Gender and Heroism In Indian Myths With Devdutt Pattanaik


We spoke to best-selling author Devdutt Pattanaik about the role of gender in Indian mythology and why we need to break the notion of hero and villain while narrating a story, leaving it to the perception of the listener.

In this exclusive interview, Devdutt is asked about the challenges of being a man writing stories about women without really knowing their pain.

He explains that writing these stories made him realize how different bodies are, even within the same gender. “Our bodies are a different world we inhabit,” Devdutt states. Every individual experiences the same things so differently, whether it’s pregnancy, menstruation, or bodily functions. We understand that Indian mythology is very different from Western mythology, as we focus more on the “bhav” or the feelings behind the story.

Devdutt explains in this video how Indian mythology isn’t about the do-gooder hero or the monstrous villain but more about the emotional side of the characters. We are shown a different, more vulnerable side of Ramayana—a story of longing, of a man who was never really allowed to be with his wife.

To watch the full interview, where we speak about his other book “Sati Savitri” and about the role of feminism in our ancient myths, click the YouTube or Podcast links below.

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