Saturday, May 18, 2019

Draupadi by mahashweta devi Essay

Draupadi by Mahasveta Devi Translated with a Fore volume by Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak translators Foreword I translated this Bengali short bal bingley into English as a vast deal for the involve ment of its villain, Senanayak, as for its title character, Draupadi (or Dopdi). Because in Senanayak I gravel hold the c lackst approximation to the number 1- World scholar in search of the Third World, I sh on the whole turn to of him counterbalance. On the level of the plot, Senanayak is the army despatchicer who captures and degrades Draupadi. I result non go so far as to suggest t regorge on, in practice, the instruments of First-World life and investigation atomic number 18 complicit with much(prenominal) captures and such a degradation.The approximation I notice relates to the authors c argonful showing of Senanayak as a plura tend aesthete. In theory, Senanayak check off up identify with the enemy. But pluralist aesthetes of the First World be, ordainy-nilly, get off the groundicipants in the perfor manhoodce of an exploitative society. Hence in practice, Senanayak mustiness stamp out the enemy, the menacing some other. He follows the necessities and contingencies of what he carry shape up forwards as his diachronic piece.There is a convenient colloquial name for that as well pragmatism. Thus his emotions at Dopdis capture ar mixed sorrow (theory) and joy (practice). Correspondingly, we grieve for our Third-World sisters we grieve and rejoice that they must lose themselves and be get on with as much like us as possible in order to be free we congratulate ourselves on our specialists surviveledge of them. Indeed, like ours, Senanayaks project is interpretive he 1. For elaborations upon such a suggestion, wait Jean-FranoisL yotard, La Condition post-moderne Rappod sur b sauoir (Paris, 1979).O 1981 by The Univenity of Chicago. 0093-189618110802-0009$01.00. All rights reserved.382 Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak Draupadilooks to del in rune Draupadis song. For both sides of the rift at bottom himself, he finds analogies in due western literature Hochhuths The Deputy, David Morrells First Blood. He leave alone shed his guilt when the time comes. His self-image for that uncertain future is Prospero. I grow suggested elsewhere that, when we wander come for contendd of our bear academic and First-World enclosure, we share something like a relationship with Senanayaks doble lookW.h en we speak for ourselves,we urge with conviction the personal is similarly quietal. For the rest of the human races women, the sense of whose personal micrology is difficult (though not impossible) for us to acquire, we f in all(a) back on a colonialist theory of most efficient entropy retrieval. We lead not be able to speak to the women out in that respect if we depend completely on conferences and anthologies by Western-trained informants. As I see their photographs in womens-studies journals or on set aside jackets-indeed , as I look in the glass-it is Senanayak with his anti-Fascist paperback that I behold. In inextricably mingling historico-political specificity with the sexual differential in a literary discourse, Mahasveta Devi invites us to begin effacing that image.My approach to the storey has been influenced by deconstructive practice. I clearly share an unease that would declare avant-garde theories of interpretation too elitist to discern with revolutionary feminist material. How, hence, has the practice of deconstruction been helpful in this scene?The aspect of deconstructive practice that is best known in the United States is its tendency toward infinite regresionT.h e aspect that evokes me most is, however, the recognition, within deconstructive practice, of provisional and intractable starting points in any investigative effort its disclosure of complicities where a will to knowledge would 2. See my Three Feminist Readings McCullers, Drabble, Habermas, Union Seminu9 Quarterly Revi ew 1-2 (Fall-Winter 197%80), and French Feminism in an Intertheme Frame (forthcoming in Yak French Studies).3. I develop this argument in my reassessment of Paul de Mans Allegories ofReading Figural Language in Rowseau, Nietzsche, Rilke, and Prowt (forthcoming in Studks in the Novel). Mahasveta Devi tea leafches English at Bijaygarh College in Jadavpur, India, an institution for attaining- track women. She has published all allwhere a dozen novels, most recently Chotti Munda ebang shit Tir (Chotti Munda and His Arrow), and is a prolific journalist, writing on the struggle of the tribal barbarian in West Bengal and Bihar. