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Eminent Print and Broadcast Journalist Sagarika Ghose addresses FLO members on Life & Liberty in the context of women

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Hyderabad, September 02, 2021.....It is good sometimes to develop a hearing deficiency, Sagarika Ghose, Journalist, Author and Columnist told a gathering of FICCI Ladies Organisations in the city at Hotel Kohenur at Madhapur on Thursday evening.

Ms. Ghose was addressing them on Life & Liberty in the context of women.

Welcoming the gathering Ms. Uma Chirgurupati said FLO organises entrepreneurial programs for white collar people as well as grassroot level people. FLO has been supporting the distance education of rural girls. It also joined hands with Hyderabad police to organise job melas. which has helped 974 candidates with jobs, she shared.

Sagarika Ghose shared some of the lessons learnt in her personal and professional journey.

For me liberty is life and life has to be celebrated, she said.

She was in conversation with Ms. Uma Chigurupati, Chairperson, FLO Hyderabad.

My Dadi was my earlier influencer. I had boundless possibilities as a child. I went west, to study at Oxford and discovered the East i.e India. I discovered what it means to be an Indian woman, she shared her life journey.

Speaking about the liberty of women she said we are excelling in every field, at the Olympics, Tokyo and many spheres of life, but our battle still is on. Crime against women is on the rise. Women continue to suffer. It is the problem of people's mindset. We need to change our social mindset. We need to reform the way people think about women, she said.

We need a gender-equitable society. The empowerment of women is important for democracy, she said.

Glass ceilings still exist especially in politics and journalism, she said. Take for instance in my Journalistic career why there are not many women anchors in the 9 pm news slot. It is an all men only area. Editors are always men. It is easy to reach a Senior Editor position. But to become editor in chief is difficult. Because, men can easily make associations and networks, which is not possible for women. These are a few invisible hurdles. Men go to press clubs after work, where associations are made and networks are formed. This is not possible for women, she said.

As a student of history, I noticed that Gandhi was the most misunderstood leader. He was a quintessential liberal. He believed in the power of individuality. His Satyagrahas were more disciplined. They were not chaotic. Satyagraha was the most disciplined form of protest. which we can’t imagine nowadays, she added.

Speaking about her journey as a journalist she said, we returned home from Oxford, when all were going abroad, especially to the USA. I and my husband, Rajdeep Desai, decided to pursue our careers in India. I discovered so much about India at Oxford.

On my job, I learnt many things from my boss Vinod Mehta, how to manage things. He used to give us such a tough task and used to say 'you will just have to manage'. We women go through many such things in our life. We all have responsibilities. Nothing should stop us. We just have to manage. This simple phrase helped me over the years, and has guided me through many tough times.

At times you need to be 'a little mad'. It helps, she said. I occasionally go mad and it helped me, she shared another secret lesson of hers.

Speaking about another important lesson she learnt on the job was 'to develop listening deficiency'. Once an American legal luminary said it always helps with hearing deficiency. It works especially well with our mothers-in-law, she said. If you react in anger or with any other emotion, it may lead to an unnecessary situation. So better don’t listen, she shared. And she advised women in the audience to develop hearing deficiency.The third lesson she learnt was persuasion.

It makes sense to persuade rather than confront. You can get many things done by persuasion rather than confronting and arguing with the people, she said.

Sharing her experience at Kumbh Mela, she said she heard there from a Sadhu who was giving pravachan that there were three kinds of happiness. One is doing wonderful things, the second is doing a routine job and the third one is Koshish (meaning putting in an effort). This keeps you pushing.

The happiness you derive out of your effort is tremendous, she shared.

Though there were many books authored on Mrs Indira Gandhi, my book was different in terms of my focus on her as a person, She is the most attractive human being Sagrika revealed.

About 125 members of FLO attended the session 

Updated on September 3, 2021