Essay Example on Can the subaltern Speak









The fact that Ghare bhaire the novel and its cinematic adaptation both were written and directed back then from the masculine aspect of representation implies the usual reconstruction of the past of those hidden from the history from the vision of supreme elites This predisposes the stance of women and their role in writing their history Set at the backdrop of independence struggle marking the emergence of nationalism Ghare Bhaire portrays the era of Swadeshi movement that gave Indians the chant of Vande Mataram and changed India s political discourse The movie entails the story of Bimala the woman married to Nikhil a liberal businessman and her struggle transgressing and adapting from the inner courtyard and the outer realms of the household ghare bhaire The movie very clearly tries to represent the various elements of subalternity not just through the aspect of women but also focusing on the class caste aspect The labor class which generally comprised of Muslim traders and their plight in the whole domain of the Swadeshi movement Satyajit Ray tries to portray the nationalistic movement as nothing but a scramble for sharing political power with the colonial rulers which has also been signified by Partha Chatterjee in his writings 

The character of Sandip has been portrayed as a fierce leader but who in his quest for power completely disregards the plight of the labor class who sold imported goods mostly Muslims hence augmenting the hypocrisy of the Swadeshi movement Swadeshi movement somehow became the clear demonstration of the difference between elite nationalist leaders and the subaltern working class and became the reason of further divide between the two communities History of the subaltern classes has always been very fragmented due to the domination of the history of the ruling elites which clearly articulates that they had less access to the means by which they could control their own representation This becomes the decisive factor in determining whose narrative gets wiped out Bimala the female lead of the movie has been represented as the submissive character who subtly advances from her role inside the realms of the household to that of the world outside Nikhil encourages her to cross her boundaries and gain confidence about her stance We can see the element of dependence that arises over here The element of modernity and freedo654tyh6m were only given to Bimala only because Nikhil wanted to which signifies how the power had always rested in the hands of the patriarchy in the Indian society Her access to the outer world was always through her husband Her opinions were asked for but her identity had always been associated with her husband This entails how women became both an object of colonialist historiography and as a subject of insurgency but the ideological construction of gender kept the male always dominant This according to Gayatri Spivak is the reason that the subaltern as women is more deeply in obscurity 

What also is striking is the fact that Bimala was made to learn all the possible forms of western liberal arts she was educated and was made to learn mannerisms from an English woman This subtly represents the mindset of the upper class Indians wherein they were of the view that learning western arts and mannerisms would make a woman more civilized and in par with any other western women Bimala was made to learn western music but she was not authorized to practice this art in the bahir or the outer realm which exemplifies her limited access to the outer world While this was one aspect there exists a reverse side to this too The dominance of the west in the sphere of science and technology economics was much more prominent and in an attempt to overcome this dominance and portray ourselves as being liberal the women were used as pawns in the larger political project of rationalizing and reforming the traditional culture of the people The inner outer realm always remained which divided the women social space into the ghar bahir binary The idea of this dichotomy was so deeply ingrained that the character of the widow has been shown as the person revolting to Bimala s advancement in the outer realm of the household The narrative of the lower class women servants can also be subject of great relevance 

They are impersonated as not wearing upper garments and having no conversation with Bimala or Nikhil This portrays the extent of the nationalist movement which had its reach only limited to the upper caste women The patriarchy or the so called emancipators of women are termed as feminists and seen as liberals since they are presented as enabling and empowering women within conservative or religious boundaries They tend to consolidate patriarchy by dividing women on the basis of class rather than uniting them on the basis of gender Western representations of the subaltern has always been symbolic of white supremacy For instance even when we have a look at the classic novel Around the world in 80 days by Jules Verne it also proves to be the kind of storyline that depend on lots of stereotypes to fill out the characters list Philieas Fogg and his servant Passepartout being the logical passionate and curious westerners who with their Eurocentric attitude try to save Aouda the widower from the group of Brahmins who were labeled as stupid fanatics from taking the widow to the pyre of sutee the procession of human sacrifice The writer credits the lead as of having the power to save the woman from being burned alive Aouda the only non European character has also been represented in all means as quite acceptable to all the European standards and hence justifying the decision of the Englishman marrying Aouda T

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