Proceedings of The 2nd International Conference on Gender Studies and Sexuality
Contextualizing Ecofeminist Concerns in Doubly Displaced Subalterns: A study of Third Word Indigenous Women in Select Works of Mahasweta Devi
Bholanath Das and Dr. Sahel Md Delabul Hossain
‘Aboriginals,’ as an indigenous form of a Subaltern Identity have been luminal in evaluation so far. Indigenous subaltern identity forms an alter-identity of the subalterns in which indigenous women identity is more silenced in the social order of gender hierarchy. Vandana Shiva and Maria Miles in their book Ecofeminism(2014) locate the ‘Third World Woman’( as in India) as stakeholders of indigenous identity. Their knowledge in nurturing biodiversity drastically differs from the Androcentric and Eurocentric models of bio-conservation. The indigenous woman and the indigenous flora are both objects of genocidal violence, identity dissolution and cultural extinction as their contribution to conservation is not recognized. As Gayatri Spivak in her seminal book Can the Subaltern Speak? voices,“… The subaltern has no history and cannot speak, the subaltern as female is even more deeply in the shadow…” The indigenous are dispossessed and the women now too are more displaced. Indigenous women characters found in the Devi’s works such as The Book of the Hunter, The Hunt, The Witch are as Shabars, Santhals, Hos, Mundas live in tune with ethnocentric ecological order. They are the forest dwellers who think of the forest as unique Bio-habitat existing in their interpersonal relations with women and thereby preserving the Mother Nature. The objective is to explore how indigenous subaltern identity forms an alter-identity of the Subalterns in which indigenous women identity is more silenced in the social orders of gender hierarchies.
keywords: Double displaced Subaltern, Ecofeminism, Ecoliterate, Indigenous, Third World.