Indian Literature

Mahabharata The Dicing

Mahabharata By The Veda Vyasa The Dicing Dark Part

Mahabharata The Dicing
Mahabharata The Dicing

Introduction

            “The Dicing” and “The Sequel to the Dicing” set the background for the Kurukshetra war in the Mahabharata. The Mahabharata originally written by Sage Veda Vyasa, is the largest epic in the world of Literature. It was first written in Sanskrit and later translated by many authors in English. It was composed between 300 BC & 300 AD. It has over 200,000 verse lines, 18 million words and it is believed that it is believed that it could have taken over 600 years to write. It is roughly four times the length of the Ramayana. It was first written by Lord Ganesha, at the request of Vyasa to write the tale as dictated by him.

            The book is divided into a total of 18 chapters (Parva) Vyasa is written this epic in approx. 24,000 lines, under the title ‘Bharata’.

Important Characters of Mahabharata

VyasaNarrator of Mahabharata, father of Pandu & Dhritarashtra.

Bhisma Pitamaha (Ganga Putra)- Stepbrother of Vyasa, the grandfather of Pandavas and the Kauravas (100 brothers).

Pandu – Father of five Pandavas.

Kunti – Wife of Pandu and mother of five Pandavas & Karna.

Dhritarashtra – Born blind king of Hastinapur, father of Kauravas & Duryodhana.

Gandhari – Wife of Dhritarashtra, mother of Kauravas.

Yudhisthira – Eldest son of Kunti and rightful heir to the throne of Hastinapur.

Bhima – Second son of Kunti and Strongest of the Pandavas Brother.

Arjuna – The third son of Kunti, A Key warrior from Pandavas’ side who killed many warriors.

Nakul & Sahadeva  – Pandavas twins brother.

Dropaudi – Wife of Five Pandavas.

Duryodhana – Eldest son of Dhritarashtra and Gandhari.

Dushsasana – Second Eldest son of Dhritarashtra & Gandhari.

Karana – Secret son of Kunti, a Great warrior, friend of Duryodhana.

Drona – Teacher of Pandavas & Kauravas.

Shakuni – Brother of Gandhari and maternal uncle of Kauravas, main villain of Mahabharata.

Krishna (The God) – Avatar of God Vishnu and Supporter of Pandavas.

The Book of The Assembly Hall

            The Book of the Assembly Hall or A Sabha Parva is the pivotal one of the eighteen major books of Mahabharata. It is the second of eighteen books of Mahabharata. It has 10 parts and 81 chapters (9 parts and 72 Chapters). It starts with the description of the palace and assembly hall (Sabha) built by Maya at Indraprastha. It presents the glorious kingdom of Pandavas.

            There are specifically ten sections in The Book of the Assembly Hall. It defines the principles of crime against humanity, where any unharmed human being must also stand up for any evil or injustice inflicted upon the society and people at large.

Draupadi Vastraharan
Draupadi Vastraharan

Introduction Of The Dicing

            The Dicing or The Sequel to the Dicing are two subchapters from the second book, The Book of the Assembly Hall (Sabha Parva). This book is one of the books of Mahabharata written by Sage Veda Vyasa. Mahabharata is the largest epic in the world of literature. It was originally written in Sanskrit and later translated by many authors in English.

            “The Dicing” and “The Sequel to the Dicing” set the background for the Kurukshetra war in the Mahabharata.

The Dicing

            Duryodhana convinces Dhritarastra to offer the Khandava forest to the Pandavas. Initially, it was a useless forest. Maya built a majestic assembly hall in the uncultivated land with his 8000 kinkara rakshasas in 14 days. The useless forest turns into a beautiful kingdom, Indraprastha.

            The Defeat of the Jarasandha who defeated 84 kings, makes Yudhisthira the king of 85 kings. God Krishna suggests that Yudhisthira conduct Rajasuya to declare complete independence from Hastinapura and Celebrate the king’s glory. They invite Duryodhana to the ceremony with other guests. He is jealous to see the magnificent hall. The palace is a palace of illusions. As a result, Duryodhana mistakes a glass floor for a pool, and he falls into a pool Bhima, Arjuna, Draupadi, and other women laugh of him.

            Duryodhana returns home with memories of humiliation. He is distressed and silent. Therefore, his maternal uncle, Shakuni, asks him the reason. Duryodhana reveals the fact that he is jealous of the wealth of the Pandavas and resents that they humiliate him. Shakuni reminds him that the Pandavas are invincible for defeating in war. However, there is one way to snatch their wealth. That is in the game of Dice.

