22 Jan 2019

The Gender Cell (former Women’s Cell) conducted a Diamond Jubilee cultural program ‘Abhang Geete’ on the 22nd January, 2019. A lecture demonstration by Shruthi Vishwanath on the WomenWarkaris- Unsung Santakaviyatris of Maharashtra. Supported by the Indian Foundation for the Arts, the artist recited, sang and explained abhangs (devotional songs for Vitthal) by women warikari poets- mystic poets of the 13th and 17th century. Shruti was joined by Shruteendra Katagade on Tabla and Yuji Nakagawa on Sarangi. They revisited poems by women from 600 years ago, to shine a new light on women’s poetry from the era and its implications on linear notions of bhakti. These include Janabai and her daring defiance of custom, Aubai’s experience of formlessness, Soyrabai’s struggle with both caste and gender, Kanhopatra’s life and heartbreaking pleas, Muktabai’s riddles, and Gonabai’s complaints. The event saw a great turnout from the student, faculty and staff community from the campus, who were in awe and appreciation of these uncelebrated collection of bhakti songs.