Hapless women of one Indian Epic (one)

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Hapless women of one Indian Epic (one)

brotee mukhopadhyay

Ancient India has contributed a pair of epics to the treasure of the world literature. The Ramayana is one of them. It is undoubtedly a great epic. In the following lines efforts have been taken to throw some light on Sita and Urmila, the two important women of the Ramayana

If I look at the face of Sita, the principal woman character in the Ramayana, I find a soul which has always been sinned at the hand of her near and dear.

Whose daughter was she in fact has remained unanswered and if we clear the dust or powder of the allegories a huge zero appears before us and prompts us to reach to nowhere? The girl was brought up in the royal family of Janaka, the king of Mithila. Ramachandra won her in the bow-breaking competition and took her to Ayodhya. She was a minor still. It was her own decision to follow Ramachandra, her husband to the uncertainty and hardship of the forests’ life and this was her selection to accept a life away from the royal comforts and luxuries. Before being pulled by the hair by Ravana and before being taken to Swornolanka, the capital of Ravana her life was that of a responsible Indian wife. She did firmly refuse Ravana’s offer of love and awaited Ramachandra to release her back. And when it occurred, on the flying vehicle to Ayodhya, a blow she received from none other than her dead husband. Ramachanda did not conceal what was his real purpose to fight against Ravana and to kill Ravana and others and Ramachandra was straight enough to deliver this: Yes, my dear, I have waged the fierce battle in the soil of Swornolanka not because enough of my love for you but I must have to show the world that by doing so I have held high the reputation and glory of my family and my hemanship too. Yes, my dear, do not take it granted that I am still prepared to believe that you have succeeded in maintaining your chastity despite an unavoidable captivity at the dwelling of Ravenna.

Sita was tough enough and waited still the day to establish her chastity by self-emulation. Fire favored her twice and still she could not satisfy the male chauvinism of Ramachandra. It seemed to me she had finally committed a suicide as what else she could do save preferring the idea of resignation to life.

Urmila is another woman. She was really the daughter of Janaka and she was really a princess. She was learned and was gifted with many a qualities that a girl of her time used to boast of. She had to marry Lakshmana as that boy was a younger brother of Ramachandra. It is not clear to me what was in the mind of Janaka when he had decided that Lakshmana would be a good partner for her Urmila. After a few days only when the color as well as fragrance of the festival of a marriage in a royal family was still a presence and alive around, Ramachandra had to quit Ayodhya as a sequel to the effect of the curse hurled by one blind sage on his father Dasharatha. Lakshmana followed his elder brother silently and without even receiving a farewell from his wife as if Urmila was nobody to him or as if her existence was only to be ignored. Lakshmana did not even meet her before his departure and he was as if an instrument having no human heart and nor obviously a physique. Look at our bard too. He too did not have some points of ink to pen what Urmila did do after passing through an experience of such an injury and insult and that too at her life’s prime time.


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