Exploitation Of Subaltern Child Widow In Deepa Mehta's 'Water'
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Exploitation of subaltern child widow in Deepa Mehta’s film Water
The acclaimed diasporic filmmaker Deepa Mehta’s woman-centred trilogy Fire, Earth and Water have a common bind (religion). Water remains a powerful indictment of male hegemony in Hinduism. The use of a child widow as a subaltern in the film highlights the need for a revolution within the Hindu culture and its treatment of women and children. When children become victims, society realises its disintegration sooner. Deepa Mehta becomes the voice of the subaltern widows and calls for a rapid change in the Hindu culture. This essay focusses on the various double standards that Hindu culture advocates in assigning widows as subalterns in Deepa Mehta’s film Water. The concept of the “Subject” and the “Other” in Simone De Beauvoir’s The Second sex emphasises that only the males have the right to live in this society. Once the “Subject” is gone, the “Other” cannot remain as a single entity and the widow has to join the dead husband in the funeral pyre. In “Can the Subaltern speak?” Spivak says:
As object of colonialist historiography and as subject of insurgency, the ideological construction of gender keeps the male dominant. If, in the context of colonial production, the subaltern has no history and cannot speak, the subaltern as female is even more deeply in shadow (287). The gendered subalterns are mere shadows to please their men. The role of the shadow comes to an end when the light goes out of