The Two-day National Conference on “Post-modernism and Progressive India: Literary Articulations and Non-Literary Interventions” organised by Garden City College, Bangalore saw a host of luminaries inspire the myriad-minded scholars of all hues and shades drawn from 78 cities from across the country.
One of the salient features of the Conference was the excellent hospitality provided by the host institution which remains and will remain etched in our hearts in a long long time to come. Be it the hospitable volunteers at the reception desk, or the affable and affectionate staff members at the conference venue, or the catering students at the food department, or the gala entertainment provided by GCE students on both days of the Conference - it was ‘relishing’ all the way!
The first day saw a varied intellectual treat by scholars drawn from diverse fields. Dr.Poile Sengupta, one of the topmost promising English playwrights in India, spoke on women in theatre, from a linear, chronological point of view, tracing it down from the time of the Natya Shastra’s treatise on theatre way back in the 3rd century BC. Although theatre has a solid 68% of women in the audience, when it comes to representation, it is a minimal 2:1 ratio, she opined.
The nature of women was 'stereotypically' classified into three types viz:
1) Uttama (superior woman, calm, bears no malice, most excellent)
2) Madhyama (jealous of her rivals, gets angry easily, intermediate)
3) Adhama (inferior type of woman, harsh, angry for no reason, bears grudges always, evil, indifferent, neutral)
Anger management was supposed to be an important part of a woman’s personality, whereas in theatre, anger is the most attractive of expressions. Anger is equated to arrogance, ambition, lust, etc. Ms.Sengupta wondered whether this was one reason why women where underrepresented in theatre, as society expected women not to get angry often!
A couple of lectures on Postmodernism followed the maiden lecture, and this was followed by interactions of the Speakers with the audience.