Woman’s Downfall [‘Istrijatir Abanati’]
Hossain, Rokeya Sakhawat
Quayum, Mohammad A
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The essay, ‘Strijatir Abanati,’ which has been translated into English, was first published in 1903, as ‘Alankar na Badge of Slavery’ [Jewellery, or Badge of Slavery], in Mahila, a monthly magazine edited by Girish Chandra Sen, the first translator of the Qur’an into Bengali. It was later included in the first volume of Motichur. The essay is written in a serious yet playful tone, in which Rokeya takes a swipe at the men for their oppression of women and for perpetuating women’s cycle of subjugation and ignorance; but she is equally critical of the women for colluding in their victimisation, through blind submission to tradition and excessive love for ignorance and indolence.