Assistant Professor. Dept. of English
Satyawati College (D)
University of Delhi
Mahashweta Devi’s story is about the reawakening of a mother proselytized by the death of her son against the backdrop of the systematic “annihilation” of the Naxalites in the 1970’s Bengal. The uncanny death forces the apolitical mother to embark on a quest for the discovery of her ‘real’ son which eventually leads to her own self-discovery. The discovery entails the knowledge of certain truths or half truths about the particular socio-political milieu in which the characters are located. Sujata conditioned to play the submissive, unquestioning wife and mother for the major part of her life gains a new consciousness about her own reality (as a woman) and her immediate context (the patriarchal / feudal order). She therefore pledges to refashion herself by assimilating her son’s political beliefs of ushering in a new egalitarian world without centre or margin. In Govind Nihalani’s own words his film is “a tribute to that dream”.