The New Year has clearly not started on a good note for Bengaluru as newspapers and TV channels have been covering the recent mass molestation incident. Right from activists taking steps to condemn such actions to celebrities coming out against the incident, the city has been in the news.
Noted art consultant RK Usha says that the current situation of Bengaluru can be connected to a hymn written by the great composer, Thyagaraja. The hymn dates back to the late 17th century and is known as 'Evaraina lera peddalu ilalona dinula brovanu.'
Translating the hymn for IBTimes India, she shares, "The hymn sung by Thyagaraja addresses Lord Rama. The composer asks him if there are no elders in this world who could protect the humble, no elders in this world who would inform god about the terrible distress found in the ocean of worldly existence, no elders who do not have a wavering mind, who could work against the thoughts of lust and envy?"
In the context of Bengaluru, Usha asks if there is no one who could protect our women. "The first lines of the composition, if you look at it from a social perspective, it asks whether there are no elders who could protect the humble, normal, simple - in this case, our women and people who need to be protected.
If you look at the female gender, somehow we have got it into our minds that we are the weaker sex and that's why we feel we need to be protected. So why aren't there any elders to protect us?" she asks, citing the hymn.
Usha points out and asks: "We have found so many distresses in worldly existence, issues, which are becoming a pattern of life. Why can't we stop wavering minds? Why can't we stop people who are stooping to unjust acts? Why can't we find people who can help change these people?"
Usha feels that this hymn is apt for the situation today in Bengaluru because the city needs these "elders" to change the men in the city. "You see women walking on the road and men attacking them. Where are these actions coming from? The mind is constantly wavering and we need someone who could change their mindset," she explains.
An active member in the field of music and dance, Usha spends a lot of time researching the compositions of Thyagaraja and that is when she came across this particular hymn.
The important question at this juncture is when will all the misdeeds stop and when are we going to have a safer society for women?