Discuss the status of women in Pinjar by Amrita Pritam.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Pinjar is such an important novel precisely because of how it conceives of the status of women.  Pritam set out to construct a narrative of Partition from the women's point of view.  This meant that Puro becomes the symbol of what women had to endure during Partition.  In a very powerful way, Pritam argues that the violation of the nation's women on both sides of Partition is akin to how Partition itself violated the nation.  That is to say that Pritam does not see much difference between the Partition's political violation of the homeland and its consequences of actual violation of women.  The status of women in Pinjar is to symbolize how the nation's status was violated during Partition.  As Pritam recognized that Partition was used as a means to manipulate and consolidate political power, she also understood that this was representative of women during the time period.  These women had no say in partition, confirming that their mistreatment was both mirroring and results of Partition:  "Pinjar is the women's cry in prose against her existential fate and social abuse."  It is in this light that Pritam's work displays the status of women as a result of political and social manipulation, a situation that cries out and pleads for dramatic and swift change.

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