Essay on A Study of Mahasweta Devi’s Draupadi

Essay on A Study of Mahasweta Devi’s Draupadi

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The history of tribal oppression in India is an old one. “The Sanyasi Revolt”, “The Wahabi Movement”, and “The Naxalbari Rebellion”, are evidence of the tribal outcry that appropriately foregrounds their requirement for fundamental rights as citizens of the country. Even after sixty six years of independence, India’s rural poor and tribals are lamenting under the curbing effects of destitution, unemployment, undernourishment, illiteracy and human trafficking. For these people, the notions of liberty, equality and democracy have no meaning at all. Though the country is free from the bondage of foreign rule, their repression and prejudices still continue leaving them dependent on their new masters.
However, partly due to their biological sexual difference and the socio-cultural surroundings to which they belong, the consequences of these above mentioned social evils are much more on women, especially subaltern women. Giving voice to such oppressed subalterns, the gendered subaltern (women of the deprived sections) and Indian women in general, Gayatri Chakvarty Spivak says: “For if, in the context of colonial production, the subaltern has no history and cannot speak, the subaltern as female is even more deeply in shadow.” During her analysis of Sati she concludes her essay “can the subaltern” with her declaration that “the subaltern cannot speak” (Ashcroft, Griffths, and Tiffins 218-219).
Mahasweta Devi, always writes for deprived section of people. She is a loving daughter, a clerk, a lecturer, a journalist, an editor, a novelist, a dramatist and above all an ardent social activist. Her stories bring to the surface not only the misery of the completely ignored tribal people, but also articulate the oppression of w...

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... and inverts this fear and disgrace of Rape towards her exploiters. She prefers the way of resisting instead of remain silent. She shows no trace of shame on her face, instead, her oppressors felt ashamed.

Works Cited

Bill, Ashcroft, Gareth Griffith and Helen Tiffin. Key Concepts in Post Colonial Studies.
London: Routledge, 1998. Print.
Hameed. Syeda. S. “Sexual Abuse in Revenge: Women as Targets of communal Hatred”.
The Violence of Normal Times: Essays on Women’s Lived Reality. Ed. Kalpana
kannabiran. New Delhi: Women Unlimited, 2005. Print.
Kumar. Radha. “The Agitation Against Rape”. The History of Doing: An Illustatred Account
of Movements for Women’s Rights and Feminism in India. 1800-1990. New Delhi:
Zubaan, 1993. Print.
Mahasweta Devi. “Draupadi”, Breasts Stories.Trans. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak. Calcutta:
Seagull. 2008. Print.

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