Closing Remarks

I hope that Sita will be understood by the public as a woman with many aspects to her role, as a strong woman in her own way. Only then will the media refrain from molding her into another character. There is no denying that we need to actively change the social conditions facing many Indian women. But, in that effort let us not malign and portray our heritage and culture negatively, especially when most of us have not even read the epics, but only understood distorted extracts. Let us use appropriate role models and not negate our intrinsic cultural role models but, through right understanding, uplift the positive aspects in our culture.

 There is a cross section of women who see Sita as the cherished wife of Ram. In such a relationship a woman or a man is willing to sacrifice for each other. They recognize life has its cycles. Everything changes. They do not feel the need to rebel. They have the freedom to express themselves, so rebellion is muted. There is more balance of power. And when hardships come, like Sita, they want the strength to face them honorably. 

Sita is an integral part of Indian womanhood. We either accept her or reject her. We can't ignore her. Ram and Sita, like most human beings, were portrayed as complex characters. Instead of demonizing Ram, we can humanize his weaknesses. I hope we can move beyond the negative stereotyping and see Sita as a woman who dealt with all challenging situations with dignity and grace.

 Just because we have have limited understanding of Indian literature, it does not mean Sita should be made the victim of our own distorted understanding. Let us find the right role models for differing circumstances. Sita and Draupadi are great role models to emulate, each in their own context. We have a plethora of great role models for today's changing society and its values. The 21st century promotes diversity of thoughts. Sita and her qualities, as originally portrayed, need to live. Society needs her. Let us and the media not tarnish her.


1. Great Women of India, Advaita Ashram, Calcutta
2. Ramayana:
a) Kamala Subramaniam, Bharat Vidya Bhavan, Bombay
b) Valmiki Ramayan, Gita Press, Gorakhpur
3. Lectures On The Ramayana, The Rt. Hon. V.S. Srinivasa Sastri, Viswanathan
4. Chinmaya Mission Publications
a) Sri Rama Jaya Rama – Jaya Jaya Rama, 1996 Yagna Souvenir, Chinmaya Mission, Madras
b) Sri Rama Gita, Swami Chinmayananda, Chinmaya Mission