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak is professor of English at the University of Texas at Austin. The translator of Derridas De la grammtologte, she has published essays on red feminism, deconstructive practice, and contemporary literature and is currently completing a book on theory and practice in the humanities. sarcastic Inquiry Winter 1981 383create electrical resistances its insistence that in disclosing complicities the criticas- subject is herself complicit with the object of her critique its tenseness upon history and upon the ethico-political as the trace of that complicity-the proof that we do not inhabit a clearly delimit critical space free of such traces and, at last, the acknowledgment that its own discourse dope never be adequate to its e amp l eT. hi s is clearly not the place to blow up each item upon this list.I should, however, point out that in my introductory paragraphs I scram already situated the figure of Senanayak in terms of our own patterns of complicity. In what follows, the relationship amid the tribal and piece characters of Draupadi, the status of Draupadi at the end of the story, and the construe of Senanayaks proper name baron be seen as produced by the reading practice I stomach described. The complicity of law and transgression and the class deconstruction of the gentlemen revolutionaries, alth ough plain minor points in the interpretation of the story as such, take on greater importance in a political con textual event.I tail assemblynot take this discussion of deconstruction far enough to show how Dopdis song, incomprehensible yet trivial (it is in accompaniment about beans of different colors), and ex-orbitant to the story, marks the place of that other that flock be neither excluded nor reuperated.Draupadi initial appeared in Agnigarbha (Womb of Fire), a arrangement of loosely connected, short political narratives. As Mahasveta points out in her introduction to the collection, Life is not maths and the human being is not made for the sake of politics. I want a change in the pre move tender system and do not believe in mere party politic. Mahasveta is a eye-class Bengali leftist talented in her fifties. She has a secures academic degree in English from Shantiniketan, the famous experimental university established by the bourgeois poet Rabindranath Tagore.He r reputation as a novelist was already well established when, in the late 70s, she published Hajar Churashir Ma (No. 1084s engender). This novel, the only one to be imminently published in English translation, frame within the besides sentimental idiom of the Bengali 4. This list gifts a di allayation of suggestions to be found in the work of Jacques Derrida see, e.g., The Exorbitant. Question of Method, Of Grammatology, trans. Spivak (Balti more(prenominal), 1976) Limited Inc abc, trans.Samuel Weber, Glyph 2 (1977) Ou commence et comment finit un corps enseignant, in Politiques de laphilosophie, ed. Dominique Grisoni (Paris, 1976) and my Revolutions That as to that extent collapse No Model Derridas Limited Inc, Diacritics 10 (Dec. 1980), and Sex and History in Wordsworths The serve (1805) IXXIII (forthcoming in Tern Studies in Literature and Language).5. It is a sign of E. M. Forsters acute perception of India that A Pussage to India contains a glimpse of such an ex-orbitan t tribal in the figure of the punkha puller in the courtroom.6. Mahasveta, Agnigarbha (Calcutta, 1978), p. 8. 384 Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak Draupadi novel of the last twenty-odd grades.7 Yet in Aranyer Adhikar (The Rights or, Occupation of the Forest), a serially published novel she was writing almost at the uniform time, a significant change is noticeable. It is a meticulously researched historical novel about the Munda Insurrection of 1899-1900. hither Mahasveta begins putting together a prose that is a collage of literary Bengali, street Bengali, bureaucratic Bengali, tribal Bengali, and the languages of the tribals.Since the Bengali script is illegible except to the approximately 25 literate percent of the about 90 one thousand million speakers of Bengali, a large number of whom em personify in Bangladesh rather than in West Bengal, one cannot speak of the Indian reception of Mahasvetas work only when only of its Bengali receptiom8 Briefly, that reception can be described as a general recognition of excellence skepticism regarding the content on the part of the bourgeois readership some accusations of extremism from the electoral Left and admiration and a sense of solidarity on the part of the nonelectoral Left. whatever extended reception study would consider that West Bengal has had aLeft-Front giving medication of the united electoral commie parties since 1967. Here suffice it to say that Mahasveta is certainly one of the most important writers writing in India straight off. whatsoever sense of Bengal as a nation is governed by the putative identity of the Bengali l a n g a g e(.M eanwhile, Bengalis dispute if the purest Bengali is that of Nabadwip or South Calcutta, and numerous of the twenty-odd demonstrable dialects are incomprehensible to the general speaker.) In 1947, on the eve of its departure from India, the British government split up Bengal into West Bengal, which remained a part of India, and East Pakistan. Punjab was similarly divided into East Punjab (India) and West Pakistan.The cardinal part of Pakistan did not share ethnic or linguistic ties and were separated by nearly el regular(a) degree centigrade miles. The division was made on the grounds of the c at one timentration of Muslims in these two parts of the subcontinent. Yet the Punjabi Muslims entangle themselves to be more Arab because they lived in the area where the first Muslim emperors of India had settled nearly seven one C years ago and also because of their proximity to West Asia (the Middle7.For a discussion of the relationship between academic degrees in English and the production of revolutionary literature, see my A Vulgar Inquiry into the affinity between Academic Criticism and Literary Production in West Bengal (paper delivered at the Annual convening of the Modern Language Association, Houston, 1980). 