            Shakuni is a master of dicing. Duryodhana asks Dhritarashtra for approval. Dhritarashtra tries to convince his son to listen to the advice of Vidura. The king tells his son that despite having privileges, there is no point in feeling sad. Duryodhana begs his father to approve the game of dice so that Shakuni can take over their wealth.

            Dhritarashtra leaves the decision to Vidhura because he wants to consult with Vidura in this regard. Duryodhana tells him that Vidhura is partial to the Pandavas and will never approve of it. He pressurizes his father to kill himself if it does not happen. Therefore Dhritarastra orders Vidura to invite Yudhisthira to enjoy a family dicing game. Vidhura forbids the king’s proposal because he foresees that this would lead to destruction. Despite his advice, Dhritarashtra orders him to invite the Pandavas to the game.

            Vidura reaches Indraprastha and gives the news of the king. Yudhisthira agrees because it is the king’s order. Yudhisthira soon prepares to go to Hastinapur. The Game starts the next day. Shakuni welcomes Yudhisthira to play dice with him. Yudhisthira warns him not to use any trickery in the game. Duryodhana says that Shakuni will play on his behalf. Bhisma, Drona, and others enter the Hall.

            Yudhisthira stakes a hundred thousand gold pieces and loses. After that, he stakes his chariot, a thousand elephants, a hundred thousand male and female slaves, Gandharva horses, his army, and his treasury. Vidura tries to stop the game during the game but to no avail. Despite losing one after another, Yudhisthira keeps staking his people’s property. Nakula, Sahadeva, Arjuna, Bhisma with nothing in hand. Shakuni suggests that he should stake his wife, Draupadi. Everyone in the assembly is shocked to hear that. Unfortunately, he loses her too in the game.

            Duryodhana orders Vidura to bring Draupadi to the hall, but Vidhura denies his order. He tells Dushasana to bring her. Despite Draupadi’s protest, Dushasana drags her by her hair to the hall. Duryodhana asks Dushasana to strip the clothes from the Pandavas and Draupadi. The Pandavas strip off their upper clothes and sit silently.

Dushasana undresses Draupadi. Surprisingly, her clothes are replaced by similar clothes, this is God Krishna’s Grace to Draupadi. The more he tries to undress her the more clothes appear. At last, Dushasana is tired and gives up. Upon the insult of Draupadi, Bhima is in rage and swears that he will drink the blood of Dushasana. Duryodhana exposes his left there to Draupadi and Bhima swears to break his thigh.

            At last, Draupadi complains about the lowness of the Kauravas. Dhritarashtra gives Draupadi two boons. For the first boon, she chooses the freedom of Yudhisthira, and for the second the liberty of the remaining brothers. In this way, Draupadi becomes the saviour of the Pandavas. Dhritarastra wishes Yudhishthira good luck and advises him not to ponder the insult they have faced in the hall. They leave the place and return to Indraprastha.

Conclusion

            Thus, The Dicing scene is used as a metaphor for the struggle between good and evil. Yudhisthira represents Dharma or righteousness, while Duryodhana and Shakuni represent Adharma or Unrighteousness. In the end, Dharma triumphs, but only after a great deal of suffering.

            It is also a reminder of the importance of women’s rights and dignity. Draupadi is a strong and courageous woman, but she is also a victim of male violence and misogyny. The scene is a reminder of the need to protect women and girls from all forms of violence.

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Gitanjali By Rabindranath Tagore

Gitanjali By Rabindranath Tagore

Gitanjali By Rabindranath Tagore
Gitanjali By Rabindranath Tagore

Introduction

            “Gitanjali” is one of the best-known works of Rabindranath Tagore for which he received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913. It is a collection of poems and another title of this collection is “The Song Offerings”. It explores the depths of the human spirit and its connection was published on August 1910, and comprised 157 songs. The English version was released in November 1912 by the India Society of London. It contained translations of 53 poems from the original Bengali Gitanjali, as well as 50 other poems from his drama Achalayantana & other books of poetry – mainly Gitimalya, Naivadya, and Kheya. It had a long introduction by the noted poet W. B. Yeats.

