Self and Society: A Study of Dalit Widow Narratives

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Mili Aishwarya


Carrying with themselves dual identities imposed upon them by the regressive society, women bear the identity of ‘Dalit widows’. Their already suppressed existence as Dalits is further pushed towards the periphery wherein their subaltern centurial oppression overlaps with them being branded as widows. The gendered identity of Dalit widows questions their social, economic and material realities which do not provide them with the agency to question the backward elements of the traditional culture they are a part of. This paper would investigate the (lost) self of widows that gets submerged in the societal customs and traditions through short story narratives, using ‘The Poisoned Bread’ by Bandhu Madhav, ‘Mother’ by Baburao Bagul, and ‘Slur’ by S. R. Harnot. The ideas of personal freedom as well as personal dignity which could be imagined by a Brahmin widow are somehow absent in the narratives created around the subject of Dalit widowhood.

Published: Nov 14, 2022

Article Details

Expressions of Widowhood across Cultures: Social Constructions and Contestation