29 November, 2020

False Ribs

Vapid, overtly feminist fiction

False Ribs
ACROSS the board, the creative impulse in contemporary India is struggling to evolve imagery to portray the awakening of its women. (Even our Parliament is tying itself in knots in trying to creatively stanch the propulsion of women to representational power.) Alternate cinema evolved the staccato stare and intermittent silences as an artistic device to articulate the growing dissatisfaction of women with their lot. In contemporary painting too, this socio/politico/psycho cage appears in many visual forms, trapping its female protagonists in cruel juxtapositions.

The stance of popular literature has also nurtured images of women trapped by circumstance, fluttering their wings in situations they seem to have little control over. As slogans, such short stories probably are a 'feelgood' pill to (primarily female) readers who, as sahahridayis, feel the suffering of protagonists reflects their own—real or perceived—suppressions. This brand of short story in India has become a cementing force for social bonding or re-awakening, rather than empowering...



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