In an India of sexual exploitation and female abuse, Dada Dharmadhikari’s is a sane and urgent voice. It is neither shrill like the feminists nor insidiously diabolic like the stereotyping of the TV serials that are vitiating the complex issue of man-woman relationships. He calls for cultural hygiene and a healthy social order.
Dada Dharmadhikari gives a liberal twist to the ancient Ardhanarishwar concept of the cosmic coexistence of the male and female principle. He uses all his formidable learning and experience to come to this holistic conclusion – the answer does not lie in permissiveness. Nor does it lie in the fundamentalists’ insistence on placing her on an pedestal. He gives us a glimpse beyond gender games and stereotypes into a world of genuine equality. Only both men and women walking together, on a spiritual journey of mutual respect and fellowship, can hope to reach this paradise lost and liberate the human race.
About the Author:
Shankar Trimbak Dharmadhikari, better known as Acharya Dada Dharmadhikari, was born on June 18th, 1899 at Multapi in Betul disctrict in Madhya Pradesh. He studied at the Indore Christian College, Indore and the Morris College, Nagpur. He left college in the second year to join the Non-Cooperation Movement launched by Mahatma Gandhi. He did not go back to any educational institution after that but spent a year studying the vedantic treatises of Shri Sankaracharya.
From 1931 to 1935 he taught at the Tilak Vidyalaya, Nagpur. From 1935 to 1946 he lived in Bajajwadi, Wardha and was connected with the Gandhi Seva Sangh. From 1938 to 1943 he edited Sarvodaya, the Hindi organ of the Gandhi Seva Sangh. Member of the historic Provincial Legislative Assembly and the Constituent Assembly from 1946 to 1951, he was president of the Kaladi Sarvodaya Sammelan, Kerala in 1957. He also edited the Hindi weekly, Bhoodan Yagna.
He was actively connected with the organization of youth and students and worked for social reforms. He founded the Rashtriya Yuvak Sangh in the Central Provinces. Dada Dharmadhikari was awarded the Gandhi Award of the Rashtrabhasha Prachar Samiti for his contribution to Hindi literature. He took part in every movement launched by Gandhiji and was imprisoned in 1930, 1932 and 1942. Acharya Dada Dharmadhikari passed away on 1st December 1985 at Sewagram in Wardha District.