The IUP Journal of English Studies
Subaltern Resistance vis-a-vis Human Rights and Politics of Domination: Revisiting Mahasweta Devi's Imaginary Maps and Breast Stories

Article Details
Pub. Date : Sep, 2022
Product Name : The IUP Journal of English Studies
Product Type : Article
Product Code : IJES090922
Author Name : Joe Philip, Renu Bhadola Dangwal and Vinod Balakrishnan
Availability : YES
Subject/Domain : Arts & Humanities
Download Format : PDF Format
No. of Pages : 14



Mahasweta Devi's narratives epitomize 'subaltern resistance', a term which has received less attention and much notoriety in postcolonial studies. Devi's narratives negotiate subaltern lived experiences and subaltern resistance in the language of human rights. It is through these acts and responses that the term 'human' and its various significations are realized in her stories. The present paper deals with Devi's deconstruction of social hegemonic constructs, which helps to engage the problematics and ambiguities associated with subaltern resistance. Her stories become a commentary on the unmaking of subaltern lives vis-a-vis human rights and politics of domination. The paper draws its inferences from Devi's Imaginary Maps (2001), Breast Stories (2010), as well as from human rights discourse, so as to highlight the 'wrongs' the dispossessed tribals 'right' for themselves and the way they achieve it. These narratives describe subaltern resistance as an active dialectic process, through which the subjected forces are motivated to attain rights and sociopolitical positioning. Moreover, these narratives are significant texts not only as resistance and human rights discourse but also for their role in obliterating the spaces that perpetuate subalternity.

A fragile man bearing the axle of the carriage on his shoulders and falling on his face while trying hard to lift the cart, an adolescent girl's "tormented corpse, putrefied with