Girish Karnad’s Naga-Mandala and Varsha Adalja’s Mandodari: Rethinking the ‘woman’ and devising strategies of resistance

Joydeep Bhattacharyya

Assistant Professor of English, Kurseong College, Kurseong, Darjeeling, India. Email:

  Volume 8, Number 4, 2016 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/rupkatha.v8n4.23

Received October  10, 2016; Revised December 27, 2016; Accepted December 30, 2016; Published January 14, 2017


Indian notion of sexuality and gender certainly has an ancient lineage, but the entire notion, specially the idea of ‘woman’, undergoes an unprecedented reconfiguration and strategic systematization only during the colonial period. Sexuality, thus recast both in the hands of the colonial and the anticolonial forces, continues to sustain patriarchy even in the post-Independence socio-political narrative of the nation. Importantly, alongside the patriarchal hegemony, a growing sign of sexual counteraction becomes visible. And Indian drama, after Independence, has lent a strong voice to the forces of sexual dissension, while exposing the social sexism at large. The present study seeks to read Girish Karnad’s Naga-Mandala and Varsha Adalja’s Mandodari where patriarchy is not only exposed but challenged through ingenious ways. It remains to be seen how the plays in question explore the survival strategies in a male dominated social regime and redefine the docile image of female subjectivity as self-conscious and resourceful.

 Keywords: Indian woman, gender, Girish Karnad, Varsha Adalja, theatre.

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