About the BookWithin the social structure of India itself, there had been a typical man-woman relationship in terms of dependence and support. Woman was supposed to be the ‘other’, caught in the cage of native cultural ethos. But gradually, spread of education and economic independence certainly brought a change in woman’s status in society; the Feminist movement also established her as an individual. Notwithstanding, she is still a victim of patriarchal rage, male domination, sexual harassment, colonial mindset of males and so on. She is not treated as a person but only as a possession. She is a victim not only of man’s inhuman attitude but also of a system—the Hindu Dharma—which maintains that wife is her husband’s property and has no individuality outside that system.
In Indian English Writings, the woman sometimes maintains the image of a self-sacrificial woman, to whom her pati is her parameshwar but sometimes she emerges as a revolutionary, struggling for her rights and standing against the patriarchal set-up of the Indian society. The writers of new generation like Shashi Deshpande, Nayantara Sehgal, Anita Desai, Githa Hariharan, Manju Kapur and others have depicted females who are no longer silent sufferers but have learnt to give voice, either vocally or silently, to their ‘unvoiced resentment’.
The present anthology consists of thirty-one critical papers on the literary works of the eminent fictionists and dramatists of India. The papers on Shashi Deshpande, Nayantara Sahgal, Anita Desai, Githa Hahiharan, Manju Kapur and others bring home the fact that the Indian women, despite all subjugation, know how to struggle for their existence. They are now capable enough to change their lives through self-analysis and self-understanding. The educated and emancipated women eventually succeed in finding out the ways of ‘uncompromising survival’.
A bulk of papers on the established and emerging Indian dramatists like Vijay Tendulkar, Girish Karnad and Mahesh Dattani provide a comprehensive idea of the feminine sensibility of these icons of Indian theatre. The female protagonists of these renowned dramatists are no more caged birds. They have learnt how to break the shackles of tradition and fly like a bird in the open sky. No doubt, all these women characters, despite being images of tolerance and forbearance, are bold enough to carve a niche for themselves in this world of oppression.
The articles on new authors like Nisha Da Cunha and Ambai describe inquisitiveness of ordinary women who want to connect themselves with the wider world to have purposeful existence. An article on Chetan Bhagat, a technocrat by profession, analyses new woman’s struggle for survival in the technocratic world.
The book will be highly useful to the teachers, students and research scholars of various universities who are working in the field of Indian Writings in English.About the Author/sMalti Agarwal is Reader and Head, Department of English, N.A.S. (P.G.) College, Meerut, a premier institution of Western Uttar Pradesh and affiliated to C.C.S. University, Meerut. She has been teaching postgraduate classes since 1974. She has published a good number of papers in journals of repute. Other books authored by her are Professional Communication (2 Volumes), Technical Writing in English, Objective English for Competitions, Communication for Management, and Business Communication. She has edited two anthologies entitled New Perspectives in Indian English Writings and English Literature: Voices of Indian Diaspora. She is keenly interested in holding seminars, conferences and symposia.