Questioning Structures of Prejudice, Oppression and Deprivation
Radha Chakravarty
EKALAVYA SPEAKS by By Sanjukta Dasgupta Penprints, Kolkata, 2023, 166 pp., INR 300.00
June 2024, volume 48, No 6

This powerful collection of poems by veteran poet and academic Sanjukta Dasgupta brings past and present together to pose urgent questions about structures of prejudice, oppression and deprivation in our world. Dasgupta is an accomplished and prominent voice in Indian English poetry. Ekalavya Speaks is her ninth book of poems. Her previous collections, such as Snapshots Dilemma, Lakshmi Unbound, Sita’s Sisters and Indomitable Draupadi, evince a strong feminist consciousness. In the present volume, her radical practice, which she describes as ‘literary activism’, expands to address multiple forms of discrimination and some disturbing trends in contemporary history, culture and politics. The short but succinct Preface situates these poems within theoretical debates about the subaltern’s right to speak, and the intersecting forms of othering that account for the marginalization of large sections of our society.

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