis the society. Some are due to our traditions because, as I said, not alltradition is good. And one of the biggest responsibilities of the educatedwomen today is how to synthesize what has been valuable and timeless in ourancient traditions with what is good and valuable in modern thought. All thatis modern is not good just as all that is old is neither good nor all bad. We haveto decide, not once and for all but almost every week, every month what iscoming out that is good and useful to our country and what of the old we cankeep and enshrine in our society. To be modern, most people think that it issomething of a manner of dress or a manner of speaking or certain habits andcustoms, but that is not really being modern. It is a very superficial part ofmodernity.


Forinstance, when I cut my hair, it was because of the sort of life that I wasleading. We were all in the movement. You simply could not have long hair andgo in the villages and wash it every day. So, when you lead a life, aparticular kind of life, your clothes, your everything has to fit into that lifeif you are to be efficient. If you have to go in the villages and you have tobother whether your clothes are going to be dirty, then you cannot be a goodworker. You have to forget everything of that kind. That is why, gradually,clothes and so on have changed in some countries because of the changes in thelife-style. Does it suit our life-style or what we want to do or not? If it does,maybe we have to adopt some of these things not merely because it is done inanother country and perhaps for another purpose. But what clothes we wear isreally quite unimportant. What is important is how we are thinking.


So,I hope that all of you who have this great advantage of education will not onlydo whatever work you are doing keeping the national interests in view, but youwill make your own contribution to creating peace and harmony, to bringing beautyin the lives of our people and our country. I think this is the specialresponsibility of women of India. We want to do a great deal for our country,but we have never regarded India as isolated from the rest of the world. What wewant to do is to make a better world. So we have to see India’s problems in theperspective of the larger world problems.