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The Forest of Enchantments: Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

I am never a fan of Ramayana. I find the characters of this epic a little too single-minded and illogical to find it convincible. Comparing it with another famous epic Mahabharata where I can see multiple layers of each character and can understand them even they are on the side of evil. And hence, I usually don’t enjoy reading Ramayana retellings.

Divakaruni has done an amazing job in redeeming the sweet and docile image of Sita. But still, I don’t appreciate this image of women too. Yes, Divakurni Sita has a point of view and a sense of justice, but all her conversations and objections are only in her mind.

This image of Sita still teaches us to endure injustice and not fight back. Because however you glorify the term ‘endurance’ it still signifies a little weakness.

But how I can blame Divakurni for not presenting such an image of Sita. After all, this whole story reeks of patriarchy, passed on to us from generation after generation.

I hear on news about the growing rape culture & victim-blaming in our country. I wonder how is it different from what happened with Sita.

There is too much focus on the innocence and chastity of Sita. But consider the alternative if Raavan has forced himself on her. Would they still consider Sita chaste or innocent?

I don’t know how much I can speak freely considering the religious sentiments of so many people. But I think we need to really look deeper into our culture and values, especially what we pass to the next generation.

Published inBooksFiction

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