Demystifying the Image of Eunuchs: A Study of Indrani Majumdar’s “The Paradox of Vantage Point”
Keywords:Exclusion, Gender Identity, Eunuchs, Indian Society, Discrimination
The objective of this paper is to demystify the image of ‘Eunuchs’ in our society where they always have been defined in a derogatory manner. The novel The Paradox of Vantage Point concerns the life of three friends-Anwesha, Vikram and a Eunuch Raghubir who later plays an imperative role in their lives. The titular “paradox” eventuates when Anwesha “has to, under unavoidable circumstances, share her room with a Eunuch” who later becomes her best friend. The Eunuch’s character who was the “Knight in the shining armour” for Anwesha also becomes the object of mortification for her in public. The novel shows Anwesha’s “vantage point” from where she commiserates with Raghubir on one hand but also feels hesitant when it comes to accepting him outside the walls of her house. The character of Raghubir in the novel basically deconstructs the crippled mindset that excludes eunuchs from the mainstream society, considering them as despicable creatures. The paper also deals with the idea of how a Eunuch, even if liberates himself from the societal boundaries, educates himself and even manages to live a “cultured” life different from his community still struggles to attain the desired respect in society. It basically shows the constant intimidation of society towards a Eunuch who, leaving all his anticipatory roles, tries to fit in the “civilized” life.
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