Indian Women and Education: A Contextual Study of Sudha Murthy’s ‘How I Taught My Grandmother To Read’

  • Kasturi Sinha Ray Researcher Department of English Faculty of Arts Banaras Hindu University


This paper attempts to interpret the short story How I Taught My Grandmother To Read
(2004) by famous social worker and author Sudha Murthy as an appreciation of the latest scenario
of female literacy and education in India. Post 1950 female discourse in India has found fresher
grounds with writers such as Sudha Murthy and Triveni (Anusuya Shankar), the author of Kashi
Yatre, referred to in the text. The former fashions characters which the Indian female readership
confined to the conditioning of patriarchy and tradition can look up to. The latter however makes
a bolder stand in delineating lifelike characters in her novels that become one with the suffering
lot of home makers bound to their chores and religion. The paper presents a polychromatic reading
of the short story in question, with respect to female literacy and education along with its scope
for emancipation of women from their commoditized state of existence, in India. Sudha Murthy
effectively hints at the possibility and fulfillment of female education as a social tool to eliminate
female alienation and exploitation at various layers of existence. The plot unravels the idea of
doing away with age old superstitions and beliefs which might hinder personal, intellectual and
spiritual growth of an individual, with the help of the more rational tenets of the very same
tradition. It brings home the realization of tradition as an evolutionary process, free from the
grammarian's chains and shackles. It moves on along the path of addition and deletion. Though
this is subtly presented, the overall effect gains much radicalism.

How to Cite
RAY, Kasturi Sinha. Indian Women and Education: A Contextual Study of Sudha Murthy’s ‘How I Taught My Grandmother To Read’. IJELLH (International Journal of English Language, Literature in Humanities), [S.l.], v. 6, n. 2, p. 11, feb. 2018. ISSN 2321-7065. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 18 mar. 2018.