ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Environmental Colonialism

Women in Ancient India THIS refers to Sukumari Bhattacharjrs 'Economic Rights of Ancient Indian Women' (March 2-9). Her otherwise trenchant presentation is vitiated by a startling inaccuracy on page 511, column 2, paragraph 3. She writes: "Devayani was part of Sharmishtha's dowry; but Yayati who married Sharmishtha enjoyed Devayani slyly and begot Anu, Puru and Druhyu in her." This is unauthentic. The Mahabharata states precisely the converse in section 75, verses 34-35, section 81, verse 37, section 82, verse 25, section 83, verses 9-10 of the Sambhava Parva of the Adi Parva. According to these, Devayani forces Yayati to marry her, and takes Sharmishtha along with her as dowry. Devayani has Yadu and Turvasu as sons, while Sharmishtha solicits Yayati in secret, persuades him that it is his duty to satisfy her desire for children, and begets Druhyu, Anu and Puru thereby. It is not Yayati who approaches Sharmishtha but the other way about. Sharmishtha slyly enjoys Yayati.

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