Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 6

PARTITION THROUGH LENS-THE EMERGENCE OF NEW BENGALI WOMAN (SPECIAL REFERENCE OF MEGHE DHAKA TARA BY RITWIK GHATAK)

In dishonoring a women you dishonor the religion,honor and culture of the man associated with the woman. Within patriarchal structures, women are often believed to be the embodiment of the honour of the whole community to which they belong. Accordingly, in times of ethnic, religious or other violent conflict, they become the major targets as attacking a womans body signifies an assault on the family and the community. Rape has always been a potent weapon of war in humiliating and emasculating the enemy. In the partition one million hindus and muslims lost their lives. Hundreds of thousands of children were lost and abandoned; between 75,000 and 1,00,000 women were raped and abducted apart from the families. Women, especially those who belonged to Punjab, were possibly the worst victims of the communal violence that accompanied the division of British India. Thousands of women on both sides of the newly formed border (estimates range from 25,000 to 29,000 Hindu and Sikh women and 12,000 to 15,000 Muslim women) were abducted, raped, forced to convert or forced into marriage. Women often internalised the patriarchal notion of their role in the society, and committed suicide in order to preserve the sanctity and purity of their religion. The pre-partition riots in Calcutta and Noakhali (1946) set the stage for communal disturbances in Bengal. In Noakhali Riots of eastern Bengal, hundreds of women were raped. The Hindu married women were stripped off their conch shell bangles (shankha) and vermillion mark on their forehead (sindur) and forced to recite the kalma. The Noakhali Relief Committee was formed to provide relief to the distressed women and to recover the abducted women. Ashoka Gupta, a noted Gandhian, was involved in this relief operation. In Bengal, many scholars have demonstrated a positive effect of partition on women: here, the refugee women from East Bengal came out in the public sphere and participated in the political movement, took up jobs and helped their families to come out of partition. Thus, partition had some emancipatory effect on Bengali migrant women. The disintegration of traditional structures could have possibly led to space of greater agency for women. Many women actively participated in the Communist movement that took place in West Bengal. Even in Punjab, as one scholar has noted, Partition narrowed the physical spaces and enlarged the social spaces available to women, thereby affecting the practice of purda or seclusion, modified the impact of caste and regional culture on marriage arrangements and widened the channels of educational mobility and employment for girls and women. The governments of both India and Pakistan recognised the womens problem and launched a programme of recovering and rehabilitating women. An ordinancecalled Abducted Persons Recovery and Restoration Ordinance was promulgated on January 31, 1949, and was subsequently replaced by the Abducted Persons (Recovery and Restoration) Act 1949. The Government of India announced that any conversionwhich took place after March 1947 would be treated as forced, and the women would be recovered and rehabilitated to their respective Dominions. Following the logic of partition, the religion of the woman was the prime determinant of her nationality. This programme, in some cases, further marginalised the women, as their opinions were not taken into consideration while recovering and rehabilitating them. The officers who were charged with the responsibility of rescuing abducted women were mostly women. Mridula Sarabhai was in overall charge of the operation on the Indian side. Social workers like Rameshwari Nehru, Sushila Nayyar, Premvati Thapar, Bhag Mehta,

Kamlaben Patel, Damyanti Sahghal, Anis Kidwai and others were also involved in this process. These women social workers were assisted by the national police of their country. Every rescue operation was conducted under the supervision of a woman officer, accompanied by the police. The governments of India and Pakistan believed that the women were better placed to handle the delicacy of the situation, and to 'persuade those who were reluctant to give up their new homes, to return to their own country and own family. Abducted Persons (Recovery and Restoration) Act 1949 was not applicable to West Bengal. People like Phulrenu Guha, a veteran Congress leader from West Bengal, did not support this Act. She argued that if a woman had made a new home for herself, she should not be uprooted yet again. Indeed, this was a very controversial Act and many victims of abduction themselves resisted the states attempts to recover them. Their families were often reluctant to take them back and also many of them were by then settled into their new homes.

The present assignment attempts to make a study of the emergence of new woman through the special reference of the flim The Cloud-Capped Star(Meghe Dhaka Tara) directed by Ritwik Ghatak. "Meghe Dhaka Tara" tells the tragic story of the beautiful daughter of a middle-class refugee family from East Pakistan, living in the outskirts of Calcutta under modest circumstances. The plot presents Neeta as a middle-class daughter encumbered by increasing demands to support her self-centered family members. She augments the income gained by her elderly father, while she moves toward the final year of her education. Her struggles are made bearable by hope, primarily founded on two loved onesher brother Shankar, who admittedly takes advantage while waiting for his singing career to blossom, and her fianc, Sanat, who pursues his Ph.D. as part of a promising future. Varied family members react in different opportunistic ways to their reduced status, and their need to survive, all of which takes an extreme toll on Neeta, who ultimately becomes the family's sole breadwinner.

