The Role of the revolutionary women in agrarian revolts: From 1940s to recent days

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Prabuddha Ghosh


This paper seeks to address the role of women in the agrarian movements in India and their literary representation through decades. Indian farmers have a rich history of rebellion against the state during both the colonial and the post – colonial rule. In late 1940s and late 1960s Indian farmers stood up with arms against the state. In the recent movement of the farmers to resist the farmers’ bill, women farmers fought at the forefront. Working – class women performed great roles in the Telengana – Tebhaga movement, in the Naxalbari movement and in the Delhi movement. The Adivasi women are challenging the ruling class through their continuous struggle to protect their rights of the ‘Jal – jamin – Jangal (Water – Land – Forest)’. They redefined the aesthetics of politics by adding their views and demands in those movements. The state questioned women’s role and asked them to go back home or sometimes they brutally tried to suppress women rebels’ voice. This was not for the first time. The state or even the authors hesitated to recognize women revolutionaries’ active role. Sometimes the leftist authors too highlighted their ‘passive’ roles. How did the authors represent revolutionary women in the fictions written on the agrarian revolts? How do the revolutionary women challenge the patriarchal society and resist the state’s anti – people activity? I’ll try to address these questions in my paper.


Published: Nov 14, 2022

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The Political Aesthetics of Agricultural Protest in the 21st Century