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Crosses and Knots: Subcontinental Partition Cinema

By Prithviraj Sinha
As my critical framework is built around the narrative of Partition, for me the agency of art vis-à-vis cinematic image and the written word is the one that has made me look at Partition as a tragedy as also the trickle effect of complexities affecting people across these border lines.

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A leaf from Kashmir

By Farhana Fayaz
While the independent countries of India and Pakistan are constantly at loggerheads – be it through border skirmishes or on the cricket field – the state of Jammu and Kashmir stands in a horrific limbo. This article aims to examine the woes of Kashmiris who have had to live, struggle, suffer and die amidst tension throughout the valley. Over the decades, the perception of Indian army for the Kashmiris has completely changed, and for the worse.

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Book Review: Salman Rashid’s ‘Of home, loss, and healing’

By Anubhav Pradhan
Rashid’s memoir is valuable precisely because it talks to both sides of this unfortunate border. In our uncertain times of abuse and aggression, his words are a potent reminder of our shared history, of what many of us lost when India and Pakistan were born, and how the dark shadow of that tragedy continues to cloud our vision of the future. It is no mean feat that the power of his narrative emerges from its sheer simplicity, language which just states things as they were and are.

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Contents – New Woman: Then and Now (Issue 47)

Contents - New Woman: Then and Now (Issue 47)

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Contributors

Contributors

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Guest-Editorial: New Woman: Then and Now

By Priyanka Chatterjee and Sanchayita Paul Chakraborty
‘New woman’ is to be moved out of the pages of the literary, out of the cold storage of academic ambitions and is to be experienced, while opening up its possibilities of extension beyond knowable grounds. As the concept moves through a continuous process of evolution, we are extremely thankful to all our contributors for being a part of this journey of conferring meanings and perspectives to understand the malleable frames of ‘new woman’.

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Vasantasena in Mrcchakatika: A ‘New Woman’ in Sanskrit Drama?

By Pritha Kundu
The ‘new woman’ in Anglo-American literature is a character-type corresponding to the topical cause of women’s emancipation in society, whereas Vasantasenā is sui generis as an individual character, who is both traditional and unconventionally dynamic at the same time.

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‘New Woman’ then: A Study of First Light (2001)

By Bikash Chandra Mandal
The “New Women” distinct from the dominant construct of the “New Woman” in their new roles, who were conscious about their individuality deconstructing the patriarchy to reconstruct and affirm their individual female subjectivity. They tried to project their womanhood in their own individual way. They sought to construct their own female subjectivity beyond the space of patriarchal hegemony and resisted the patriarchal formulations to create their own version of self-freedom.

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The Chronicle of the Caged Bird: Gender, Quotidian, and “New Women” in Post-Partition Literature

By Anuparna Mukherjee
This essay explores the discursive category, “new women”, in a more restricted and localized context to speak about those whose contribution does not lie in revolutionizing the public world, but in the silent assertion to stand their ground within the inner domain of their homes as a way of resisting the debacle of Partition. It delves into the journey of the unnamed protagonist within the textual space of Hasan Ajijul Huq’s novel, Agun Pakhi (The Bird of Fire), to talk about a rural housewife whose life, like several others, was suddenly catapulted by the Partition.

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Half-Women or Half-Dreams? The Lives and Afterlives of Ismat Chughtai’s ‘New Women’ in India

By Ismat Chughtai
From her rebellious insistence to attend school at Aligarh and later earning her B.A. degree at the Isabella Thoburn College in Lucknow, to taking up the principalship of a girls’ school in Bareilly, choosing her own profession, and then falling in love and marrying the person of her choice and being banned and persecuted for some of her provocative writing, Chughtai courageously took on the Muslim prejudices and attitudes of her time towards female education, space and work, both at home and society at large, always carving out her own space, and being recognized for it.

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Between the ‘home’ and the ‘world’: The ‘New Woman’ in Bollywood

By Nandita Dutta
In a poster of the popular 2012 film English Vinglish, the protagonist, Shashi, appears against the New York skyline with a resolute look on her face. She has been photographed and frozen amid a stride – a meaningful one, as opposed to loitering – with a Starbucks coffee in her hand, bestowing on her a modern and professional look.

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‘Charulata’, ‘Mahanagar’ and Two Epochs of the New Woman in Bengal

By Madhubrata Bhattacharyya
Charulata (1964) and Mahangar (1963) are both films centering on striking female characters. They are both predicated upon instances of ruptured domesticity. Temporally disparate in their settings as they may be, they both represent a time when traditional ideals of femininity are undergoing transformation. However, unlike popular discourse that would place the brunt of this disrupted domesticity upon women – particularly, the modernized “New” Woman – Ray depicts the complex social processes that lead to such a change.

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Mapping the ‘New Woman’ through the eyes of Cinema and Society

By Amarinder Gill
The slow rise of the new woman seems to be initiated by Mother India (1957), where Nargis is the poor mother raising two sons, while her husband is a helpless weakling who does a quick disappearing act. She is the sacrificing mother who ultimately kills her own son as he tries to abduct the daughter of the moneylender Sukhilala.

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Pondering over Birsa Dasgupta’s ‘Crisscross’

By Priyanka Chatterjee
Trying to claim the ‘new’, women are always confronted by the threatening silhouette of the ‘old’, which devises alternative modes of operation to become assimilated. Is discarding the old an only way to acclaim newness? Is it possible to leave the old behind, against which we define the new?

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