Pathivratha and Rajavritta: A Gambol of Patriarchy in Anita Nair’s Lessons in Forgetting and Mahasweta Devi’s After Kurukshetra

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Dr. R. Pavithra


Subjacent life is an unmoved mark of women all over the world. History reveals that the hands of social evils mysteriously subjugate feminine forever from the dawn of human civilization. In India, women are discriminated and marginalised at every level of the society whether it is social participation, economic opportunity and economic participation, political participation, access to education or access to nutrition and reproductive health care. Patriarchy continues to be embedded in the system in many parts of India and denies a majority of women the choice to decide on how they live. The prime status of community in a patriarchal sense ensures that women seldom have an independent say in community issues. A significant few still consider women as a sex objects. Spivak in her essay “Can the Subaltern Speak?”, has strived to draw courtesy to that large majority of the marginalised that is unheard in history (written by the dominant) because it could not or was not allowed to make itself heard. Her essays show how millions, under the colonial dispensation, have come and gone without leaving a trace; men, but even more so women. Thus, she says “the subaltern as female is even more deeply in shadow than the subaltern male” (28). Mahasweta Devi and Anita Nair’s novel mostly reveal the plight of such women. Nevertheless, both the writers often refuse to limit themselves as a feminist writer, it is their sympathetic portrayal of the subjugation of women and consequent revolt invariably marks a feminist dimension to their work. The study aims to prove the fact that even though the characters in Nair and Devi’s fiction undergo oppression and ostracism they emerge resilient.


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