Mahasweta Devi’s Rudali: Wailing Motherhood
Keywords:Motherhood, Subaltern Voices, Caste Discrimination, Tradition, Culture
Mahasweta Devi’s Rudali has gained critical responses for raising the voice on behalf of the silenced subaltern individuals and communities. However, this paper attempts to analyse the text through the gendered lens of ‘motherhood’. Rudali not only delineates the struggles and exploitations of the lower caste people and the outcastes, but the text also divulges the condition of mothers and their struggles of mothering. Mahasweta Devi, true to her strong writing agendas, has not written in favour of the mothers belonging only to the subaltern communities; she has taken into account of those mothers who are wealthy and belong to respected families as well as those who are defamed and disrespected and belong to the marginalized, red-light areas of the society. All the ‘mothers’ portrayed in Rudali have undergone similar ecstasy, agony, humiliation, dejection and rejection. The text leads us through motherhood as a ‘community’ and not just a biological attribute conferred with a namesake social status.
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