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BEGC-132: Selections From Indian Writing: Cultural Diversity

BEGC-132: Selections From Indian Writing: Cultural Diversity

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2022-23

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Assignment Code: BEGC-132/TMA/2022-23

Course Code: BEGC-132

Assignment Name: Selections from Indian Writing: Cultural Diversity

Year: 2022-2023

Verification Status: Verified by Professor


Max: 100 marks

Section A


Explain the following with reference to the context:


1. Long as tresses the night of parting,

The day of love is short as life,

If I see not my love, O friend,

How can I spend dark nights of grief? 10

Ans) The above lines are taken from ‘Ghazal’ written by Amir Khusrau. The poet says that the day is short because people are around, but the night is long because people are alone. Also, the poet notices that the night is as dark as a woman's hair. The message is sent by saying that the woman's hair is as long as the night. This is a side note. The fact is, though, that dark nights don't end because the woman can't sleep because of the pain of the lovers' breakup.


"Long as hair the night before we part." He makes his love look like a person. The night without the lover is thick and wraps around you like a woman's hair. On the other hand, "Love's day is as short as life." "If I don't see my love, O friend, how can I spend dark nights of grief?" shows how painful it is for the poet to be apart from the loved one. The words in the ghazal are easy to understand. The lines switch between Persian and Braj, as if the poet were trying to express his feelings in both languages. It also shows how the poet's feelings flow freely and aren't stopped by either language. It moves freely between the two languages. Still, the two languages give the poem different meanings while keeping its lyrical quality and giving it more ways to talk.


2. Give me, a quill, quickly

She must be looking for me

The reed cut off its hand

Gave it to me and said

Take it

I too am her servant. 10

Ans) The above lines are taken from ‘Mother Tongue’ by Padma Sachdev. In "Mother Tongue," Padma Sachdev uses a simple conversation to say what she wants to say. It is a conversation between the poet and a stem that makes quills (poetic license/power of imagination). The poet says that she is her mistress Dogri's servant: It's very common for a writer to say that he or she is a servant or slave of the language he or she uses to write. The poem makes a subtle dig at capitalism through the conversation. It also talks about how capitalists take advantage of natural resources.


In the lines from "Mother Tongue" above, the poet gets impatient and tells the stem to give her a quill as soon as possible. She does this because she knows her mistress must already be looking for her. She doesn't want to keep her Shahni waiting too long because she is a good servant. After listening to what she had to say, the reed cut his hand off and gave it to her. He gives it to her and tells her that he, too, works for Dogri, the beloved Shahni.


3. Once she leaves home, it will be for ever.

When some day in distant parts she dwells

Where what the people be like! I know not,

Will they awaken her on gentle, mellow sounds? 10

Ans) The above lines are taken from ‘Solitude - For The Girl Child’ by Naseem Shafaie. In this poem, a mother worries a lot about her daughter, who hasn't grown up yet. The mother worries that her young daughter, who is full of life, spontaneity, and happiness right now, will soon have to follow suffocating social norms. Because of these traditions, the child will have to get married and be a good, respectful wife and daughter-in-law. She will have no choice but to do what her in-laws tell her to do. The mother prays that her daughter will be taken care of in the home of her husband, which will be in a strange country with strange customs. This poem is sad because the girl's spontaneity, freedom, and carefree ways can't be saved.


In the above lines, the mother says that it makes her nervous to think that her daughter could leave home and live with strangers who might like her. The mother worries a lot about what will happen to her daughter, who has always slept undisturbed and only been spoken to softly in her own home. There's a good chance that the people she ends up living with will be loud and disrespectful to women, which is very different from the way they live and think. The poem ends on a tense note, with the mother saying that her biggest worry is that her daughter might lose all of her peace of mind and never sleep again.


4. Her dream, like the dreams of a dozen other women.

But she woke up before the dream began.

And then she never fell asleep again. 10

Ans) The above lines are taken from ‘Her Dream’ by Indira Sant. In the moving poem "Her Dream," the poet paints a true picture of an Indian widow. "Her Dream" starts off on a sad note. It tells us that every woman has dreams and that married women are not the only ones who can dream. The woman in the poem who doesn't have a name is like a typical Indian widow who has lost her identity because her life and existence depend on her husband. Without a husband, she loses her social status and can't enjoy the simple pleasures of married life. The poet writes about the widow's everyday dreams, which move us because they are so simple, and how she comes to realise that she no longer wants to do these boring things. Even before she could have started to take it easy and daydream after her, she could have done both.


After her husband died, she was left with broken dreams and a longing for the past. There is nothing but sadness and longing for her. Her marriage didn't last long, and now it seems like a beautiful, impossible dream. With her husband's death, she was jolted into a harsh reality where she realised that the dreams she had shared with "a dozen other women" would never come true. Her life was so full of sadness that she "never fell asleep again" and forgot about her problems. Her dreams were ruined, and she could no longer relax.