About Rabindranath Tagore

            The poet of the ‘Gitanjali’ Rabindranath Tagore is a great poet, short story writer, singer, translator, social reformer, and philosopher in the modern history of Indian English Literature. It was Tagore who was introduced as the first Asian, who was awarded with Nobel Prize for his famous book ‘Gitanjali” in 1913. He wrote his first poem when he was only 8 years old.

Tagore also wrote the National Anthem of India in 1950, which is Jana, Gana, Mana………… He was referred to as “The Bard of Bengal”. He also wrote the Bangladesh Anthem and Founder of Santiniketan.

Themes Of Gitanjali

Mysticism

            The main theme of Gitanjali is Mysticism. According to Indian Philosophy, mysticism is the highest stage where the human soul is in direct contact with God. A mystic thinks that the world we see with our eyes and ears is not real and that there is a more real-world behind if that can only be understood spiritually, not through the senses. Mysticism is not something that can be explained logically. All mystics try to separate themselves from the outside world and connect with the world inside. This type of mysticism is based on the ideas of renunciation, detachment from the world, and asceticism

            Tagore was influenced by a lot of mystic writers such as – Walt Whitman, Kahil Gibran, and Sri Aurobindo. Still, Tagore’s version of mysticism is a little bit different from the others.

God

            Gitanjali is God’s prayer. It is a collection of songs about God and praise for him, which was deeply rooted in the ancient tradition of Indian Vaishnava poetry and mystical, eternal, and sublime qualities. They have a wide range of moods and ways of doing things. The theme of God runs through the whole Gitanjali.

Nature

            Gitanjali also has a theme about nature. It looks at the connection between God and nature. His lyrics stand out because of how beautiful and full of images they are. These images come from nature and Indian Mythology.

Humanity

            Gitanjali does not just talk about the relationship between a man’s soul and God. It also talks about the relationship between a man’s soul and God. It also talks about the relationship between a man’s soul and other men. It stands up for the rights of the poor and humble, who are often denied the most essential rights of man.

Death

            At the end of Gitanjali, Tagore also writes about death, and he does so in many different and artistic ways. He doesn’t fear death. Instead, he looks forward to it with joy because it’s the only way to be with God. He said,

“Death looks scary but it brings the soul of a person to a meeting with the eternal.”

Love

            There are many kinds of love in Gitanjali, including love for women, love for other people, love for humanity, love for God, love for beauty, and love for truth. Tagore is a poet who loves God and religion, and his poetry shows the world’s truth, happiness, and beauty. He wrote,

“Love is the only reality and it is eternal. All else is maya, illusion.”

Tagore’s philosophy of life in Gitanjali

            Tagore’s Gitanjali is a collection of poems that reflects his personal philosophy of life. It is a deeply spiritual work that celebrates the beauty of the world and the unity of all beings. Tagore believed that we should live our lives in harmony with nature. He saw nature as a manifestation of the divine and he believed that we can learn to connect with God through our appreciation of the natural world. He wrote,

“Where the mind is without fear and
 the head is held high;

Where the knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been
broken up into fragments by
narrow domestic walls;

Where words come out from
the depth of truth.”

            Tagore’s philosophy of life is also reflected in his emphasis on the importance of compassion and service to others. He believed that we should all strive to make the world a better place for everyone. He wrote:

“I shall never be afraid to ask for blessing, and
 I shall never feel ashamed to beg for love.”

            In the modern days of nihilism and despair the poems in ‘Gitanjali’ offer a kind of ‘faith and optimism’. Man can get rid of all kinds of despair and suffering, if he sacrifices himself to God. God will then carry his burden of life. The poet says this in his song.

“Leave all thy burden on his hands
 who can bear all, and never look
behind I regret.”

            Humanization of the divine is one of the significant aspects of Tagore’s poetry. God is presented as existing among the simple, poor, and humble people. So to ignore them is to ignore God. For example

“Here is thy footstool and
 there rest thy feet where
 live the poorest and
 lowliest and lost.”

            Tagore uses a wide range of vivid and picturesque images and symbols that are drawn from everyday life as well as from age-old myths. For example –

“This little flute of a reed
  thou host carried over
  hills and dales, and host
  breathed through eternally new”

            Human existence is compared to a flute through which God creates a new Melody.

            Material desires and ego are the main barriers in the path towards God. Man is chained by shackles of desire and ego. Until and unless he sacrifices his desires, he cannot have a glimpse of God. In the song No IX, the poet says:

“Thy desire at once put out the light
 from the lamp it touches with its breath.”

