Women vs Religious Barriers in Ameen Merchant's The Silent Raga
Keywords:Ethnic Values- Traditions- Brahmins- Sripuram - Suppression- Music
India is the only country which thrives in the pool of multireligions and multicultures. The recurrently used cliche, “Unity in Diversity”, serves as an adjective to describe India's assorted colours. Greater part of South Asian literature, as well as Indian literature focuses on rendering the various dimensions and singularity of these multifarious religions. They also explicate the ethnic values and customs prevalent in the specific region or state. Ameen Merchant's realistic novel, The Silent Raga records the lives of two sisters, Janaki and Malika, who are the victims of age old traditions and conventions of Brahmin community in Tamil Nadu. The author chronicles the life events of the two sisters from their childhood to womanhood and how they are struggling to widen their world by overcoming the burden of suppressions in the name of religions and traditions. The novel also pictures the regional setting of Sripuram in Tamil Nadu. The novel takes the readers into the world of a Brahmin family with its adherent principles and the sufferings of two motherless girls as a refugee in the hands of a cold father. The title, The Silent Raga signifies how the voices of the Brahmin girls are muted and suppressed in the noise of religious beliefs. The music of Veena coincides with the music of life. Ameen Merchant ends the novel with a positive and hopeful note by narrating how the female protagonists break the rules and choose the path of their own choice.
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