Themes And Techniques In Mahasweta Devi`s Rudali

3241 words - 13 pages

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|1. Kapoor, Priya. "Rudali (The Lamenter): Mourning as Cultural Practice" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the |
|International Communication Association, New Orleans Sheraton, New Orleans, LA, May 27, 2004 Online . 2011-01-05 |
| |
|Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript |
|Review Method: Peer Reviewed |
|Abstract: In this paper ...view middle of the document...

Writing is still regarded as men’s domain (Gupta, 2003); and |
|there are just a few women filmmakers despite an over hundred year history of Indian cinema (Subramanyam, 1996). Therefore, both |
|Lajmi and Mahasweta Devi are worthy of note as important literary and film industry figures respectively. |
|Poignant writings on widowhood in Hindu society |
|D. R. Chaudhry |
|Shadow Lives — Writings on Widowhood. |
|Edited by Uma Chakravarti and Preeti Gill. Kali for Women, New Delhi. Pages x + 490. Rs 295 |
|THE book under review is an important treatise on the heart-rending plight of widows in the patrilineal Hindu society. The critique delineates the oppressive |
|structures that give rise to oppressive traditions. The book is arranged in three parts: Hindu scriptures dealing with prescriptions, injunctions and laws |
|concerning widows and 19th and 20th century documents dealing with widows; personal narratives of widows; and finally creative writings of Indian writers on the |
|subject of widowhood. |
|Kautilya’s Arthashastra and other Hindu dharamashastras especially the Manusmriti, prescribe harsh injunctions for widows. A widow is denied the use of honey, |
|meat, salt, pungent condiments, ornaments, perfumes, flowers, dyed clothes and all other things of life normally cherished by women. She is to eat only once a |
|day, sleep on the floor and observe celibacy and numerous fasts. She is tonsured by a barber at regular intervals. |
|Among numerous documents dealing with widows in 19th and 20th century, a few deserve special notice. Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, a crusader for widows’, cause in |
|19-century Bengal, makes a forceful plea for widow remarriage and argues that shastras sanction it. He said it was an unmitigated evil as it led to prostitution, |
|adultery, and foeticide. Tarabai Shinde’s essay is a remarkable piece of polemical writing defending widows. Such was the wrath it incurred in our male-dominated |
|society that she never wrote anything else thereafter. Pandita Ramabai’s piece makes a scathing attack on the double standards of a society that prescribes |
|different moral codes for men and women. |

|  ...

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