Conclusion

            “Gitanjali” is a masterpiece that explores the depths of the human soul, the mysteries of the universe, and the quest for transcendence. Tagore’s poetic brilliance, combined with his profound spirituality, love, and human experience, has created a work that continues to inspire and resonate with readers worldwide. The collection’s translation into various languages further spread its influence, cementing Tagore’s reputation as a poet of global significance.

            Thus, “Gitanjali” stands as a testament to the power of poetry to transcend boundaries and illuminate the timeless truths of human conditions.

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Method-Of-Teaching-Fiction-and-Drama

Method Of Teaching Fiction and Drama In Literature

Method-Of-Teaching-Fiction-and-Drama
Method-Of-Teaching-Fiction-and-Drama

Fiction is a form of literary art that is invented or imagined by the author. It is a type of storytelling that can be presented in various forms such as novels, short stories, novellas, and flash fiction. Unlike non-fiction, which deals with factual events and real people, fiction is created from the author’s imagination, allowing them to explore different themes and subjects without the constraints of reality.

Fiction is an essential part of literature, and it has the power to transport readers to different places and times, explore the complexities of human emotions, and challenge their beliefs and perceptions. It can be both entertaining and thought-provoking, and it often serves as a medium to reflect on the world around us and question our values and beliefs.

Method Of Teaching Fiction

Teaching fiction in literature is a fascinating and rewarding task for any educator. Fictional literature includes novels, short stories, and other forms of storytelling that engage readers in a world of imagination. A skilled teacher can help students develop critical thinking skills and foster a love of reading through effective teaching methods.

There are various methods of teaching fiction in literature and their benefits for students.

Teaching fiction is through close reading

This approach involves reading the text closely and analyzing its language, structure, and themes. It encourages students to pay attention to detail and to think critically about the author’s message. By asking students to identify literary elements such as characterization, point of view, and symbolism, teachers can guide them toward a deeper understanding of the story. Close reading also allows for classroom discussion and encourages students to share their own interpretations of the text.

Teaching fiction is through Creative Writing Exercises

 This approach encourages students to engage with the story on a personal level and to explore their own creativity. Teachers can ask students to write a short story or a character analysis based on the text they have read. This approach allows students to develop their writing skills and to gain a deeper understanding of the story by applying their own creative interpretation.

Teaching fiction is through Role-playing

 This approach allows students to act out scenes from the story, bringing the characters to life and encouraging students to think critically about their motivations and actions. Role-playing also encourages students to work collaboratively and to develop empathy and understanding for the characters.

Character Analysis

This method involves a study of the characters in the text. Students can be taught to analyze the characters’ motivations, relationships, and conflicts. This method can help students to understand the complexity of human behavior and the nuances of character development.

Comparative Analysis

 This method involves a comparison of the text with other works of literature or with other forms of media, such as films or television shows. This method can help students to see the connections and influences between different works of art.

Teaching fiction is through Literary analysis essays

 This approach involves asking students to analyze the text in-depth, identifying literary elements, and examining their significance. By asking students to write literary analysis essays, teachers can help students develop critical thinking skills and to gain a deeper understanding of the story.

Using multimedia tools such as films, graphic novels, and audiobooks is another effective method of teaching fiction in literature

These tools can help students engage with the story in a new way and can help visual learners understand the story better. By using multimedia tools, teachers can make the story come alive for their students and encourage them to think critically about the author’s message.

Fiction is a powerful and versatile form of storytelling that offers a unique way to explore the world and the human experience through the creative vision of the author.

Thus, we can say that there are several effective methods of teaching fiction in literature, each with its own benefits for students. Close reading, creative writing exercises, role-playing, literary analysis essays, and multimedia tools are all useful approaches for engaging students with fictional literature. By using these methods, teachers can help students develop critical thinking skills, foster a love of reading, and gain a deeper understanding of the stories they read.

Teaching Method Of Drama

Introduction

 Teaching drama in literature requires a unique set of skills that go beyond the traditional lecture format. The goal is not only to convey the content of the play but also to engage students in a way that allows them to experience the play as active participants.

About Drama

Drama is a literary form that is meant to be performed on stage, film, or television. It is a collaborative art form that involves actors, directors, designers, and writers. Drama is different from other literary forms because it is meant to be experienced rather than simply read.

