Sunday, March 27, 2011


BOSTON - Geraldine Ferraro’s selection as Walter Mondale’s Democratic running mate in the 1984 presidential election made her a winner as far as history was concerned, despite an unsuccessful campaign that proved to be a tough political slog against a popular incumbent.  Her vice presidential bid, the first for a woman on a major party ticket, emboldened women across the country to seek public office and helped lay the groundwork for Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential candidacy in 2008 and John McCain’s choice of his running mate, Sarah Palin, that year.   
Mondale’s campaign had struggled to gain traction and his selection of Ferraro, at least momentarily, revived his momentum and energized millions of women who were thrilled to see one of their own on a national ticket.
The blunt, feisty Ferraro charmed audiences initially, and for a time polls showed the Democratic ticket gaining ground on President Ronald Reagan and Vice President George H. W. Bush.  But her candidacy ultimately proved rocky as she fought ethics charges and traded barbs with Bush over accusations of sexism and class warfare.  Ferraro later told an interviewer, “I don’t think I’d run again for vice president,” then added, “Next time I’d run for president.”  Reagan won 49 of 50 states in 1984, the largest landslide since Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first re-election over Alf Landon in 1936.  
But Ferraro had forever sealed her place as trailblazer for women in politics.  Ferraro died Saturday in Boston, where the 75-year-old was being treated for complications of blood cancer.

Yesterday at 75 died Democrat Geraldine Ferraro who ran with Walter Mondale against President Ronald Reagan and George Bush in 1984.  “By choosing a woman to run, you send a powerful signal to all Americans: There are no doors we cannot unlock,” Ferraro said in her acceptance speech at the 1984 Democratic convention.  In Hindu society, a woman’s place was very high from the earliest time, for example we always remember the two women seekers of the spiritual truth, Maitreyi and Gargi, who asked very searching questions.  They were two strong and forceful women Rishis of the ancient Vedic period.

In Hindu society, a woman’s position and status also have undergone many changes. In the early Vedic period, women were barred from reading the Holy Scriptures. They were considered unhygienic and polluted during their menstrual periods and not even allowed to perform their normal domestic activities during this time. Views and attitudes, however, later changed. Perhaps the early prehistoric Indus-Saraswati culture showed the way, and women earned their rightful place. Along with male gods, there appeared many female goddesses, some of them even more powerful and more revered than their male counterparts. The male dominance of the Vedic era soon met its first challenge. In the Upanishads we encounter two very fierce female scholars, Maitreyi and Gargi, who pose most arduous and demanding questions to the learned sages.

Dr. Hiro Badlani:
“Hinduism - Path of the Ancient Wisdom”
Chapter 9: “Vedas through the Passage of Time”  -

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