Arts, Humanities and Social Science

Women’s Body as the site of Encroachment: A Critical Study of Amrita Pritam’s Novel Pinjar
Rachna Arora, Dr. Smita Jha

History has been witnessed physical, sexual and psychological violence strikes women in epidemic proportions worldwide. Violence against women is an age old practice. Woman’s body has been a site of contest in India since Vedic ages. Indian epics like Mahabharata and the Ramayana are also the examples of age old maltreatment, torture, suppression, beating and humiliation of women. The proposed study tries to explore the gendered violence by examining the novel Pinjar which stands as a ‘witness’ of the violent division The study tries to delineate the wounded soul of women during the partition of India and Pakistan (1946) through a critical study of Amrita Pritam’s novel Pinjar/The Skeleton. The study is an attempt to show the fissures that accompany processes of a gendered identity formation during partition. The proposed study voices the gendered violence and traumatized ‘Self’ of women and their concerns of displacement, marginalization, dual identities and powerlessness. The paper also portrays how conflicts between families, communities and nations are so often brutally and mindlessly played out on the bodies and identities of women. The main focus of the paper is on the point that women’s body is seen as a site of encroachment which leads to violence against women not only during partition but even today. The paper critically explores the ways in which the destiny of the novels protagonist Puro eventually threatens the fate of women not only in India and Pakistan but worldwide.

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