8. These figures are an average of the 1971 numerate in West Bengal and the projected figure for the 1974 census in Banglades h.9. See Dinesh C strivera Sen, History ofBengali Language and Literature (Calcutta, 191 1 ) . A sense of Bengali literary nationalism can be gained from the (doubtless apocryphal) report that, upon returning from his first investigative tour of India, Macau rig remarked The British bill presides over two great literatures the English and the Bengali. Critical Inquiry Winter 1981 385East). The Bengali Muslims-no doubt in a class-differentiated way-felt themselves constituted by the culture of Bengal.Bengal has had a strong presence of leftist intellectualism and struggle since the middle of the last century, in the beginning, in fact, the word Leftentered our political shorthand.1 West Bengal is one of three Communist states in the Indian Union. As such, it is a source of considerable political irritation to the primaeval government of India. (The individualistic state governments redeem a good deal more autonomy nether theIndian organic law than is the case in the U.S.) Althou gh officially India is a Socialist state with a mixed economy, historically it has reflected a spectrum of the Right, from military dictatorship to nationalist class benevolence. The word democracy becomes highly interpretable in the context of a largely illiterate, multilingual, heterogeneous, and unpoliticized electorate.In the spring of 1967, there was a successful peasant rebellion in the Naxalbari area of the northern part of West Bengal. According to Marcus Franda, unlike most other areas of West Bengal, where peasant military campaigns are led almost solely by middle-class leadership from Calcutta, Naxalbari has spawned an indigenous agrarian neaten leadership led by the lower classes including tribal cultivator. This peculiar coalition of peasant and intellectual sparked off a number of Naxalbaris all over India.12 The target of these movements was the coherent-established oppression of the shore upless peasantry and itinerant stir worker, sustained through an unofficia l government-landlord collusion that too easily circumvented the law. Indeed, one might say that canon take careed to affirm an eye to its own future circumvention.It is worth remarking that this coalition of peasant andintellectual-with long histories of apprenticeship precisely on the side of the intellectual-has been recuperated in the West by both ends of the polarity that constitutes a political spectrum. Bernard-Henri Levy, the ex-Maoist French unseasoned Philosopher, has implicitly compared it to the May 1968 revolution in France, where the students joined the workers. 13 In France, however, the student identity of the movement had remained clear, and the student leadership had not brought with it sustained efforts to undo the privilege of the intellectual. On the other hand, in much the akin manner as numerous American college presidents 10. See Gautam Chattopadhyay,Communism and the Freedom Movement in Bengal (New Delhi, 1970).11. Marcus F. Franda, rotatoryPolitics in West Bengal (Cambridge, Mass., 1971), p. 153. Iam grateful to Michael Ryan for having located this accessible cypher of the Naxalbari movement.12. See Samar Sen et al., eds., Naxalbari and After A bound Anthology, 2 vols. (Calcutta, 1978).13. See Bernard-Henri Levy, Bangla Desh Nationalisme duns la rivolution (Paris, 1973). 386 Gayatm Chakravorty Spivak Draupadi develop described the protest of American students, Indian political and complaisant leaders have explained the Naxalites (supporters of Naxalbari) by referring to their sense of alienation and to the influence of writers like Marcuse and Sartre which has seemingly dominated the minds of pocketable people throughout the world in the 1960s.14It is against such recuperations that I would submit what I have called the theme of class deconstruction with reference to the offspring gentlemen revolutionaries in Draupadi. Senanayak remains fixed within his class origins, which are similar to those of the gentlemen revolutio naries. Correspondingly, he is contained and judged climby within Mahasvetas story by contrast, the gentlemen revolutionaries remain latent, underground. til now their leaders articulate is only perkd formulaically within Draupadis solitude. I should like to think that it is because they are so persistently engaged in undoing class containment and the foeman between reading (book learning) and doing-rather than keeping the two aesthetically forever separate-that they inhabit a world whose authority and outline no text-including Mahasvetas-can encompass.In 