Dr. Tukaram S. Sawant
Tuljaram Chaturchand College of Arts, Science & Commerce, Baramati,. Pune
Shashi Deshpande, the Sahitya Academy Award winning novelist, is concerned with the projection of sorrows and sufferings, plight and predicament, pain and anguish, suppression and exploitation of middle-class Indian women caught in the trap of Indian patriarchy. She shows her concern about women who are restless on account of orthodox and established norms, beliefs, customs and conventions deeply rooted in Indian patriarchy. She raises her voice of protest against injustice done to women in the name of gender-discrimination. She wants her women to set themselves free from male-ego and male-domination. She wants them to defy man-made laws, rules and ideologies. She wants them to assert themselves by taking their own decisions all by themselves. She considers herself a humanist feminist intending to make women realize their inner strength and potentiality and arrive at the solution to their issues and problems on their own without depending on their male-counterparts. Her protagonists come to the realization that their revolt against patriarchy can not be the only solution of their problems. They fight their own battle and emerge as bold, challenging and rebellious women ready to move towards self-awareness and emancipation. She wants them to be complete and independent human beings, to be ‘new’ and ‘modern’ in the true sense of the term. The present article intends to critically assess Deshpande’s women-oriented novels with special focus on her female protagonists emerging as ‘new’ women.
Key words: emancipation, iconoclastic, invisibility, revolutionary, self-actualization, traumatic.