By Saesha Sharda
For centuries, women have been underestimated, cast down compared to men, and even ridiculed. Though some change has taken place, sexism towards women still exists. Over the years, women have risen to power by peaceful protesting, hunger strikes, and much more. In fact, the year 2020 celebrates one hundred years of women’s right to vote in America. I wanted to create an artwork showcasing women empowerment.
Rani Padmavati is a celebrated Indian icon for women empowerment. Padmavati along with her husband, Ratan Sen, ruled the Mewar Kingdom. Soon after their marriage, a power-hungry king named Allauddin Khilji attacked the Mewar Kingdom. Unfortunately, Ratan Sen was killed during the battle. Padmavati did not want to live under another king’s rule, with a risk of losing her honor or dignity. So, she, along with many other women, jumped into an open pit of fire. Padmavati is a symbol of women’s empowerment because she protected her dignity. In my painting, Padmavati is shown walking confidently into the flames depicts dignity, pride, and values for the motherland…come what may!. It is a reflection of Indian Rajput women preferring their honor in defending their kingdom and dignity against invader Alauddin Khalji.