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THE POSITION OF WOMEN IN THE RAMAYANA AND THE MAHABHARATA AND THEIR APPROPRIATIONS IN TELEVISION AND FILMS

Gupta , Neha (2014) THE POSITION OF WOMEN IN THE RAMAYANA AND THE MAHABHARATA AND THEIR APPROPRIATIONS IN TELEVISION AND FILMS. Masters thesis, Christ University.

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Abstract

Religious mythology has perpetuated a certain idea of feminity and what ‘constitutes’ a woman; it ascribes a particular role to the female. Religious treatises with time are normalized. This makes it extremely difficult to challenge gender stereotypes. Our religious beliefs and the stories and representations associated with them, become an important part of the ‘self’. In most texts, a woman’s identity is constructed in terms of what the man is not. She is given the role of the companion; her ‘self’ is realized in the service of a man. They are never accorded individuality. Sita is the ideal example of this kind of gendered role-affixing. She exists within the patriarchal structures of the nation, religion and family without ever existing as Sita. Indian mythological texts have often been criticized for their misogynistic content. Both the Indian epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata have sequences which can be interpreted as simultaneously contemporary and regressive. For example Draupadi’s swayamvar is conducted to find her a desirable husband. However, she is being offered as a prize to the best archer. The visual mediums of films and television borrow heavily from religious mythology. When this happens, pre existing notions about gender are perpetuated in a popular and palatable format. Popular representations have given us the contours of what constitutes a mother, daughter and wife. This dissertation will analyze Valmiki’s Ramayana, Ved Vyasa’s Mahabharata, Ramanand Sagar’s Ramayana, B.R. Chopra’s Mahabharata, Prakash Jha’s Rajneeti and Nina Paley’s Sita Sings the Blues and study representation of women in each of them. Sometimes adaptations transgress or reinterpret the original text. However, do these retellings question a polarized, gender based social order and the role of women in it. The dissertation is a descriptive study and will employ the methodology of qualitative content analysis and text analysis to study how these themes are appropriated and the ramifications that these manifestations have on existing ideas of ‘feminine’.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Subjects:Thesis > Masters > MS Communication
ID Code:5892
Deposited By:Knowledge Center Christ University
Deposited On:22 Jan 2014 12:25
Last Modified:22 Jan 2014 12:26

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