Proceedings of The 5th World Conference on Research in Social Sciences
Voices of Unsung Women in Indian Mythologies
Ishita Gadgil, Dr. Atul Patil
Several female characters in Indian mythologies have no credit or merits to their name to date but by legend have played a crucial role in the shaping of Indian epics such as the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. The present paper explores contribution by such female characters through the Indian English writings and attempts to analyse the critical roles they have played in Indian mythologies, yet never have been recognised for their input. These characters include Matsyagandha, Ganga, Amba from the Mahabharata; Urmila, Mandodari, Tara from the Ramayana etc., to name a few. The paper further discusses bias towards these women and how their roles, though pivotal with time, are lost and now only their roles remain as cameos in the two Indian epic legends namely the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. The authorities these women held ranged right from maidservants to queens. This study, therefore, focuses on the fact that although these women, to a great extend, were responsible for the epic legends, they are conveniently forgotten and modified according to the male hegemonised versions of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata and that they should have equal importance and credit in these stories rather than merely shedding a pessimistic light on them.
keywords: feminism, feminist revisionist mythology, humanities, Indian mythology, Indian English literature