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Scholarly Article

Monika Rao

Social Denial of Sexual Violence in Manjula Padmanabhan’s Lights Out

Sexual Violence, Gang rape, Social denial, Brutalization.


Manjula Padmanabhan’s play Lights Out deals with the stigmas and denial of sexual violence against women. It is based on a real-life incident which took place in a Mumbai suburb in 1982. Padmanabhan portrays a world in which women are deprived of their identity, their own voice, their freedom, and their rights, she has to implore men to hear her concerns, this further leads to gender discrimination in every sphere of life. The main theme of the play is associated with a sensitive issue of ‘gang rape’. A group of urban middle-class people watches the brutalization of a woman in a neighbouring compound but fails to take any meaningful action to stop it.

About the Author

Dr Monika Rao has received her PhD on the topic “Feminist Concerns in Select Plays of Indian Women Playwrights” from the University of Allahabad. She has worked as a Guest Faculty in the Department of English and MEL, University of Allahabad, Prayagraj. She qualified for the UGC NET in the year 2019. She has published research articles in journals and also contributed papers to different National and International seminars.

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