The Politics Of Subversion, Power And Deviance: Sita, Surpanakha And Kaikeyi In Select Feminist Re-Visioning Of Ramayana

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Bhagya Shree Nadamala, Dr. Priyanka Tripathi


Building on the foundational theory of Ranajit Guha, this paper scrutinizes two women-centred retellings of the Ramayana and argues: (1) how select feminist re-visioning with the aim to distort, combat and rectify the imbalance and the patriarchal bias have further complicated the stereotyping and (2) how the politics of ‘centre’ and ‘margin’ work betwixt the characters Sita, Surpanakha and Kaikeyi. Feminist re-visioning has led to heterogenous retellings of mythological women in fiction, attempting to question the pre-dominant androcentric messaging in the epics like Ramayana. Through an exploration of Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s The Forest of Enchantments (2019) and Sini Panicker's Sita: Now You Know Me: A Novel (2021), this paper highlights and reveals the workings behind ‘gender policing’ Sita, Surpanakha and Kaikeyi, as ‘Pure, liberated and wicked’.

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