Method of Teaching Drama in Literature

Experiencing the Play

The first step in teaching drama is to create an environment that allows students to experience the play. This can be accomplished through live performances, screenings, or even reading the play aloud in class. Encourage students to participate in the performance by having them read parts of the script or by assigning them to create their own performances.

Analysis Of Drama

After experiencing the play, it is important to analyze it in detail. This includes examining the plot, characters, themes, and symbols. Encourage students to ask questions and explore their own interpretations of the play. Use discussion groups and writing assignments to help students delve deeper into the text.

Historical Background and Cultural Context

Drama is often influenced by the historical background and cultural context in which it was written. Discussing the context of the play can provide valuable insights into the themes and issues that the play addresses. Encourage students to research the historical background and cultural background of the play and to incorporate this research into their analysis.

Role-playing

Role-playing is an effective way to engage students in the drama. Assign students to create their own scenes or monologues based on the characters in the play. This not only encourages creativity but also helps students to understand the motivations and actions of the characters.

Performance and Production

Finally, encourage students to produce their own performances of the play. This can be done through staged readings, video productions, or even full-scale productions. Allow students to take on roles such as director, actor, set designer, and lighting designer to create a fully-realized production.

Conclusion

Teaching drama in literature requires a combination of theoretical analysis and practical experience. By creating an environment that allows students to experience the play, analyze the text in detail, discuss the historical and cultural context, encourage role-playing, and produce their own performances, students can gain a deep understanding and appreciation of drama as a literary form.

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Now I Remain For Myself By Bahinabai Chaudhari

Now I Remain for Myself by Bahinabai Chaudhari

Now I Remain For Myself By Bahinabai Chaudhari
Now I Remain For Myself By Bahinabai Chaudhari

Introduction

“Now I Remain for Myself” is a collection of Marathi poems written by Bahinabai Chaudhari, a prominent Indian poetess who comes from the state of Maharashtra. Originally composed in the late 19th century, Chaudhari’s verses beautifully express her personal experiences, emotions, and reflections on various aspects of life.

Bahinabai’s poems reflect her life experiences, her observations of nature, her love for her land and culture, and her wisdom and philosophy. She wrote about the joys and sorrows of a farmer’s life, the festivals and rituals of Maharashtra, the beauty and bounty of nature, and the spiritual quest for self-realization. Her poems are simple, spontaneous, lyrical, and profound. They have a universal appeal and resonate with the common people.

One of her most famous poems is “Now I Remain for Myself” (मी आता माझ्यासाठी राहिले), which expresses her sense of liberation and detachment after losing her husband and children. The poem is written in the first person and has four stanzas of four lines each. The poem has a regular rhyme scheme of abcb in each stanza.

About Bahinbai Chaudhari

Bahinabai Chaudhari was born into a poor and illiterate family of farmers. She was married at the age of 13 to Nathuji Khanderao Chaudhari, who was also a farmer and a poet. She had four sons and two daughters, but only one son survived. Her husband died when she was 30 years old, leaving her alone to manage the farm and the household.

Bahinabai Chaudhari learned to read and write from her husband, who encouraged her to compose poems. She wrote about her daily life, her joys and sorrows, her love and devotion for her husband, her struggles and hardships as a farmer, and her observations of nature and society. She also wrote about her spiritual beliefs and her devotion to Lord Vitthal, a form of Vishnu worshipped by the Varkari sect.

Bahinabai Chaudhari’s poems were not written down by herself but were memorized and recited by her son Madhusudan, who later published them in various magazines and books. Her poems became popular among the masses as well as the literary circles, and she received recognition and appreciation from eminent writers and critics such as N.C. Kelkar, V.S. Khandekar, P.K. Atre, and Sane Guruji.

Themes Of Now I Remain For Myself

Nature and Rural Life

Chaudhari’s poems often celebrate the beauty of nature and capture the essence of rural life. She vividly describes the changing seasons, the agricultural activities, and the natural elements surrounding her, reflecting a deep connection to the land and its rhythms.

Feminine Sensibilities

 Chaudhari’s poetry portrays women’s experiences, emotions, and struggles in a patriarchal society. She addresses themes such as love, marriage, motherhood, and societal expectations, offering a glimpse into the complex inner world of women during her era.

Spirituality and Devotion

 Deeply religious, Chaudhari’s verses frequently convey her devotion to the divine. She explores faith, spirituality, and the pursuit of inner peace, infusing her work with a sense of spiritual transcendence.

