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

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Reimagining History: The Politics of Representation in Nangeli's Tale

History is usually written by the privileged and what the world needs is a more solid theoretical foundation in “history from below” or “history of people” that enables a systematic analysis of various sociocultural products from the perspectives of the oppressed. Modern interpretations of cultural artefacts may at the outset look progressive. However, they often carry the undertones of the very same sentiments that these representations attempt to challenge. The politics of representation of caste is addressed in this article through the analysis of a popular legend of Kerala that recently obtained filmic and artistic representations. The legend of Nangeli, as represented in a recently released Malayalam film Pathonpatham Noottand (2022), in a graphic novel titled A Travancore Tale (2017) by Orijit Sen and in a series of paintings done by artist T Murali, alias Chithrakaran Murali, is analysed to expound the counter discourses in some of these works. An attempt is made to elucidate how the myth/legend became displaced between the equations of caste and gender and to illustrate the ideological lineage of the artists/creators of the art further subverting the true cause of a rebellion set forth by the lower caste woman named Nangeli.

Violence qua Intentional Harm

The Violence in Our Bones: Mapping the Deadly Fault Lines within Indian Society by Neera Chandhoke, New Delhi: Aleph, 2021; pp 288, `699.

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