Role Of Women In Anshu Sailmar's 'Karukku'

1866 Words8 Pages
In her autobiographical Karukku, Bama through her own experiences as a Dalit Chirstian woman in Tamil Nadu gives voice to the threefold marginalization suffered by thousands of women of her community because of their being Dalits, poor and women. Though the act of writing the novel serves as a sort of catharsis for the author and helps her to get rid of the psychological turmoil that she has experienced since childhood, it also makes her the spokesperson of the women of her community as she depicts how Dalit women are oppressed in almost every field of their life. Instead of a linear chronological narrative, she uses the stream of consciousness technique (which leads us into her psyche/consciousness) to give voice to her experiences as a Dalit…show more content…
Thus, Bama through her writing not only attempts to negotiate a separate identity for herself as a single Tamil Dalit woman, writer and activist as she gives vent to her experiences of suffering and humiliation and offers resistance to the rigid caste, class and patriarchal norms that prevail in the society but also attempts to negotiate an identity for thousands of Dalit women that was different from both Dalit men and upper class women. Also, as Anshu Sailpar suggests, the novel is divided into nine chapters which can be interpreted to represent the nine months of “gestation, pregnancy and labor” (Sailpar, 478), which in turn represents the whole process of the narrator forging a different/fresh identity by sketching a new vision (through her writing and activism), thereby combining the rhetoric of caste within a gynocentric model. Thus, Bama as a ‘subaltern’ subject by attempting to give voice to her own experiences and oppression as a Paraiyar Dalit woman in Tamil Nadu, brings to the centre the experiences of pain and humiliation of thousands of women of her community and establish an identity, agency and rightful place in society for herself as well as for…show more content…
She narrates how the everyday of these women are full of marginalization and oppression that they experience from both within and outside their communities. She depicts how gender bias along with the caste based atrocities and poverty makes women the worst victims in the society. They are discriminated right from the time of their birth. She cites examples like women marginalization is not just limited to the preference for the male child but even when women have multiple children “a boy is breast-fed longer, with girls, they wean them off, making them forget the breast” (Bama, 7). She through the character of Subbamma in the novel, Bama demonstrates that almost half of the Dalit population remained uneducated not only because they were denied education by the upper castes or because of the discrimination they experienced while studying along upper caste children by teachers who also practiced caste based discrimination, because of their limited means, but also because men were the ones who were usually given preference over women when the provision of education was concerned. Subbamma laments and blames women’s illiteracy for reducing them to the status of “slaves” who were bound to bear the burden of slavery all their lives “As if we are blind even though we have eyes” (Bama, 118). The reference to

    More about Role Of Women In Anshu Sailmar's 'Karukku'

      Open Document