Interrogating the Stereotype: A Critique of Caste and Gender in Narendranath Mitra’s The Substitute (Bikalpa)
This paper discusses Narendranath Mitra’s short story Bikalpa, translated into English by Sreejata Guha as The Substitute. The paper discusses The Substitute, as a Critique of Cast and Gender. Through the discussion of this story, this paper attempts to interrogate the stereotypical notions regarding caste and gender. Although after the Bengali renaissance Casteism in Bengal saw a significant fall in terms of its practice in the society, nevertheless it still persisted in the minds and psyche of the people. Narendranath Mitra’s The substitute is a serious rendering of this stereotypical ethos of the upper castes of Bengali society. The arguments of this paper will be developed in the light of the key ideas given by the sociologists such as, Dr B.R. Ambedkar, Uma Chakraborty, Sharmila Rege and Arundhati Roy.