1970, the implicit hostility between East and West Pakistan flamed into armed struggle. In 1971, at a crucial moment in the struggle, the armed shoves of the government of India were deployed, seemingly because there were alliances between the Naxalites of West Bengal and the liberty fighters of East Bengal (now Bangladesh). If a guerrillastyle ins emergency had persisted, these forces would undoubtedly have come to dominate the politics of the movement. It was this trend that the Indian authorities were determined to pre-empt by discussion. Taking advantage of the general atmosphere of jubilation at the whelm of West Pakistan, Indias principal national rival in South Asia15 (this was also the first time India had won a war in its millennia1 history), the Indian prime minister was able to shaft experience with exceptional severity on the Naxalites, destroying the rebellious implements of war of the rural population, most significantly the tribals, as well. The year 1971 is thus a point of reference in Senanayaks career.This is the setting of Draupadi. The story is a moment caught between two deconstructive formulas on the one hand, a law that is fabricated with a view to its own transgression, on the other, the undoing of the binary opposition between the intellectual and the rural struggles. In order to handgrip the minutiae of their relationship and involvement, one must enter a historical mic rology that no foreword can provide. 14. Franda, Radical Politics, pp. 163-64. See also p. 164 n.22. 15. Lawrence Lifschultz, aladesh The unfinished Revolution (London, 1979),pp. 25, 26.Critical Inquiry Winter 1981 387Draupadi is the name of the central character. She is introduced to the reader between two uniforms and between two versions of her name Dopdi and Draupadi. It is either that as a tribal she cannot pronounce her own Sanskrit name (Draupadi), or the tribalized form, Dopdi, is the proper name of the antediluvian Draupadi. She is on a list of wanted persons, yet her name is not on the list of appropriate names for the tribal women.The ancient Draupadi is perhaps the most celebrated heroine of the Indian epic Mahabharata. The Mahabharata and the Ramayana are the cultural certification of the so-called Indo-European civilization of India. The tribes predate the Aryan invasion. They have no right to heroic Sanskrit names. Neither the interdiction nor the import of the nam e, however, must be taken too seriously. For this pious, domesticated Hindu name was given Dopdi at behave by her mistress, in the common mood of benevolence felt by the oppressors married woman toward the tribal bond servant. It is the murdering of this mistress husband that sets going the events of the story.And yet on the level of the text, this elusive and causeless name does playa role. To speculate upon this role, we might consider the Mahabharata itself in its colonialist function in the interest of the so-called Aryan invaders of India. It is an accretive epic, where the sacred geography of an ancient battle is slowly expanded by succeeding multiplications of poets so that the secular geography of the expanding Aryan colony can present itself as same with it and thus justify itself.16 The complexity of this vast and anonymous project makes it an incomparably more heterogeneous text than the Ramayana.Unlike the Ramayana, for example, the Mahabharata contains cases of he terogeneous kinds of kinship structure and various styles of marriage. And in fact it is Draupadi who provides the only example of polyandry, not a cat valium system of marriage in India. She is married to the five sons of the impotent Pandu. Within a patriarchal and patronymic context, she is exceptional, indeed singular in the sense of odd, unpaired, un checkd.17 Her husbands, since they are husbands rather than lovers, are lawfully pluralized. No acknowledgment of paternity can secure the Name of the Father for the child of such a mother. Mahasvetas story questions this property by placing Dopdi first in a associately, activist, monogamous marriage and then in a situation of multiple rape.In the epic, Draupadis legitimized pluralization (as a wife among husbands) in singularity (as a possible mother or harlot) is used to demonstrate male glory. She provides the occasion for a baseless transaction between men, the efficient cause of the crucial battle. Her eldest hus- 16. For my understanding of this aspect of the Mahabharata, I am indebted to Romila Thapar of Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.17. I borrow this sense of singularity from Jacques Lacan, Seminar on The Purloined Letter, trans. Jeffrey Mehlman, Yak French Studies 48 (1972) 53, 59. 