Lapis Lazuli An International Literary Journal Dalit Women in Premchand's Godan: Victims of the Patriarchal and Brahminical Values of Indian Society
Munshi Premchand (1880-1936) was the most celebrated and progressive writer of modern Hindi and Urdu literature who wrote nearly 300 short stories, more than dozen novels, several essays, plays and translations of a number of foreign literary works into Hindi. Even before the term ‗Dalit Literature' came in vogue in 1958, Premchand poignantly presented the agony of exclusion, discrimination and exploitation faced by Dalits in his works. His last novel ‗Godan'(1936) meaning-The Gift of a Cow‖ is
... a novel of peasant India that depicts the trials and travails of farmers during the British rule. The women characters of the novel-Dhania, Jhunia and Selia are the victims of the patriarchal and brahminical values prevalent in the Indian society during this period. The present paper centres on highlighting the appalling condition of Dalit women of rural India as described in the novel ‗Godan'. The women are forced to bear the sexual and domestic Lapis Lazuli An International Literary Journal 84 violence by men, that leaves them shattered, both physically and mentally. The focus is on the fact that during the times of crisis, these women stand tall and prove their mettle by successfully handling even the most complex of the situations.