ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Burden of Shakti

The issue of women as cultural icons is a highly contentious one with far-reaching political implications. Some outstanding literary women in late 19th and early 20th century Orissa consciously embraced Shakti, for personal empowerment and participation in wider political space. But the emblems they embraced and the lives they lived betrayed unsolved contradictions: personal love versus public service, drudgery of domestic life versus the desire for literary creativity, the loyalty to a married partner vis-a-vis the attraction to a true companion of the soul, intimate social longing and demands for public chastity.

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