Feminist Consciousness, Empowerment and Identity: Contextualizing Chandraprabha Saikiani in Contemporary Assam

  • S Barua Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Information Technology Guwahati, India
  • LD Lal
Keywords: Chandraprabha Saikiani, Assam Mahila Samity, Feminist Consciousness, Socio-Cultural Identity, CDA, Patriarchy

Abstract

A crusader for women’s rights, Chandraprabha Saikiani was both a torchbearer and an icon of 20th century Assam. She became synonymous with the feminist movement in Assam which was, in her days, still in an inchoate state. From her young days, she actively challenged the dominance of men in the public space. Her contribution to Assam Mahila Samitys (AMS) (Assam Women Associations) from 1920s to 1960s is crucial in understanding the position of modern Assamese women. During her period, women’s movement saw a change in guard from men to women. ‘Why in our society the women are confined in a cage like this? Why should you sit in that cage like structure? Who dares to prevent you from sitting outside it?’ Saikiani, through questioning mundane discrimination against women, constructed feminist consciousness. This consciousness was further reflected in the freedom struggle and the women’s movement in colonial Assam. This paper attempts to analyze her understanding of feminist consciousness, empowerment and identity in colonial Assam using a Critical Discourse Analysis of her select writings such as Doibajna Duhita (The Brahmin’s Daughter), ‘Unnoti Pothot Russ Nari’ etc. While doing so, this paper also attempts to locate Chandraprabha Saikiani in the contemporary Assamese society.

 

 

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Published
2021-08-24
How to Cite
Barua, S., & Lal, L. (2021). Feminist Consciousness, Empowerment and Identity: Contextualizing Chandraprabha Saikiani in Contemporary Assam. Proceedings of the World Conference on Women’s Studies, 6(01), 1-14. https://doi.org/10.17501/24246743.2021.6101