Section B


Write short notes on the following:


5. Single Indian literary culture amongst several languages. 10

Ans) When a country only has one language and everyone speaks it, it is easy to write about the history of literature in that language or country. So, it has been easy to write a history of literature in English, French, Spanish, Italian, and American. It's not easy to write a history of Indian literature because the country has so many languages and even more dialects within each language. There are many different dialects of the Indian languages. These dialects influence each other and make for a diverse literary tradition. For example, Awadhi is a dialect of Hindi. Tulsidas mixed Awadhi with Hindi, which helped Hindi grow in a dynamic way.


Sujit Mukherjee uses the Ramayana and the Mahabharata as an example. These stories have been told orally in many Indian dialects and written down in almost all Indian languages, with changes and additions to the original version. The Ramayana has been retold in in Kashmiri, Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu, Assamese, Bangla, Maithili and Odia. The two epics have also been written in Jain and Buddhist styles. Since these things happened at different times, it is hard to think of the history of Indian literature as a straight line.


The Indian literary tradition is unique because it is made up of many different types of writing. It is hard to put all of these different types of writing into one literary tradition. We can't talk about a single Indian literary tradition. Instead, there are many different traditions where literary cross currents flow because cultural frames are always and often changing. Sujit Mukherjee wants to come up with a new way to write the history of Indian literature in this situation. He wants a critical approach that shows how unity can come from differences and differences can bring unity.


6. Hindi/Hindavi. 10

Ans) This work is supposed to be a study of the earliest roots of the Hindi/Hindavi language and an investigation of the reasons why it split into two separate languages, modern Hindi and modern Urdu. The word "Hindi" is also sometimes used in a more general way. But in different places, Khusrau uses the word "Hindi" to mean the language. This is the language of North-Western India, which the Muslims first learned in the Punjab and then in Delhi. Note that the words Khusrau and Aufi mean the same thing as the words Hindi and Hindavi. So, it's safe to say that the two words can be used in place of each other.


So, during this study, I will also use the terms Hindi and Hindavi to refer to the language I'm looking at. If I just say "Hindi," it will be clear that I'm using it in the same way Aufi and Khusrau did and that I'm not talking about modern or standard Hindi or what Grierson calls "High Hindi." In light of what has been said so far, the present study is firstly an investigation into the earliest roots of Hindi/Hindavi and secondly a sociolinguistic investigation into the factors that led to its split into two separate languages, standard or High Hindi and standard or High Urdu, as they are known today and in the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution. But the fact that the Constitution says they are two different languages doesn't mean that linguists can't question whether their separation is scientifically sound.


For example, Gyan Chand, a well-known Urdu scholar, says that Urdu and Hindi are definitely not two different languages. To call them two languages goes against every rule of linguistics and is a way to fool yourself and others... Even though Urdu literature and Hindi literature are different and stand on their own, Urdu and Hindi are not two different languages... The Indian Constitution lists Urdu and Hindi as two languages, but this is more of a political choice than a linguistic fact.


Section C


7. How do Dalit narratives tell the stories of an entire community? Elaborate. 20

Ans) Dalit literature is written with the "purpose" of showing how people have been exploited based on "caste" in India for a long time, standing up to these abuses, and at the same time claiming the identity of the people who have been left out and pushed aside. So, Dalit literature is a commitment to writing. Dalit literature is about uplifting people, so it is revolutionary and transformative. It is also political, because it is about changing things. Dalit literature shows how the Dalits really live. Life writing is a popular way to tell a storey. Dalit literature rejects the "language" of the majority. So, the small details of daily struggle are written in a language that is different from the refined and proper "language" of the upper caste. So, the language used in Dalit literature is often rough and rude. This backs up what the Dalits have said about their lives.


B.R. Ambedkar is still the most powerful Dalit leader, and the revolutionary Dalit Panthers movement began by following his ideas and actions. His decision to become a Buddhist gave hope to thousands of poor Dalits that they could escape a religion and its caste system that kept them doing hard work and living in terrible conditions. So, Ambedkar's fight against the cruel caste system, his work, and his fight to give oppressed people social equality became an inspiration and a wake-up call for the Dalit society and Dalit writers. Ambedkar's position on literature is reasonable. He said that the Manusmriti was wrong because it encouraged inequality. He said, "We can't agree with Manusmriti because it agrees with inequality." He thought that literature should be responsible to society and people. So, the idea of "humanity" is at the heart of Dalit literature that was influenced by Ambedkar's humanism. Dalit literature is about how people can be free and set themselves free. In a caste society, people are not treated equally, so rebellion is an important part of Dalit literature.