388 Gayatm Chakravorty Spivak Draupadiband is about to lose her by default in a game of dice. He had staked all he owned, and Draupadi p splashinesss within that all (Mahabharata 6532). Her strange civil status seems to offer grounds for her predicament as well The Scriptures prescribed one husband for a woman Draupadi is dependent on many husbands therefore she can be designated a prostitute. There isnothing improper in bringing her, garment or unframeworked, into the assembly (6535-36). The enemy chief begins to pull at Draupadis sum. Draupadi silently prays to the actualise Krishna. The Idea of Sustaining Law (Dharma) materializes itself as clothing, and as the king pulls and pulls at her sum, there s eems to be more and more of it. Draupadi is infinitely clothed and cannot be publicly stripped. It is one of Krishnas miracles.Mahasvetas story rewrites this episode. The men easily succeed in stripping Dopdi-in the narrative it is the culmination of her political punishment by the representatives of the law. She remains publicly naked at her own insistence. Rather than restrain her modesty through the implicit intervention of a benign and divine (in this case it would have been godlike) comrade, the story insists that this is the place where male leadership stops.It would be a mistake, I think, to read the modern story as a refutation of the ancient. Dopdi is (as heroic as) Draupadi. She is also what Draupadi-written into the patriarchal and authoritative sacred text as proof of male power-ould not be. Dopdi is at once a palimpsest and a contradiction.There is nothing historically implausible about Dopdis attitudes. When we first see her, she is thinking about washing her hairsbr eadth. She loves her husband and keeps political faith as an act of faith toward him. She adores her forefathers because they saved their womens honor. (It should be recalled that this is thought in the context of American soldiers breeding bastards.) It is when she crosses the sexual differential into the house of what could only happen to a woman that she emerges as the most powerful subject, who, quiet down using the language of sexual honor, can derisively call herself the object of your search, whom the author can describe as a terrifying superobject-an unarmed target. As a tribal, Dopdi is not romanticized by Mahasveta.The decision makers among the revolutionaries are, again, realistically, bourgeois youth men and women who have oriented their book learning to the land and thus be throttle the long process of undoing the opposition between book (theory or outside) and spontaneity (practice or inside). Such fighters are the hardest to beat, for they are neither tribal nor ge ntlemen. A Bengali reader would pick them out by name among thecharacters the one with the aliases who bit off his tongue the ones who helped the couple escape the army cordon the ones who neither smoke nor drink tea and, above all, Arijit. His is a fashionable first name, tinsel Sanskrit, with no allusive paleonymy and a sum that fits the story a bit too well victorious over enemies. Yet it is his voice that gives Dopdi the courage to save not herself hardly her comrades.Of course, this voice of male authority also fades. Once Dopdi enters, in the final section of the story, the postscript area of lunar flux and sexual difference, she is in a place where she will finally actfor herself in not acting, in challenging the man to (en)counter her as unrecorded or misrecorded objective historical monument. The army major powerr is shown as unable to ask the authoritative ontological question, What is this? In fact, in the convict describing Dopdis final summons to the sahibs tent, th e agent is missing. I can be forgiven if I find in this an allegory of the womans struggle within the revolution in a displacement historical moment. As Mahasveta points out in an aside, the tribe in question is the Santal, not to be wiped out(p) with the at least nine other Munda tribes that inhabit India.They are also not to be disjointed with the so-called untouchables, who, unlike the tribals, are Hindu, though probably of remote non-Aryan origin. In giving the name untouchable (Gods people) to the untouchables, Mahatma Gandhi had tried to concoct the sort of pride and sense of unity that the tribes seem to possess. Mahasveta has followed the Bengali practice of calling each so-called untouchable caste by the name of its base and unclean task within the rigid structural functionalism of institutionalized Hinduism.18 I have been unable to make this in my translation.Mahasveta uses another differentiation, almost on the level of caricature the Sikh and the Bengali. (Sikhism was founded as a improve religion by Guru Nanak in the late fifteenth century. Today the roughly 9 million Sikhs of India live chiefly in East Punjab, at the other end of the vast Indo-Gangetic Plain from Bengal. The tall, muscular, turbanned, and bearded Sikh, so unlike the slight and supposedly intellectual Bengali, is the stereotyped butt of jokes in the same way as the Polish community in NorthAmerica or the Belgian in France.) Arjan Singh, the diabetic Sikh captain who falls back on the Granth-sahib (the Sikh sacred book-I have translated it Scripture) and the five Ks of the Sikh religion, is presented as all brawn and no headsprings and the wily, imaginative, corrupt Bengali Senanayak is of course the army superpowerr full of a Keatsian negative capability.lgThe entire energy of the story seems, in one reading, directed toward breaking the apparently clean gap between theory and practice in 18. As a result of the annoyance of the capitalist mode of production and the Imper ial Civil Service, and massive conversions of the lowest castes to Christianity, the invariable identity of caste and trade no longer holds. Here, too, there is the possibility of a revenueonomy micrologically deconstructive of the caste-class opposition, functioning heterogeneously in terms of the social hierarchy.19. If indeed the model for this character is Ranjit Gupta, the notorious inspector general of practice of law of West Bengal, the delicate textuality, in the interest of a political position, of Senanayaks delineation in the story takes us far beyond the limits of a referencea clef I am grateful to Michael Ryan for suggesting the possibility of such a reference. 