Essays and Interviews
Many South Asian women writers engage with the overall quest for survival, which can be affiliated with all the themes expressed in this volume: trauma, diaspora, injustice, resistance, place, space, language, and identity. The texts discussed herein contribute to the ongoing discourse related to such themes in postcolonial studies and transnational literature, and could be used in courses on South Asian literature, women’s writing, postcolonial studies and literature, and world or transnational literature.
2. Injustice, Resistance, and Subversion: A Study of Selected Plays by Indian Women Playwrights
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The inherent plurality of the concept of social justice defies any monolithic understanding of its meaning and implication. Social justice has multiple contexts and sites as it is influenced by various ideas, expectations, mechanisms, and practices. It is rather relative, depending upon varying situations, subjectivities, and marginalities. The sheer durability of the marginalization of women and gender inequality led to various movements and campaigns by women in India. Blurring the public/private dichotomy, such campaigns resulted in a broad spectrum of legal and governmental measures that were not confined to merely political or economic justice but encompassed issues like bodily integrity, domestic violence, health, education, and women’s social status. Besides these conventional parameters, there are certain non-conventional dimensions, like mental and emotional well being, dignity, self-respect, betrayal, non-humiliation, agency, and freedom of choice, that are particularly salient for women. They may be difficult to measure but need to be given due consideration in order to make gender justice more comprehensive and all-inclusive.1
However, the question that confronts us today is whether gender justice can be approximated merely by passing stricter laws. Can the progressive legal changes for women’s equity exist in a vacuum? Can the desired social change be brought about despite the underlying mechanism for containment and the processes of internalization? It goes without saying that social justice is an area only partly covered by law. It is the milieu and the sociocultural dynamics therein that not only facilitate or impede social justice but...
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