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Words and Silences A Discussion on Contemporary Women Poets in Hindi


Prof. Rekha Sethi, University of Delhi

In this presentation titled Words and Silences, the speaker wishes to initiate a discussion on contemporary women poets writing in Hindi, a predominant Indian language. Her objective is to address very relevant questions such as, whether women's writing can be read as a separate category or not? How far is their poetry influenced by their gender? What are the interconnections between gender and literature? What are the varied tropes of their feminism? Since women are not a homogenous group how does their geographical location and social position intersect their feminism? To look at these fundamental questions she chose seven contemporary women poets; who are situated in post-independence India. These include Gagan Gill, Katyayani, Anamika, Savita Singh, Neelesh Raghuwanshi, Sushila Takbhoure and Nirmala Putul. A close textual reading of their poetry made her realize that all of them were looking at the same social reality with a different lens. These seven poets have a distinct feminine identity and have their own strategies of negotiating with patriarchy, liberation, and empowerment. Various aspects of women's poetry emerge from an analysis of their works. Also important is the fact that a close textual reading of their complete poetry published till date reveals several aspects and perspectives which are different from what is merely the feminist perspective - from philosophical to political, from the issues of class, caste, and tribal identities - there are multiple divergent strands which seem to converge, if one looks at them through the lens of women's writings, yet they remain distinctive. The basic purpose of this presentation will be to discuss and understand female creativity in the context of their femininity and also with respect to their specific social position.


India focus, Lecture/Talk