The Highly Anticipated Book Launch of ‘Mountain Goddesses’ by Manu Khajuria Singh in London. An exclusive feature by columnist Riccha Grrover for Asian Lite International.
‘Mountain Goddesses’, hot off the press book by author Manu Khajuria Singh, was officially launched on Thursday, March 30th, 2023 at the cultural wing of the Indian High Commission UK, The Nehru Centre in London. The event was attended by a diverse group of guests, ranging from publishing industry insiders to reading enthusiasts.
Since a long time, conversations around feminism have been largely dominated by stories and narratives of progressive women in western societies. This new book ‘Mountain Goddesses’ follows author, Manu Khajuria Singh, through her discovery over time of the deep-rooted feminine power within her motherland in Jammu. This mountainous region in northern India has a rich heritage of folklore. Narratives surrounding goddesses, female folk deities and warriors have been preserved by its vibrant oral tradition, which have been passed down through generations.
After moving to the UK and seeing the younger generation become influenced by contemporary female icons, Manu was inspired to document the vast yet lesser-known female-centric stories from her homeland. These empowering tales offer alternative indigenous role models and an illuminating perspective on femininity.
Manu in her book explores the vast history of feminine icons in the Jammu & Kashmir region, and how their stories can serve as a source of inspiration and feminine power. Singh takes the reader on a captivating journey, uncovering the unique and somewhat undocumented history of strong women and feminine role models in the mountainous regions of Jammu & Kashmir.
Through these stories, Singh shows how people of the region have found their strength and resilience in the deep-rooted history of feminine power in their region. At the housefull launch event recently in London, Singh shared her inspiration and personal journey behind the creation of this remarkable book. Guests and attendees also had the opportunity to meet and interact with the author after the launch, who signed copies of the book for many and engaged in thought-provoking conversations with the attendees.
The event was also marked by the presence of several prominent personalities from the publishing industry who praised the book for its narrative and its message. World Renowned author Amish Tripathi joined the event virtually to share his praise for the book “Mountain Goddesses.” He commended the book for its insightful portrayal of the native traditions in Jammu & Kashmir, which stemmed from the author’s own experiences. He also praised the author’s ability to capture the ‘Indian gaze towards feminism,’ which is starkly different from the western view of feminism.
The audience also had the privilege of hearing from a special guest, Mr. Sarvjeet Soodan, First Secretary (Political, Press & Information) at The High Commission of India, who is also from Jammu. In his speech, Mr. Soodan praised Manu’s efforts in documenting the history of feminine icons in the region, which has largely been passed down through oral traditions so far. He emphasized the importance of preserving this history for future generations to understand and learn from.
Manu is a UK based freelance writer, international speaker, commentator and Dogra Community activist from Jammu Kashmir. A native of the Jammu Region, her focus is the region, its history, culture, and also the current issues. Manu is also the Founder Voice of Dogras, a community organisation which supports and promotes the Jammu region’s unique culture, history, and its people.
“Mountain Goddesses” is now available for purchase in the UK at www.elephanteditions.co/project/mountain-goddesses. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in the rich cultural heritage of Jammu & Kashmir and the inspiring stories of powerful women in the region.