This article draws on critical feminist methodologies and approaches to focus on hypermasculinist violence against marginalized populations—specifically women—in the geopolitical peripheries of modern nation-states. It treats Assam, one of the eight states of Northeast India, as a textbook case, lending itself to a gendered study of hierarchical, hypermasculinized structures in hegemonic postcolonial nation-states. Basing its analysis on the portrayal of women’s bodies in Parag Das’s Sanglot Fenla—one of the most iconic Axamiyā novels written against the backdrop of insurgency and independentist violence in Assam—it discusses themes of postcolonial masculinities, relational marginalization, and the mutation of gendered relations in the context of ethnonationalist conflicts. At the same time, it also examines how the novel shows a way forward toward resistance and reclamation of power by marginalized entities, particularly women. Underscoring the article’s critical analysis of the role of women (and other marginalized constituencies) in violent conflicts are the theoretical assumptions of literature as witness and the writer as chronicler.
"Marginality, Hypermasculinity, and the Women of Assam: Parag Das’s Sanglot Fenla as Chronicle,"
Journal of International Women's Studies: Vol. 24:
6, Article 2.
Available at: https://vc.bridgew.edu/jiws/vol24/iss6/2