Summary Of Now I Remain For Myself

The poem begins with the speaker lamenting the loss of her husband, who was her companion and support in life. She feels like a bird whose nest has been destroyed by a storm. She wonders how she will survive without him, who will take care of her, and who will share her joys and sorrows. She feels like she has lost everything and has no purpose in life.

In the first stanza, the speaker says that she has now remained for herself after losing her husband and children. She says that she has no one to call her own or to care for her. She says that she has become free from all worldly attachments and expectations.

In the second stanza, the speaker says that she has now become indifferent to praise or blame, happiness or sorrow, honor or dishonor. She says that she has transcended all dualities and distinctions. She says that she has attained a state of peace and equanimity.

In the third stanza, the speaker says that she has now realized her true self, which is beyond birth and death, name and form, time and space. She says that she has merged with the supreme reality, which is eternal, blissful, and pure. She says that she has become one with God.

In the fourth stanza, the speaker says she has become free from all desires and fears. She says that she has no need for anything or anyone. She says that she has reached the ultimate goal of life.

Analysis Of Now I Remain For Myself

The poem is a remarkable expression of the poet’s spiritual journey from grief to liberation. The poem shows how the poet transformed her suffering into an opportunity for self-discovery and enlightenment. The verse also shows how the poet embraced the philosophy of Vedanta, which teaches that the true self is identical to Brahman, the supreme reality.

The poem uses simple words and images to convey profound truths. The poet uses metaphors such as “the world’s net” (जगाचा जाळा) to describe the bondage of worldly attachments, “the sky’s limit” (आकाशाचा थोर) to describe the transcendence of time and space, and “the ocean’s shore” (समुद्राचा किनारा) to describe the attainment of bliss and peace.

The poem also uses repetition to emphasize the poet’s transformation. The phrase “now I remain for myself” (मी आता माझ्यासाठी राहिले) is repeated at the beginning of each stanza to mark the contrast between her past and present state. The phrase “now I have” (मला आता) is repeated at the end of each line in the third stanza to show her realization of her true self.

She concludes the poem by saying that now she remains for herself, but not in a selfish or egotistic way. She says that she remains for herself as a part of the whole creation, as a drop of water in the ocean, as a ray of light in the sun, as a flower in the garden. She says that she remains for herself as an expression of God’s beauty and bliss.

The poem is also notable for its feminist perspective that challenges the patriarchal norms and values of Indian society. Bahinabai Chaudhari expresses her autonomy and agency as a woman who has survived many hardships and oppressions. She rejects the roles and duties that are imposed on women by men and society. She claims her right to live according to her own will and desire. She affirms her dignity and worth as a human being who has a unique identity and voice.

Conclusion

The poem is a powerful testimony of Bahinabai Chaudhari‘s courage, wisdom, and spirituality. It shows how she overcame her grief and suffering by finding meaning and joy in herself and in God. It shows how she challenged the norms and expectations of society by asserting her individuality and freedom. It shows how she celebrated her womanhood and humanity by embracing her nature and spirit. The poem is also an inspiration for women who seek to assert their individuality and freedom in a male-dominated world.

The poem is also an inspiration for anyone who seeks to overcome suffering and find meaning in life.

Poem Short Version

Now I remain for myself,
No one to blame or praise,
No one to love or hate,
No one to please or displease.

I am my own master,
I am my own guide,
I am my own friend,
I am my own judge.

I am free to choose my own path,
I am free to follow my own dreams,
I am free to be myself.

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Borders and Boundaries by Ritu Menon

Borders And Boundaries By Ritu Menon and Kamla Bhasin

Borders and Boundaries by Ritu Menon
Borders and Boundaries by Ritu Menon

Introduction

            “Borders and Boundaries” is one of the best books of partition Literature, written by two Indian writers and activists – Ritu Menon and Kamla Bhasin. This book describes – Women’s experiences who lived during the partition, the country’s bloodiest event. The Independence of a secular India and the establishment of an Islamic Pakistan in 1947 triggered a wave of violence along the border areas. Statistically over eight million people have fled their homes as a result of the crisis and approximately one million have died as a result of it. The women were widowed, Kidnapped and murdered, or forced to marry men as revenge.

About Title

            “Borders and Boundaries”, full title “Borders and Boundaries Women in India’s Partition” describes the events that occurred by showing the perspective of two groups of women: firstly the survivors of domestic violence and secondly, the workers or NGOs who helped them get them on their feet.

