Gender Role In Ramayana

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1.2 Background Females are an integral part of human civilization. No society or country can ever progress without an active participation of female in its general development. The status of female in society is directly linked with social and cultural traditions, stages of economic development achieved, educational levels, attitude of the society towards women, social and religious taboos, women's own awareness and political attainments. Through the centuries, the image and the role of female have been observed and studied in various ways, and the acquired knowledge has been recorded in literature, works of art, religious texts, mythology and codes of social behaviour. Female appear in the stories of men, but only in roles defined by men.…show more content…
It is reflected in the concept of chastity, a patriarchal value. It is one of the most powerful yet invisible cultural fetters that have enslaved female for ages. There has been enough literature, both oral and written, glorifying this enslaving value and deifying the female characters who observed it faithfully. The Ramayana in which Sita undergoes the fire ordeal to prove her chastity to Rama has been the cultural guide to Indians for more than two thousand years. The ethos of the Indian society does not permit women, to violate the norms of patriarchy in their pre or post-marital phases. Jandhyala therefore observes, “For emerging middle class culture, women’s sexuality was subsumed within her reproductive role. Any other expression which transgressed this norm was perceived as vile and wanton”10. That is why Miss Leela Benare in Silence! The Court is in Session is mercilessly attacked verbally in the name of mock-trial as she committed fornication and Rani in Nagamandala is accused of adultery while the male culprits in both the plays are not found fault with. Condemning the sexual oppression of female by men, Jandhyala says, “It is desired that female have a choice, control over their bodies and lives”11 This is exemplified in Tendulkar’s play, Silence! The Court is in Session. Benare

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