Sahvi's Role Of Patriarchal Society In Bhisham Sahni

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Bhisham Sahni (8 August 1915 – 11 July 2003) was a Hindi writer, playwright and actor, most famous for his novel “Tamas” and his play “Madhvi”. It is based on the story of Madhvi, daughter of king Rishi Yayati from Mahabharata. The play was first staged by noted director Rajendra Nath in 1982. In 2005, US trained Rashi Bunny performed it as a solo play. It’s English translation by Alok Bhalla was published in 2002. Bhisham’s interpretations of mythology shows us how women have functioned as a substitute for money whenever there was a clash of male egos. Madhvi narrates a story of Yayati’s daughter who is used like a pawn by three egoistic men for their self-interest, her father, Yayati, Gaalav, her lover, Vishwamitra, her lover’s guru. I intend to show that the play Madhvi is a scathing comment on patriarchal society and Sahni has conspicuously shown unambiguous conditions of women, even though the story is based on characters older than 5000 years but still alive. In this paper I will situate Madhvi in its social context where women have no right to fulfill their desires, they are suppressed and restricted by the norms and the rules of the society. In “Madhavi”, Sahni draws upon a story from Mahabharata, but gives it a fine ideological spin. Munikumar Galav, arrogant disciple of sage Vishwamitra, insists on giving him gurudakshina, even though the sage wants nothing. In exasperation Vishwamitra asks for 800 white ashwamedhi horses with black ears to boot. Only 600 such
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