Eleanor Zelliot says that Dalit Sahitya in Maharashtra is unique in how well it is written, how different it is, how it looks, and how it relates to social action and politics. Dalit literature has become a school within the Marathi literary tradition, and it has spread to other states like Karnataka and Gujarat. Zelliot says that there hasn't been much writing other than legends and myths between Chokhamela and the start of the modern Dalit literary movement. Shivram Janba Kamble is another important leader who came after Walangkar. He is well-educated and spread the message of modern equality far beyond the Mahar caste.


Dr. BR Ambedkar, a distant cousin of Walangkar and a well-educated "Untouchable," was the most important leader of the Dalit movement. He spoke for all the untouchables, saw himself in his people, and was an important part of making India's parliament more democratic. Zelliot talks about Ambedkar's work in politics and how he led people to become Buddhists. Both of these things were important to the growth of Dalit Sahitya. The fact that writers started the Dalit Panthers in 1972 to protest atrocities against "untouchables" shows that they cared about politics. Namdeo Dhasal and Raja Dhale were both poets and founders of the Panthers. They both believed in using "literature as a weapon" to fight for social justice. Shankarrao Kharat is another important person in Dalit Sahitya. He came two years after the religious change. Even though he wrote about the pain of the Dalits, he did not have a strong voice. But writers who came after him wrote about violence and vulgarity in ways that were stronger and truer to life.


There is a type of writing called Dalit literature, and only Dalits can write it because they know what it's like to be pushed down and treated badly. Now, we might want to keep in mind that well-known writers who are not Dalits, like F M Shinde, have made contributions to Dalit literature. So, both the question and the answer are up for debate. Concerning the last question, even if a person is educated and no longer poor, they will always remember what it was like to be poor as a child and have the caste-based prejudice of Hindus.


8. What do women’s texts say about a woman’s life? Illustrate. 20

Ans) As a social constructionist view of gender began to take shape, which had its roots in the first wave, and as the difference between sex and gender became clearer, feminists started to look at gender norms and figure out their psychological, social, cultural, and political effects. Gerda Lerner says it well when she says, "Women writers, as women, negotiate with divided loyalties and doubled consciousnesses, both within and without a social and cultural agreement." Because people tend to think of certain behaviours and actions as typical of a certain gender, women writers were caught in a double bind: they were expected to write only about things they knew from personal experience, but when they stuck to traditionally "feminine" topics, they were called self-serving and narrow-minded.


Margaret Atwood, who has written a lot, once said, "When a man writes about doing the dishes, it's realism; when a woman does, it's an unfortunate genetic limitation of being a woman." To their peers in the 1800s, women writers were first women and then writers. If a woman writer wanted to be judged only on how unique her writing was and not on how well she wrote compared to other women writers of her time, she often had to use a male pen name. Women writers were always frustrated by the fact that their literary brilliance would be overlooked because of the many stereotypes about their gender. Women writers had a big part to play in getting rid of these ideas. In fact, in the last few decades, women's writing has grown as a distinct literary culture in a lot of different ways. Because of this trend, there are now a lot of literary studies that focus on women's texts. But there are some critics who don't like the term "women's writing." They say that it gives an author's gender more importance than her writing, almost as if the privilege is a way to make up for the wrongs they've been through. Men have always put women in the background, but as writers, women have challenged not only the traditional structures of power and dominance, but also the ideas of what literature is.


Their use of different literary styles, ways of telling stories, words, and styles has led to the creation of a separate genre called "women's writing," which is different from men's writings. The written word became a way to give women more power because of this. One of the most common ideas in women's writing is that women's own thoughts about themselves and the world around them are important and should be shared. Over time, women's writing has bravely moved toward exploring what it means to be a woman. In their fight against a male literary tradition, women writers have steadily moved toward writing that is rooted in the "inner space," and "a room of one's own" was an important symbol of this.


A Literature of Their Own by Elaine Showalter was another important book from the 1970s. Showalter did a good job of dividing the literary culture of the feminist movement into three phases: the feminine, the feminist, and the female. She also made a list of the themes, symbols, and styles that women's writing kept using over and over again. She also made up the word "gynocriticism" to describe how women's writing is judged using a feminist framework. Then, the job of feminist literary criticism is to question the validity of masculine literary styles and values that both men and women have taken on. In the words of Annette Kolodny, it "pays attention to the ways in which mainly male structures of power are encoded (or written) into our literary inheritance: the effects of this encoding on women as characters, readers, and writers." Most feminists would agree that literature is an important way for unequal power relationships to stay in place in a society. By making and reinforcing stereotypical images of women, which usually fall into two groups—the angelic mother and the predatory seductress—literary texts normalise these roles, making them acceptable and good for girls who read them.

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