A Tale of Loss and Belongingness: Migration, Identity and Womanhood in Qurratulain Hyder’s Sita Betrayed

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Debkanya Banerjee


The days that followed August 1947 when the Indian subcontinent was free from the shackles of colonial rule, were filled with most inhuman acts of physical violence. But other than the episodes of physical violence there were lesser – known narratives of divided families, abandoned parents and siblings, and shattered loves and trusts. Qurratulain Hyder’s Sita Betrayed narrates the story of Sita in India post – Partition. Sita the eponymous character of Hyder’s novel belongs to the first generation of migrants. Born in 1927 she goes on to become a victim of Partition. This historical event of the Indian subcontinent brought problems of identity, displacement, hybridity, fractured nature of collective consciousness and most importantly the sense of homelessness for its women. 

This paper would attempt to elaborate on how diasporic and exilic energy can have a 

gendered perspective. It would also raise questions on the scope and limitations of women attaining historical and affective belongingness. Sita Betrayed would also attempt to untangle the nuances involved with the idea of cosmopolitanism and question whether, even today, can we accept women with a cosmopolitan identity?

Published: Nov 14, 2022

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Transnationalism and the Languages/Literatures of the Global South: South Asian