Essay Example on Gender and Caste discrimination in Rohinton Mistrys A Fine Balance

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Gender and Caste discrimination in Rohinton Mistrys A Fine Balance Abstract The focus is to study the devastating effects of caste system and the exploitation of under privilege section of society Rohinton Mistry strongly opposes the discrimination prevailing in the Indian society in the name of caste community race gender and so on He very openly depicts the atrocities faced by the socially inferiors in Indian society especially during the Emergency of 1975 in his novel A Fine Balance The novel unfolds the lives of four ordinary people Ishvar Darji his nephew Omprakash both belonging to the lower caste Chamaar their employer Dina Dalal and her paying guest Maneck Kolhah and how emergency leads to the destruction of their lives It represents the life of the Chamaars in the villages and their suppression in a caste-ridden society also the gender discrimination experienced by Dina Dalal as her brother Nusswan being an authoritative figure It explores the humiliation torture and other problems faced by the marginalized section of society 




People from dominant caste Thakur Dharmasi exploit the weaker section It highlights Dina Dalal s struggle for survival in the world of ruthless competition and discrimination thus it talks about of elite group where marginalized and powerless has no role to play Dina Dalal becomes a prey and servant to her brother She was dominated and suppressed by her brother Ishvar and Om s family were subject to torture due to the class discrimination Thus it depicts the suffering of the downtrodden people and violation of their basic rights The study will thus focus on the characters of Dina Om Ishvar Maneck who were discriminated due to their caste race and gender The society presented by Mistry is not an idealized society The lower castes are beaten and tortured It tries to show how political changes cut through the psycho social fabric of the country where justice is in the hands of rich The novel shows the society where individualistic values are possible if and only if a person is rich or powerful enough to indulge in them Thus the study aims to show the life of nation during the emergency along with the problems of gender and social oppression A FINE BALANCE By Rohinton Mistry Rohinton Mistry is a renowned Indian writer He has contributed for valuable works to the development of the Indian English writing His first novel Such a long journey 1991 and followed by A Fine Balance 1995 are very popular He strongly opposes the discrimination prevailing in Indian society in the name of caste community race gender and so on Mistry unfolds the application of caste discrimination and political upheavals in his novel 




A Fine Balance Mistry depicts the exploitation of commoners by the government in the name of development and beautification The novel shows the effects of Emergency imposed by then Prime Minister Mrs Indira Gandhi alone with underlying problems of tradition caste based discrimination In A Fine Balance there are four main characters that come from different social backgrounds and eventually their lives are disputed and shaped by the Emergency Dina a parsi widow lives in a small flat in Bombay and later other characters merge into her life because of the economic forces Ishvar and Omprakash come from their village to the city to find jobs as tailors They belong to the Chaamar caste who are untouchables and as a result of their oppression by upper caste they are sent to learn tailoring in the town to change their situation Thus economic dynamism is a reason that brings them to the town Maneck Kolah comes from mountain village from northern India to Bombay inorder to get an education due to his father s failure in business They all come to Dina s flat and a bond of friendship a sense of family is created among them unfortunately because of Emergency their Balance is ruined under the sterilization program


Omprakash is castrated and Ishvar is amputated and so Dina loses her business and flat and become dependent on her brother Nusswan and Maneck commits suicide at the end of the novel India is known for its roots in the family system It is deeply patriarchal and woman is at the mercy of man Dina one of the four important characters in the novel who belongs to a parsi family experiences an agonizing treatment in the hands of her brother Nusswan She hails from a wealthy parsi family but she is constrained to depend on her brother after her father s death Her brother was very dominating and uses invective language to enervate her mentally and morally also abuses her physically Thus Indian society is male dominant though it is hindu or parsi It is also evident in the case of Radha and Roopa Dukhi s wife Roopa is unfortunate to feed her baby by stealing fruits from an orchard While on her way she undergoes a physical and psychological torture She was sexually exploited by the watchman of rich man s orchard Thus it is ironical to say that high caste lustful man desires to touch and assault lower caste woman so these instances reveals gender inequality Women are treated as an object of enjoyment not as equal to men Dina s brother ill treats her and makes her do the household chores Don t make excuses a strong young girl doing a little housework what s that got to do with studying Lacking in you is the desire for education This is it enough schooling for you Mistry A Fine Balance 27 Thus this shows that men don't treat women equal to them Despite of Dina s keen desire to purse education she is not allowed Her brother tries to impose his will on her


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