My wife (Vidhi Lalchand, the 200th person to like the status, I was 201) is proud that Professor Nita is Indian while I am proud that she is a Bahá’ís (we belong to the same community).
Professor Nita paraphrased one of Abdul Baha’s most famous quotes: “The world of humanity has two wings—one is women and the other men,” wrote ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, “Not until both wings are equally developed can the bird fly. Should one wing remain weak, flight is impossible.”
It’s interesting that there is a preponderance of prominent female Indian scientists at Cambridge; could almost be a clustering effect!
After the jump; Annie Besant & Abdul Baha’s exchange‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s interest in women’s work and progress is well known, and among the notable leaders who came to see him, may be mentioned Mrs. Annie Besant, President of the Theosophical Society, the organizers of various suffrage bodies, civic and philanthropic workers, the principals of several woman’s colleges and lady doctors.
A spirited conversation due to the visit of an ardent suffragist will be long remembered by those who had the privilege of being present. The room was full of men and women, many Persians being seated in their familiar respectful attitude on the floor.
After contrasting the general position of the Eastern and the Western women, and then describing how in many respects the Eastern woman has the advantage of her Western sister, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá turned and said to the visitor: “Give me your reasons for believing that woman today should have the vote?”
Answer: “I believe that humanity is a divine humanity and that it must rise higher and higher; but it cannot soar with only one wing.” ‘Abdu’l-Bahá expressed his pleasure at this answer, and smiling, replied: “But what will you do if one wing is stronger than the other?” Answer: “Then we must strengthen the weaker wing, otherwise the flight will always be hampered.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá smiled and asked: “What will you say if I prove to you that the woman is the stronger wing?”