Gendered Migration and Exile : Revisiting Ramayana

Author Name

Prerena Kush

Author Address

Research Scholar, Department of Humanities, Deenbandhu Chhotu Ram University of Science and Technology, Murthal, Email: [email protected]


Hindu Community, Exile, Journey, Cultural Hybridity, Identity, Valmiki, Marginalization.


In this paper, a parallel has been drawn with the life of Sita, a character from Srimad Valmiki’s ‘Ramayana’ to the life of a person who has been exiled, hence forced to migrate from his land. While analysing the gendered migration aspect of the epic, various aspects of the life of the migrating gender are highlighted. According to the traditions in India, young girls have to migrate from their paternal homes to the homes of their husbands. The familiar surroundings in which she has grown up, are to be compromised with an entirely different world of new people and new surroundings. The migration is based upon the hope of living a life in a utopian world where the new land seems promising to provide opportunities at every step but the dreadful reality is never mentioned to the migrant. The numerous adjustments and compromises that  the migrating girl has to make are often covered with a golden veil. A woman is often left in a no man’s land, where the land she had left behind ( the home of her parents) is unwilling to accept the girl back, and the home she has migrated to, does not provide her the favourable living conditions. The earliest instances of the gendered migration could be cited  from Indian epic ; .Srimad Valmiki’s  ‘Ramayana’ carrying an untold perspective of sita . The migration and exile of sita is almost neglected, because the bards were ever busy singing the glory of men and their weapons. This paper deals with the plight of sita whose story runs parallel with that of a person who has been thrown away in exile and had to witness numerous inhuman situations to survive during the tenure of exile.


International Conference on Migration, Diaspora and Development
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