Bama’s Sangati analyses Dalits women’s oppression by double patriarchies –the covert patriarchal stance subsumed within the gender relations of their own. Sangati is a startling insight into the lives of Dalit women who face the double disadvantage of caste and gender discrimination. Written in a. Dalit Women Identity in Bama’s Sangati. Ranjana Singh. Research Scholar,. Department of English and Modern European Language,. Lucknow University.
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March 5, Journal article Open Access. Vignesh Kumar ; Sangxti. India is one of the fastest growing countries in the world; yet it is notorious for its rigid bana system. The earliest records of Indian civilization are preserved in Aryan scriptures or what is today known as Hindu Scriptures.
The early Indian society was constructed around Varnasrama Dharma, a labour based division of castes in India that inevitably brought racial prejudices.
The Brahmins were the topmost in the pecking order. The Sudras were destined to serve the three upper ladders, namely Brahmins, Kshatriyas and Vaisyas.
They have been accepted as Scheduled Castes in the Indian constitution after the British use of the phrase. Gandhiji and Ambedkar used two different terms to name them- harijan and Dalit. Their efforts have brought about an upliftment in their social status. They bamw encouraged education of the Dalits that ultimately lead to a new writing. Indian Dalit literature began as a concerted movement in the s, though clannish elements were visible as early in the 11th century.
Dalit writers initiated a realistic, experience based and authentic literature which threatened the upper class hegemony in society and in literature. The anger, sorrow and the indomitable will and hope of Dalit protagonists were offered in a tongue which is often denigrated as vulgar.
The writers of different states in India share a collective relationship snagati a common cause, a common identity and a common political stance. 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.
Gandhi, Rettaimalai Srinivasan etc. Vama or oppression of weaker by stronger is as old as mankind baka. The Indian history has been a vibrant record of conflict and dialectic santati two opposite sangwti like exploiters and exploited colonizer and colonized, powerful and powerless.
Dalit literature is always marked by revolt and a great struggle of lower caste, against the high class people commonly known as savarna. Southern India has witnessed organized attacks against Dalits through Panchami Land issue, Chengara struggle and Muthanga issue.
They demand for equitable shares in opportunities and reservation. Most of the activists xangati good writers as well. 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, Sivakami, Poomani explored subalternity and gender discrimination in their works. Their female protagonists are double 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 — political perspective of a dalit, taking into account the caste and gender oppression.
Bama (writer) – Wikipedia
This paper focuses on the sufferings of Dalit women in two aspects: 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 baa 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 zangati the threat of Sexual harassments in the field of work. Family, Church and Caste-Courts are usually male-led. Through SangatiBama tries to bounce back the bi-fold oppression of dalit women. Sangati is more of a celebration of dalit female identity. 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 females. While going through all this caste system some important questions arises in the mind: These are some important questions which pressurize us to go through the text. Sangati exposes that how a man spend money to earn as they please but on the other hand a woman has to fulfill their family responsibilities.
But of course before this there already occurred various struggle against male oppression, the privilege systems and inequality. As an exponent of Dalit feminism, Bama has found is Karukku the right way to explores the sufferings of Dalit women. Sangati carries an autobiographical element in their narrative, but it is a story of a whole community, not an individual.
In Sangati, many strong Dalit women who had the shackles of authority are also focused. The condition of dalits were very bad as they were not allowed to enter in to the temple, and schools for education. This form of discrimination based on identity akin to racism.
Sangati was originally written in Tamil in It was translated by Laxmi Halmstrom into English. The whole narrative is divided into twelve xangati.
Sangati deals with several generations of women in dalit community. The book is full of interconnected events — the everyday happenings of dalit community. It goes against the notions of traditional novel. The book does not carry any plot in the normal sense, but it is a series of anecdotes. The author herself says the purpose of writing the book in her acknowledgement as:. I wanted to shout out these stories.
The earlier chapters show the narrator as a young girl of about twelve years of age, but in the last quarter, as a young woman. The reflective voice is that of an adult looking back and meditating deeply upon her sanati in the past which calls for practical actions. It has no plot in the normal sense but just some powerful stories of memorable protagonists. As Bama nego-feministicly voices out the grievances bam the Paraiyya women, there is, in the first place, the question of economic inequality.
Women are presented as wage earners as much as men are, working equally as men as agricultural and building-site labourers, but still earning less than men do, thereby highlighting Socialist-feminism. Yet the money that sangayi earn is their own to spend as they please, whereas women bear the financial burdens of running the whole family, often even singly. They are constantly vulnerable to a lot of sexual harassment in the world of work. Within their community, the power rests with men as the caste-courts and churches are male-led.
Rules for sexual behavior are brow-raisingly different for men and women. Hard labour and economic precariousness lead to a culture of violence, and Bama boldly explores this theme too. Sangati deals with gender bias faced by dalit women right from their childhood.
Girl babies are always considered inferior and taken less care. The narrator of this book is a young girl in the early chapters grows pensive due to the myriad events happening around her. As she sangsti into a young woman, she stresses on the need for change and is calling out for action against atrocities that happen to the girls and women in her community. Invidious patriarchal distinctions are initially inculcated in girl children within the first ten years of their lives.
Gender games act as effective tools to achieve this goal. Bama as a young girl of twelve learns that boys have different roles to play than girls which are perpetuated in the form of gender games that they bamz made to play as children. In Dalit community elders consider boys as permanent members in a family because they are supposed to take care of their parents. On the other hand, female children are transient members who are to be transplanted to another family and so have no role to play in their families.
This causes gender prejudices even in the minds of parents. Dalit girls are hardly enjoying their childhood. They have little time to play as they have to take care of their younger siblings. She has to go to work when her mother delivers a baby.
BAMA’S SANGATI AS A UNIQUE DALIT FEMINIST NARRATION FROM SUBJUGATION TO CELEBRATION
When her mother becomes fit Maikkani turn to take care of the new born baby. The life of a dalit girl was tormenting but the life of a grown up dalit woman was worse. Bama describes the life style of dalit girls as follows:. Bama realistically portrays the physical violence like lynching, whipping and canning that dalit women suffers by their fathers, brothers and husbands.
She explores the psychological stress and strains of them.
Bama cleverly ropes in the prevailing subordinate condition of women through the ages as a girl, woman, a bread winner for the family and her place in the church. All of these proved claustrophobic to the women folk of the dalit community. The two stories that Bama reminds is that of Mariamma and Thayi whose marital disharmonies are revealed in an attempt to stereotype the dalit predicament.
They are ill-treated and beaten up daily by their husbands. But as for the wife they return home wash vessels, clean the house, collect water, gather firewood, go to the shops to buy rice for cooking and other provision, feed the husband and children before they sleep, eat what is left over and go to bed.
In SangatiBama subverts mainstream legends and asks relevant questions pertaining to her culture.