Unveiling the veil: Critical study of the two Poems "Purdah I &II" of Imtiaz Dharker (2020)
Type of ContentJournal Article
PublisherProject Monma Research Centre
Before the 1950s, the concern of Indian Poetry in English by women was completely different. They generally dealt with the common issues of human relations. Apart from Toru Dutt, no early woman writer in English from India has glorified Indian women or addressed their problems in her poetry. The post-independent Indian women poets are entangled within a broad spectrum of feminist concern that has led them to move far ahead of their predecessors. Imtiaz Dharker has emerged as one of the significant women poets who have challenged the conventions of patriarchy vehemently as part of their strategies to grab the male space. Born and brought up abroad, she was confident enough to oppose her community's orthodox nature in unequivocal terms. Her two poems, "Purdah I" and "Purdah II" are invariably treated as her poetic manifestoes of rebellion against conservative and patriarchal Muslim society. The title of the poem "Purdah" is very significant, literally. It denotes veil or cover but carries a deeper connotation; in fact, Purdah is a typical patriarchal machination that confines the women within the false sense of security and propriety. By using Purdah as a metaphor, Dharker posits how the social and cultural constructs of certain conventions are deliberately used as instruments of regimentation to gratify the self-interest of a specific section of society. Dharker raises the emblem of revolt against the conventional Islamic culture, which through its traditions and customs, attempts to subjugate and subordinate women at each and every phase of life.
KeywordsIndian Poetry in English; Purdah; Patriarchy; Islam
ANZSRC Fields of Research44 - Human society
RightsCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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