Agony and Ecstasy of the women in Bama’s Sangati
“My mind is crowded with many anecdotes stories not only about the sorrows and tears of dalit women, but also about their lively and rebellious culture, passion about life with vitality, truth, enjoyment and about their hard labour. I wanted to shout these stories.”(Sangati, 9)
Dalit is a literature in India is of whole community but of an individual. Many writers, thinkers, social reformers and political figures gave their contribution in the dalit literary movement like B.R. Ambedkar, M.K. Gandhi, Rettaimalai Srinivasan etc. Exploitation or oppression of weaker by stronger is as old as mankind itself. The Indian history has been a vibrant record of conflict and dialectic between two opposite forces like exploiters and exploited colonizer and colonized, powerful and powerless. Southern India has witnessed organized attacks against Dalits through Panchami Land issue, Chengara struggle and Muthanga issue.Dalit issues are recorded in a variety of genres-autobiographies, novels, poetry and essays. In South India there are many Dalit feminist writers. Among them Bama and Sivakami picture their female protagonists as twice victimized as condition is analogous to the situation of black women in America. A recent wave of Dalit literature emerged as Dalit Feminism. Bama is a representative novelist of Dalit feminism.Caste and Gender are the two important identity building mechanisms that create a dalit feminist perspective. Dalit feminism redefines women from the socio â€“ political perspective of a dalit, taking into account the caste and gender oppression. This article focuses on the sufferings of Dalit women in two aspects: first, being a woman second, belongs to the lowest community. Therefore, they are double oppressed. From the time they are born, girls are discriminated against just by their sex. A girl-child is neglected at infancy in favour of the boy. The girls play gender-games like cooking or getting married. The women of Tamil Dalit community are on their feet doing back- breaking work from morning till night, all to just barely make ends meet. The men never do their share of the work. Dalit women participate in productive works, earn wages and participate in the economic chain. But they are paid much less. They are also constantly under the threat of Sexual harassments in the field of work. Family, Church and Caste-Courts are usually male-led. Sangati is a strong attempt which is a tool by Bama to bounce back the bi-fold oppression of dalit women. Their resistance-both passive and active to oppression makes Sangati a piquant depiction of the dalit women. In Sangati, Bama focuses on the double oppression of women.
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