Sharda Sadan

She also expressed her anger with the Raj era. “And what did we do? We sold our gold against copper. We closed our handlooms and bought imported clothes. We purchased the delicate glass bottles in which alcohol is kept and sold our country rich of minerals. And now that glass is broken, hitting our feet and that alcohol is taking lives of people and hence our country is, alas, so poor, impoverished.”

While full of admiration for American society, Ramabai was not blind to its faults. Alcoholism and tobacco use, impoverishment of Native Americans and Blacks, gender inequality and superstitious practices in American society found mention in her writings.

Ramabai did not have a home to return to. But she had a country and absolute fondness towards it. The relationship between her and India was not an easy one — she expressed righteous anger against the unjust ways she observed in her country but her longing and lingering affection for India are evident in her travelogue.

Although the title in Marathi is United States chi Loksthiti ani Prawaswrutt, the soul of the book is not as arid. It is not mere factual reporting on the American people or the country. 

(Source: https://www.thehindu.com/society/remembering-pandita-ramabai-womens-rights-activist-and-valiant-traveller/article34386053.ece, The writer is author of four award-winning books, a singer-composer and a dentist. ashuwriter23@gmail.com)

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