The book is divided into four parts.

  1. The first part provides an overview of the historical context of Partition.
  2. The second part examines the violence against women during partition, such as communal riots, mass suicides, and abductions.
  3. The third part looks at the recovery of women after Partition, such as their repatriation, resettlement, remarriage, or rejection.
  4. The fourth part analyses the impact of Partition on women’s identity and citizenship, such as their sense of nationhood, religion culture, and feminism.

The Suffering of Women During Partition

         In order to better understand the struggle faced by the women in India during the partition, it is first best to understand the historical context of the region and the cause of the partition.

            The partition of India is considered to be one of the greatest tragedies in history. The partition resulted in the division of both Hindus and Muslims who had resided together for hundreds of years. This led to immense territorial conflicts such as – boundary disputes three wars between both India and Pakistan, a nuclear arms race and cross-border terrorism, and the Kashmir conflict remaining unresolved.

During five decades, they have fought four wars. Three of those wars were over the disputed region of Kashmir. Thousands of women, both Hindu and Muslim, were abducted by men of the other community during the communal riots. That the states of India and Pakistan intervened to recover a total of over 30,000 abducted women from each other’s territories until 1957, and later the Abducted Persons Recovery and Restoration Act 1949.

            The Novel “Borders and Boundaries” begins by emphasizing how women were instructed or forced to mass Suicide, had their body parts such as their feet, hands, and breasts cut off, and were kidnapped and raped, in the midst of the regional conflict between different religious groups such as – The Hindu, Muslims, and Sikhs. The authors try to target a different aspect and in specifically explain the recovery of women, the Hindu and Sikh women of India, and the Muslim women in Pakistan in the aftermath of the partition.

            The Novel talks about a series of events that explores the histories as recounted by authors. In the book, the women during the partition who were sent back to the country and the women who organized for these women to be sent back are defined to be the protagonists.

            Once, a group of Muslim girls who are forced to go to Pakistan bitterly ask the woman who arranged their repatriation, “Who are you to decide for us?”. But “Mridula Sarabhai”, who spearheaded the bill for the return of Kidnapped and abducted women, argues that repatriation is a citizen’s right.

            So, partition forced women to become victims of the riot situation. They felt dislocation and lost their respect and dignity because of abduction and sexual abuse. Women were tied down by cultural obstacles within their respective communities through a patriarchal system. Men come back heroes from the war, while after the riots and the war, women’s existents seem to hold no meaning at all and they remain in the calamity all the time.

            Thus, Borders and Boundaries Women In India’s Partition is a book that explores the impact of Partition on women’s lives, identities, and citizenship.

Analyse of The Preface written by Ritu Menon

        In the preface, Menon writes that she was born in 1951, four years after India’s partition. She says that she grew up with a sense of pride in being a part of a new nation that had won its freedom through a non-violent movement led by “Mahatma Gandhi”. She also says that she was aware of the trauma and violence of Partition, but only as a distant event that had little impact on her life.

She admits that she knew very little about the experiences of women who had suffered during the partition. Menon realized that there were millions of women like her who had been silenced and marginalized by history. She also realized that partition was not a one-time event, but a continuing process that shaped the lives of women across borders and generations.

            So, Ritu Menon’s writing reflects a sense of pride and celebration of the freedom achieved through non-violent means in India. The phrase “glorying in the Freedom gained through non-violence” suggests the author views the method of non-violence, as a noble and honorable way to achieve freedom.

             Furthermore, the author’s use of the phrase “Our gift to liberation Struggle everywhere” implies that the success of India’s non-violent struggle for independence served as an inspiration to other liberation movements around the world.

            The Author’s use of the phrase “Safely between the covers of our History book” suggests that these events were viewed as something to be learned from and remembered but not necessarily directly relevant to contemporary times. This reflects that, after gaining independence, India was looking forward to a new era of Freedom and Progress.

Conclusion

         Thus, the book “Borders and Boundaries” by Ritu Menon and Kamla Bhasin is a feminist history of the partition of India in 1947, which resulted in the creation of two nations, India and Pakistan, and the displacement of millions of people. The book focuses on the experiences of women who faced violence, abduction, rape, widowhood, and loss of identity during the Partition. The Authors argue that Partition was not only a political event, but also a social and cultural one, that affected women differently than men.

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