Burn The Sari Or Save The Sari? Dress As A Form Of Action In Two Feminist Poems
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This essay analyzes two poems that-examine the sari's materialization of gender norms and the degree to which the dress may be used to subvert such norms. Jayaprabha's Telugu poem >Burn the Sari> appeared in 1988 (with an English translation in 2002), and Dalit author Jupaka Subadra answered her with >Kongu, No Sentry on my Bosom> in 1997 (English translation in 2009). The works were penned amidst the strong wave of political and social activism that occurred over the last two decades, and each poem articulates an intensely emotional and energized feminist discourse. Together they illuminate an important turning point in the contemporary history of Telugu women's activism in Andhra Pradesh, India.