Neeta giving money to her brother Shankar

Nita, has become a deathless symbol of Partition and the uprooted womans tragic struggle against it. It is present here the last part of the screenplay where Nita, after fulfilling her mission, succumbs to tuberculosis. Her piercing cry, I want to live, sums up the essence of all displacements, forced immigrations and partitions.Neeta sacrifices everything for her family, including her personal happiness, her money, and her health, while her achievements are hardly ever recognized by the people around her. The performances throughout are excellent - Supriya Choudhury as Neeta is riveting.

A moment of realization about the deception of her lover

Ritwik Ghatak presents a visually sublime, idiosyncratically overripe, but provocative and deeply personal account of poverty, disillusionment, and exile in The Cloud-Capped Star. By interplaying light and shadows and incorporating evocative, aggressive sounds that underscore emotional impact and comedic tone, Ghatak creates a unique, sensorial experience that chronicles the systematic demoralization of the human soul: the surreal, foreboding shot of Neeta descending a staircase after she is compelled to leave her studies in order to support the family; the overemphasized sounds of cooking as the mother spies on Neeta and Sanat that aurally conveys her anger and fear at losing their primary source of income; the contrasted image of Neeta - first, illuminated in front of a latticed window as she reads Sanat's letter and later, concealed behind the window after Shankar's return; the sound of lashing as Neeta and Shankar sing a melancholic Rabindranath Tagore song . An allegory for the traumatic consequences of the partition of Bengal, The Cloud-Capped Star captures the disintegration of a Bengali middle class family as a result of dislocation, poverty, self-interest, and petty, internal division. The repeated imagery of a passing train bisecting the horizon alludes to the physical division of the family's ancestral homeland. Inevitably, as Neeta attempts to recuperate from

the ravages of self-denial, want, and exploitation, her cry of anguish becomes an indistinguishable, resonant echo from the lost and irredeemable soul of a displaced and uprooted people.

Calm acceptance of her sister as Sanat's wife

Throughout, Ghatak boils human nature and the survival instinct down to the most ruthless basics: this is a compelling and visionary film, but there is virtually no room for lofty ideals or sentimental altruism in the world created here - mourn what one must, and do what one must do to survive. Sentiment and ideals are - in this film - luxuries, and from the cruelty of such a truism, Ghatak has created one of cinema's great, vital tragedies. One example that may best exemplify the multi-level magic that Ghatak is able to muster can be seen at the beginning of the film. Soon after introducing Neeta, and incidentally her sandal thats in need of mending, there is a shot transition to her house before shes arrived where her father is discussing some dark-skinned neighborhood girl, this girl will appear in passing much later and exchange brief words with Neeta, after which the camera stays with her, not Neeta for an intriguing, introspective interval, and then later on and in passing, this small girl gets mistaken by Sanat as his sister whom he asks for money before realizing his error, and then, finally, when he doesnt mistake her, and she pauses, recognizing him, and adjusts her sandal strap that just came loose, and then walks awkwardly down the path that Neeta did at the films beginning. There are many examples of inversions and mappings that take place and lend a resonating quality to this remarkable film.

A lonely walk bearing the burden of family And when we hear her final pathetic I wanted to live we know Ritwik Ghatak has hit the right key. The deep desire to live, expressed in dramatic tones in this situation, is what makes the basis of humanity. The forces of death and loss are all too strong, the pains and the illnesses all too present what is life? Neeta becomes the symbol of all suffering women. In this way after partition ,a new self-sufficient Bengali women emerged. As Bengali women became more and more economically independent, the process of their empowerment within family and outside became a feasible phenomenon. It was reflected in their active participation in the decision making process within their respective families as well as public affairs. The refugee women largely participated in active politics particularly in the UCRC movement. Bengali women waking through a michil along with their men folk was initially shocking to the mainstream Bengali society. However, it became a common feature in the new political culture of West Bengal that emerged after partition. The partition created immense suffering as well as some opportunities which produced some positive results in regards to the life and attitude of the Bengali women in the post-Independence period that ultimately strengthened the process of their empowerment. The mainstream middle class Bengali families were no longer willing to allow their women folk to take up jobs even if they were in distress. The refugee women broke the taboo and their growing presence in the job market influenced the other sectors of the Bengali society. So there emerged a new class in Bengali society i.e. the working women who was composed of both refugee and non-refugee women. The Bengali women came out of their private domain of domesticity and child-rearing and took up various public duties, driven mainly by the economic motive. Whatever the motive was, it meant more freedom from domestic chores and some command over money which they could now claim as their own. Women were caught between private and public world and underwent through tremendous role-conflict. Anyway, the patriarchal control was relaxed to some extent. At least the traditional association between womens confinement to home with the idea of their respectability was now challenged. The working women emerged as a subject of representation in fictions and cinemas.

Оценить