“If there was no night, women would not even have a chance to rest” – Smt. Kusum Nigam
Dhamma Darshan Nigam
Our mother once said that “अगर रात नहीं होती तो महिलाओं को आराम करने का मौक़ा भी नहीं मिलता” (If there was no night, women would not even have a chance to rest). One other time about the 1984 massacre of Sikhs she said that “पूरी दिल्ली जल रही थी” (the whole Delhi was burning), which remains stuck in my mind. And since then I have read the same quote in many books. Such was the depth of thinking of our mother. Our mother was a home-maker, not some working woman who could have seen things while going here and here, or while interacting with different people, but she had a critical eye to understand and analyze things clearly, even through her limited periphery. She had the habit of reading newspapers, magazines and books daily. She used to read every part of the newspaper from front page headlines to daily city crimes, from national to international political news, news from sports pages to new national and international researches, from news about new recipes to Bollywood and entertainment news. She was always up-to-date. She was our social scientist, our political analyst, and our encyclopedia.
Our mother was a hard core Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supporter. Hard core supporter of BSP’s president Mayawati ji. It was the time of the 2020 Delhi assembly election. Every news channel, newspapers, and her three sisters, four daughters she used to talk with, everybody was talking about Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), so she also got a soft corner for AAP. On the eve of the election she told us that for some moments she thought to give her vote to AAP. But then she emphatically said that “वोटिंग मशीन देखते ही, आंखें और उंगली सीधी हाथी पर ही जाती है” ('as soon as I see the voting machine, my eyes and fingers go straight to the elephant'). She also used to say that this is not about winning or losing, but about registering our vote to our party. She had knowledge about all political parties and what was going on in which political party. She was a proud Bahujan Ambedkarite mother.