Indian women’s struggle with push-pull of traditionalism, modernity painful: Tina Brown

New Delhi, Nov 20 (IANS) Globally acclaimed journalist and author Tina Brown, who is in India to host the Women in the World summit, says the constant struggle of Indian women with the “push and pull of traditionalism and modernity” is interesting, but painful.

“We see great differences, but also great similarities in India. Perhaps more similarities, than differences. But you know one of the thing which I find interesting about India is the push and pull of traditionalism and modernity.

“The constant struggle of women to satisfy their desires to be traditional Indian wife, mother and nurturer of a family while at a same time wanting to surge ahead and be a bread winner,” Brown told IANS in an interview here.

Born in Britain and later taking American citizenship, Brown, who has expressed interest to pen something on the life of Indira Gandhi, India’s first woman prime minister, added: “Indian women are so vibrant, brilliant and powerful and yet there is this other constant fight to be this deeply subservient kind of women. I think it is a conflict that will go on. It is interesting and at the same time very painful.”

The media doyen, however, said that a person’s endeavour to be a leader as well as a nurturer is not restricted to India. “It is available all over the world, but pronounced very well in India.”

She loves coming back to the country – be it to immerse herself in the old world charm of Udaipur, soak in the enchanting views of Kerala or to explore the literature world in Jaipur.

This time, it’s work calling in India for Brown, who has brought her Women in the World summit to India. The summit, held in Delhi on Friday, featured powerful and glamourous names like Cate Blanchett, Deepa Mehta, Shabana Azmi and Nandita Das, who delved on a variety of issues concerning the globe.

Brown, who authored best-selling biography of Princess Diana “The Diana Chronicle” in 2007, is quick to note that there are several “boiling” discussions in India over gender issues. She feels it is an apt moment to “break in”.

“India right now is in between a very exciting and vibrant discussion on gender issues. Everywhere I go, Indian women are arguing about the place of women in society — how can they be protected, how women can breakthrough the bro-culture. All these kind of discussions are boiling in India and that is something very exciting. It feels like a very good moment to break in,” said Brown, who was awarded the honor of Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth for her services to journalism in 2000.

Brown is a former editor of The Newsweek, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Daily Beast and Tatler.

Launched by Brown in 2010, the Women in the World summit convenes leaders as well as inspirational activists from across the globe. By sharing their stories, they help take a step towards making world a better place for women and girls.

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