The field of art is as gendered as the other fields. While men refrain from being dancers and women are encouraged, musicians too have such biases where certain instruments are considered more suited for men.
Mithu Tikadar is unusual in her choice of instrument: the tabla. Traditionally seen as the domain of male practitioners, Mithu constantly encounters discrimination in her field. The worst was when her aunt told a young Mithu that she was a disgrace to all women. Undaunted Mithu decided to take up tabla as a subject for her secondary school exams and build a career out of it.
Since then Mithu has come a long way. Today she’s economically self-sufficient and is the only Dalit woman to have cleared the nationwide test on musical instruments that makes her eligible to teach in colleges. But her struggle with patriarchal mores continues.