International Women’s Day Interview- Kamala Rajan
Kamala Rajan is a retired banker. Kamala retired in 2014 as a Chief General Manager from the Reserve Bank of India. She is a post graduate in Economics and holds a masters degree in Psychotherapy. The latter is a matter of personal interest in human psyche. Kamala is from a family of eight children and is one of the tail enders. She likes creative indulgences in the form of drawing, painting, doodling and cooking. Kamala says she includes cooking as a creative activity as she does not stick to time honoured paths of condiments and processes. Kamala likes to deviate a lot. She has been considered adept in needle work and knitting. She has been a voracious reader since the age of 11. Her tastes are pretty Catholic. She generally likes to observe people and analyse their mind and action hence the interest in psychotherapy. Kamala believes human race is mean’t to scale higher levels of consciousness and dimensions but is wasting time and energy in futile pursuits of colour, creed and consumerism and hopes to see that barrier breached in her lifetime. Check out Kamala’s interview below:
In the Reserve Bank of India, I did not experience any gender discrimination. Though gender differences do result in gender based harassment in every area of life there is also a rich contribution that such differences bring to life. The contributions of Mars and Venus can never be understated. There is therefore a balance which has to be maintained and this balance is dynamic one and not automatically achieved. Like in any marriage, adjustment is the key. A basic standard of behaviour, mindfulness and respect for differences is necessary to have an optimally comfortable and constructive work environment.
As regards respecting a women’s need or right to actualising her ambition and purpose, there is no uniformity in our country. There are states where women are respected for pursuing their ambitions and there are regions where by and large women are objectified. This is also manifested in a work environment as people from different regions come together to work. There has to be a constant awareness of the reasons for such differences and an effort has to be made to deal with it accordingly. As a woman, I have noticed that the background of the men that I have worked with has a lot of impact on their behaviour. But this has to be dealt with a gamut of tact and diplomacy at times even assertion of one’s individuality and personality at others.
There is generally speaking considerable support for the women working. But I have found broad parochial differences, which in a country like ours with vast cultural variations, is not surprising at all.This is an important problem faced by women . But things are changing and any change is bound to throw up the good and bad like the Samudra manthan! One must decide to deal with them in the best possible way with the single objective and guideline being the optimum good for all without discrimination!! It is very important to understand that any cultural change has to start in the home front in the family circle. This has to be supported in the educational arena and have legal support systems in the work environment. Ultimately I must say, that every problem that needs legal action and rules and regulations need not come into existence at all in the first place if there is courtesy, concern and mindfulness in our day to day interactions!
Kamala left the women related issues unanswered. Kamala says it shows how, in her mind this difference is very much in the back burner. It is a waste of time to think in terms of woman power being secondary in any way. This total lack of discrimination is also a part of her upbringing as her brothers and sisters were not treated differently at all.
Thank you Kamala for some upfront and brilliant responses to our questions. Come visit us over the weekend as we wrap up with our final few interviews in our trial blazer series for International Women’s Day. We hope you have enjoyed it so far.