Engineers are changemakers. Whether we know it or not we have changed the world in ways that even we could not have imagined. I arrived at IIT Bombay a naïve teenager with what I thought I knew engineering was all about. I excelled at mathematics and science; my father was a leading engineer and involved in many exciting projects and I had heard that IIT Bombay was the place to be. I had no idea that engineering would provide me with the tools and capacity to change the world.
I sometimes wonder if the “father of western philosophy”, French philosopher, René Descartes had any gender complexities in mind, when he was talking about “Cogito Ergo Sum” (“I think, therefore I am”) in 1637 in his Discourse on the Method? Some of my thoughts in this regard emerge from the idea that the history of knowledge and history of creative writing, in essence, has been the canonized history of men as intellectuals and as thinkers. Therefore, when Fundamatics requested me to write an article on what it means to be a woman academic in IITs, the floodgates of emotions were thrown open, bringing me face-to-face once again after several years with the Cartesian notion of Cogito Ergo Sum.
October – November, 2017
Like the goddess Durga who stands out majestically during the nine days of Navaratri, this month we focus on women with an identity of their own, who have reshaped and overthrown the patriarchal norm. While the economic empowerment of women across the world is one of the most remarkable revolutions of the past 50 years, yet the question remains if access to power equates to actual power? In this issue, we delve into this question and many more through a fascinating mix of memoirs, articles and essays by our alumnae who reflect their own diverse life journeys. We also explore the changing relationship between women and power in public and private spheres through fascinating stories of alumnae achievements.