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Revisiting Mahatma Gandhi through Haryanvi Folksongs

This article attempts to revisit the ideas of Mahatma Gandhi on women education, their empowerment and self-reliance, their potential of leadership qualities and capabilities to contribute to nation-building through the folksongs of Haryana and also how these ideas are adopted, adapted or rejected by women in the process of gaining agency. Innumerable nameless women have memorialized dignitaries like Mahatma Gandhi, Sir Chottu Ram, Bhagat Singh and many others in their folksongs. These women were not only the foot soldiers of the national movement but also acted as the backbone to Gandhi's ideas of self-reliance and 'Swaraj'. An attempt would be made to explore how Gandhi inspired women of Haryana to transform their lives in the process of evolving as self-confident individuals instead of a dependent subject. These folksongs act as a source of an alternate unchronicled narration celebrating Gandhivis-à-vis themselves as part of history.

Vasundhara Gautam
Nidan : International Journal for Indian Studies, v6 n1 (20210701): 48-65