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Contents: Exploring Motherly Instincts: Representation of Mothers in Indian Cinema (Issue 62)

Contents: Exploring Motherly Instincts: Representation of Mothers in Indian Cinema (Issue 62)

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Contributors

Contributors

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Issue Editor’s Note: Exploring Motherly Instincts: Representation of Mothers in Indian Cinema

By Srija Sanyal
It has therefore been the idea of this issue of Café Dissensus to explore the maternal world in the highly digitized, globalized and gender-neutral environment wherein, like several other definitions, that of motherhood is also undergoing a shift, or even a metamorphosis. The proposed issue thus intends to be an enriching assimilation of studies on select Indian films, both on the celluloid and digital screens.

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Twinning Compassion and Murder: On the Question of Motherhood in ‘Shubho Mahurot’

By Aparajita De
In this short piece, I will focus on the role of the mother and the exploration of the trope of motherhood in Ghosh’s 2003 film, Shubho Mahurot (First Shot). Inspired by the Miss Marple series of mysteries by Agatha Christie and adapted from her The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side, this film has been easily classified in the female ‘detective/whodunit genre’.

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Independent, Strong yet Vulnerable: The Portrayal of Working Women in Indian Web Series

By Aparna Rajesh and Shantharaju S
Streaming platforms include in their archives what the mainstream cinema industry couldn't and didn't and the modern representation of women is also one such element. Decoupled (2021) and Masaba Masaba (2020) are two Netflix (India) web series nominally discussed in this essay.

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Utopian Motherhood in ‘Matrubhoomi: A Nation Without Women’

By Athira Unni
Motherhood, by its conspicuous absence and redeeming role in the climax, becomes a functional trope to tie together the loose ends. Nevertheless, the movie is one of the very few artistic attempts at imagining a society without women set in India.

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Rhetorical Construction of Motherhood in Ritwik Ghatak’s Films

By Debjani Halder
In the 1940s, those Indian film directors who portrayed women as ‘ideal mother’ or Deshmatrika actually contributed to upholding the hierarchy of patriarchal control within the family. This, in turn, made negative contributions to the lives of women, thus reducing them to a mere mythical symbol of order.

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Screaming Mothers in Malayalam Cinema: Motherhood as a Genre-defying Identity in Malayalam Cinema

By Raj Sony Jalarajan and Adith K. Suresh
In Malayalam cinema – the film industry of the southern-Indian state, Kerala – it can be observed that motherhood is inextricably integrated with the narratives where the body of the mother is used as a template to reiterate the significance of family values based on maternalism.

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The Quintessence of the Motherhood in Satyajit Ray’s Films

By Sambhu Nath Banerjee
Sarbajaya, Apu’s mother, is presented as the most authentic Bengali mother, a character having many shades of affection, hope, despair and mental strength, wonderfully played by Karuna Bandopadhyay. Ray has infused elements of fighting spirit, sharp alertness and endurance in the character of Sarbajaya, who is otherwise an ordinary rustic woman.

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Reclaiming Mother India: Mother, Nation, and the Other in Safina Uberoi’s ‘My Mother India’

By Soumitree Gupta
In this essay, I focus on Australian-Indian filmmaker Safina Uberoi’s personal documentary, My Mother India (2001), which critiques as well as reclaims the celebrated trope of Mother India from gendered and ethnonationalist discourses.

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There is no Bad Mother: ‘Beta’ and the Indian Mother-Law Against the West’s Asian Mother Phobia

By Suneel Mehmi
Beta says the triumph of the Indian law and its wisdom, of Indian cinema, is that love triumphs over hate and its brainwashing, that the power of the mother orchestrates our very being and identity. If Indian law and the Indian state is legitimate, this legitimacy is based on a radical revolution from misogynistic Western frameworks of identity and belonging.

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Representing the Single Mother: An Analysis of Tribhanga and Shakuntala Devi

By Tracy Jose
Two films from recent times – Shakuntala Devi (2020) and Tribhanga: Tedhi Medhi Crazy (2021) – stand out in their treatment of the subject of motherhood, especially since the key characters in both the films are single mothers. Both films strike a similar chord in their attempt to show their central characters as being career-motivated, ambitious, and also desirous of not wanting to repeat the same patterns that they were subjected to during their childhood because of their mothers.

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Perfectionist Mothers and their Idealistic Demands: Shakun Batra’s Exploration of The Darker Shades of Motherhood

By Yamini Sargotra
The figure of the mother, though apparently marginal on screen in two of the three films, looms large in the lives of the main protagonists, especially because mothers in Batra’s films are demanding individuals.

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