Meera: An early modern woman who broke social conventions.

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Meera was a poetess, born in the 16th century. She belongs to the Rajput family of Rajasthan. She is among the few female poets of Bhakti-Kala. Her poetry is taught at school and college level in particularly north India but there is almost no discussion on her life. Though she belongs to Hindu tradition as she is known for her devotion to Lord Krishna, it is rarely discussed how she challenged the various traditional practices of Hinduism.

As Meera was widowed in her teenage itself, there is no way other than spending the time in devotion. She belongs to the so-called upper caste, so she was not allowed to remarriage. She was also forbidden to talk to the other men or go outside the house. Also, she was expected to follow the practices of caste, which means no intermingling with the so-called lower caste community was allowed.

Meera challenged it and chose saint Ravidas who belongs to a lower caste community as her spiritual teacher. She used to go to his religious gatherings. She used to sing her poetry in the street. This is the reason why she was so much hated by her own family that they tried to poison her. She rejected the caste barrier and tried to liberate herself from the obstacles put on a woman. How much hardship she has faced can be imagined when we know that at that time the shadow of a widowed woman was taken to be evil. So if she used to roam and sing in the street, she might face lots of difficulties. She tried to live her life on her own term. She refused various social norms which makes her a modern woman of the early modern period.

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