“Journal writing gives us insights into who we are, who we were, and who we can become”
– Sandra Marinella

Marginalisation of Women on Caste A Subaltern Study of Chandalika and Draupadi


Sharif Atiquzzaman, Professor of English, Principal, Government Brajalal College, Khulna, Bangladesh

The marginalized people of Indian society have been neglected and tortured by the dominating section since time immemorial. The so-called upper-class people labelled them as subhuman untouchables. Although subaltern studies as a critical theory were unknown to Rabindranath Tagore, it will be interesting to review Chandalika from the post-colonial standpoint. The musical drama shows plenty of evidence of subalternity. Prakriti, a low-caste girl, broods over her destiny and curses her mother for giving her birth to an untouchable family. Dopdi, the central character in Mahasweta Devi’s Draupadi also allows us to view the subaltern identity with the hegemonic structures of the society. It’s a story about a santhal woman who organised a rebellion against the local landlords who didn’t allow them to fetch water from their wells for being untouchable. Dopdi, in Devi’s story, Draupadi is a revised and demythicised incarnation of the epical Draupadi. She belongs to a small ethnic group called santhal. In her reincarnation, she is placed within a contemporary historical context, where her present status is described as an activist in the Naxalite movement of the seventies. Mythology is used here as a source and vehicle of hegemonic control over the marginalized ‘other’. This article would be investigating Tagore’s Chandalika and Mahasweta Devi’s Draupadi from the subaltern standpoint, and focus on Tagore’s ideal of humanitarianism and universalism giving a strong espousal to the Doctrines of Buddha. The paper also aims at showing how Mahasweta Devi produces a sense of male-dominated power structure, deconstructive and counter-historical discourse. Referring to the subaltern theory, it will further explore postcolonial issues of subjectivity, marginalisation, and identity formation.

Keywords: Subaltern, Postcolonial, Marginalisation, Untouchable, Subjectivity, Identity

  1. Gramsci, Antonio. Selections from Prison Notebooks, Ed. and Trans. Quintin Hoare and Geoffrey Nowell Smith, London: Lawrence and Wishart, 1971, Print, Pp. 54-55
  2. Beauvoir, de Simone, The Second Sex, Translated by Constance Borde & Sheila Malovany Chevallier, Vintage Book, New York, 2010, Print, Pp-26
  3. Tagore, Rabindranath. Three Plays, Trans. Marjorie Sykes, Madras: Oxford University Press, 1970, Print, Pp-158
  4. Ibid, 154
  5. Ibid, 148
  6. Ibid, 148
  7. Ibid, 158
  8. Chakrabarty, Radha. Reading Mahasweta: Shifting Frames, Ed. Mahasweta Devi Critical Perspective, New Delhi: Pencraft International, 2011, Print, Pp-69
  9. Mahasweta Devi, Agnigarbha, Calcutta, 1978, Pp. 8

How to Cite

MLA 9th Edition

Atiquzzaman, Sharif. “Marginalisation of Women on Caste a Subaltern Study of Chandalika and Draupadi.” BL COLLEGE JOURNAL, vol. 4, no. 1, July 2022, pp. 172–79.


APA 7th Edition

Atiquzzaman, S. (2022). Marginalisation of Women on Caste A Subaltern Study of Chandalika and Draupadi. BL COLLEGE JOURNAL4(1), 172–179.


Copyright (c) 2023 GOVT. BRAJALAL COLLEGE

Indexed In