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The Bodies don’t lie

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Organizer: Ananya Roy

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What is the eerie similarity that has graced the historical receptacle of violent and traumatic acts committed by men? It has always been women-her physicality, sexuality and spiritual self that has been repeatedly maligned, violated, and obliterated through ages of patriarchal subversion and subjugation across disciplines of history, sociology, and literature. Being a South Asian especially an Indian has many pros as cons but the most essential perk is that I am aware as a woman, what territorial partition and the dreaded partition among sexes has done and is still doing to my sex. In my paper I make efforts to bring forth the voice of the ‘subaltern’ as Spivak had done, the local and the most unrepresented-underrepresented class of women-the housewife, the middle-class working woman, and many such not-so-entitled and financially unprivileged section of women, whose voices has always been too crude and too raw for the sophisticated elite.

The female voice in the local dialect and non-Anglicised tone has always been pushed to the peripheral vision of literary circle, although with the boom in readership and print industry the statistics might show an improving situation, we as readers still have miles to cover till a parity is attained between the vernacular and English. Translations are making an effort to bring to the fore the unheard voices, although silenced earlier and lost in the exclusive elitism of print policy is rapidly gaining ground.

In my paper I explore the works of Mahasweta Devi, Taslima Nasrin and other such female authors whose protagonists bear the baton as prime exemplars of body-as the site of violence. Historical events bordering on political permeance and masculine autocracy illumine the darkened and forgotten corners of the states’ stranglehold upon women.

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