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Scholarly Article

Meghna Roy

Essay On Widowhood: Critiquing the Position of Women in the Hindu Society

Widowhood, patriarchal, deprived, authoritarianism, humanitarian, social activist


In this age of growing feminism and heightened focus on a sensitive, progressive attitude to gender equality and human rights, widows find themselves less burdened and ideally positioned. However, the idea of achieving seamless perfection remains a utopian vision, as there are still innumerable instances, particularly in rural India, of women suffering extreme anguish and shame following the death of their male counterparts. In addition to grief and the burden of stigma, the utter disdain with which they are treated whenever they attempt to behave as thinking beings vocalising their desires and hopes is heartbreaking; they are expected to be docile and acquiescent and surrender before an aberrant code of conduct that lays down preposterous norms and obligations, or else they are downgraded and mercilessly attacked by the flag-bearers of patriarchal authoritarianism. Widows must suffer till death and stay chaste, according to religious teachings. After her husband's death, the wife will be reincarnated in a jackal's womb if she degenerates. Though no tangible truth attesting to these traditional beliefs has been concretely deciphered or categorically accepted by human scepticism, concrete critics and researchers have left no stone unturned to denigrate these dogmatic tenets and worn-out ideologies and work tirelessly towards a brighter future for all deprived women. Indira Goswami is one of the rare writer activists who have spoken out against women's abuse via her writing. Her personal widowhood may have inspired her to represent a genuine widow fighting clichés that have poisoned society. She has a lot of love and compassion for the oppressed, especially widows, and she isn't afraid to vent her indignation and fury while challenging widows' antiquated traditions and constraints. She has spoken out against women's violence since childhood, despite her sadness. She writes with confidence, courage, and determination and has courageously expressed her dissatisfaction with our constitutional structure as a real humanitarian and effective social activist. In her writings, she has not only tried to expose widows' and other women's mistreatment but also to illuminate their lives and halt their harsh torture.

About the Author

Meghna Roy is a writer and scholar in the field of English Literature. At present, she is working as an Assistant Professor in the Department of English at Bankura Zilla Saradamani Mahila Mahavidyapith, West Bengal. She obtained her M.A. degree in English Literature from the University of North Bengal. Some of her published works are The Healing Power of Creative Self-expression published in The Criterion: An International Journal in English, Developing a Sustainability Mindset Through Nature Poetry published in the journal named International Journal of Creative Research Thoughts (IJCRT), Cooking as Meditation: An Innovative Shift from Desperation to Creative Transformation published in the anthology Rewriting Human Imagination compiled by the Centre of Digital Humanities, Pune and poems published in the anthology Peacocks in a Dream: An Anthology of Contemporary Indian English Verse compiled by Erothanatos.

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