Power Dynamics and Female Subjugation in P Sivakami’s The Grip of Change

This paper tries to analyze the power dynamics and female subjugation in the novel The Grip of Change by a Dalit woman writer P. Sivakami. Tyrannous use of power exists at all levels and the women suffer the most. This paper foregrounds the exploitation of Dalit women by upper caste men and men of their own community. They suffer caste discrimination, gender discrimination and economic oppression. As a result they face triple marginalization. The misuse of power by male Dalit leaders is also discussed here. Kathamuthu represents such a leader. Thangam’s story depicts how a Dalit woman gets oppressed by caste, class and patriarchy. Gowri, an educated Dalit girl in the novel, is represented as the mouthpiece of the author herself and it is proved that only by changing themselves they can be an instrument of change. The author sees the possibility of the emergence of new movement for the Dalits. So she presents the youth of the community as eager people who are ready to fight for a change. Chandran, the ideal leader, is presented to prove this. Only with commitment and sincerity of action Dalits can be uplifted. Thus the author of this novel gives voice to the voiceless.

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