A Competent and Successful woman is expected to be indebted’, says Kanthi D Suresh, on Daughters day

On daughters day, we caught up with an online chat with Ms Kanthi D Suresh, Editor-in-Chief, of Power Sportz. Here are the excerpts.

How significant do you think celebrating daughters day, is, for a Woman, today?
Any celebration which brings people together to bond is welcome. If celebrating daughters day is doing the same, so be it. We also celebrate International Womens day. It is a day when women are recognized for their achievements without regard to divisions. I would certainly prefer a situation where actually there are no divisions rather than celebrating a day to remind all of us that divisions should not exist.

You have been vocal in many of your interviews about India not being a country very conducive to Independent minded women.
In India, if you are a competent women who is growing in her space, she is always reminded to feel ‘indebted’ to society/family etc for having been given an opportunity to perform. She is expected to conduct herself with a high degree of ‘humility’ for having had the courage to occupy a pedestal which otherwise is believed to ‘belong’ to a man!

The National Commission for Women has registered a sharp spike in domestic violence during the lockdown where women have been the victim
Yes, and now to celebrate daughters day also raises a question mark. But, Its interesting to note here that this domestic violence is not just specific to India but its something which has happened, world over. Infact, the  UN has described the worldwide increase in domestic abuse as a “shadow pandemic” alongside Covid-19. It may be unfair to term this as a simple ‘gender divide’, or a ‘gender bias’, this situation needs to looked at from a deeper human perspective of mental health of human beings in this very unprecedented situation of the pandemic.

We are told that you are also quarantining yourself against the Coronavirus. Do you think Work from home is soon going to become the new normal?
I’m quarantining myself as I was exposed to a corona positive staff of mine, but I’m not someone who would advocate a Work from home philosophy. Human beings are wired to socialize, to interact, to have social proximities with one another. That gives a sense of balance apart from just measuring work productivity, which can be achieved by working from anywhere, albeit, home. I think this ‘Work from home’, is more ‘living at work’, and I hope it ends soon.

Do you think this pandemic will put everyone on an equal footing where both men and women have to make fresh new beginnings at work?
I don’t think it takes just a virus to act as a levelling factor for an issue that has come down to us from years of history. Yes, the virus has made all of us realize the importance of human lives, and hopefully that should translate to showing more respect to one another irrespective of gender.

As a woman, who has achieved quite a bit independently, whats your message to other young daughters who are beginning their lives?
Having your own independent identity is important. Its time to stop drawing it from a father, brother, husband. An independent identity with a collaborative relationship, both in family and at work is important for success. Dream Big!

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