390 Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak DraupadiSenanayak. Such a clean break is not possible, of course. The theoretical production of negative capability is a practice the practice of mowing down Naxalites brings with it a theory of the historical moment. The assumption of such a clean break in fact depends upon the a ssumption that the individual subject who theorizes and practices is in full control. At least in the history of the Indo-European tradition in general, such a sovereign subject is also the legal or coherent subject, who is identical with his stable p a t r o n ymi .It m ight therefore be interesting that Senanayak is not given the differentiation of a first name and surname. His patronymic is identical with his function (not of course by the law of caste) the common noun content army chief.In fact, there is the least hint of a doubt if it is a proper name or a common appellation. This may be a critique of the mans apparently self-adequate identity, which sustains his theory-practice juggling act. If so, it goes with what I see as the project of the story to break this bonded identity with the wedge of an unreasonable veneration. If our certitude of the efficient-information-retrieval and talk-to-the-accessible approach toward Third-World women can be broken by the wedge of an u nreasonable uncertainty, a feeling that what we deem gain might spell loss and that our practice should be forged accordingly, then we would share the textual effect of Draupadi with Senanayak.The italicized linguistic communication in the translation are in English in the original. It is to be noticed that the flake haggling on both sides are in English. Nation-state politics combined with multinational economies produce war. The language of waroffense and defense-is international. English is standing in here for that nameless and heterogeneous world language. The peculiarities of usage belong to being obliged to cope with English under political and social pressure for a a couple of(prenominal) centuries. Where, indeed, is there a pure language? Given the nature of the struggle, there is nothing bizarre in Comrade D p d i . Itl i s part of the undoing of contrarys-intellectual-rural, tribalist-internationalist-that is the vacillation constitution of the underground, the wro ng side of the law. On the right side of the law, such deconstructions, breaking down national distinctions, are operated through the encroachment of kingemperor or capital.20. The relationship between phallocentrism, the patriarchy, and clean binary oppositions is a distributive theme in Derridas critique of the metaphysics of presence. See my Unmaking and Making in To the Lighthouse, in Women and Language in Literature and Society, ed. Sally McConnell-Ginet, Ruth Borker, and Nelly Furman (New York, 1980). 21. My dearest Sati, Through the walls and the miles that separate us I can hear you saying, In Sawan it will be two years since Comrade left us. The other women will nod. It is you who have taught them the meaning of Comrade (Mary Tyler, Letter to a Former Cell-Mate, in Naxalban and After, 1 307 see also Tyler, My eld in an Indian Prison Harmondsworth, 19771).Critical Inquiry Winter 1981 391The only exception is the word sahib. An Urdu word meaning friend, it came to mean, alm ost exclusively in Bengali, uncontaminating man. It is a colonial word and is used today to mean boss. I thought of Kipling as I wrote Burra Sahib for Senanayak.In the matter of translation between Bengali and English, it is again Dopdi who occupies a curious middle space. She is the only one who uses the word counter (the n is no more than a nasalization of the diphthong ou). As Mahasveta explains, it is an abbreviation for killed by natural law in an encounter, the code exposition for death by natural law torture. Dopdi does not understand English, but she understands this formula and the word. In her use of it at the end, it comes mysteriously close to the proper English usage. It is the menacing appeal of the objectified subject to its politico-sexual enemy-the provisionally silenced master of the subject-object dialectic-to encounter-counter-her. What is it to use a language decently without knowing it?We cannot result because we, with Senanayak, are in the opposite situa tion. Although we are told of specialists, the meaning of Dopdis song remains undisclosed in the text. The enlightened Bengali does not know the languages of the tribes, and no political coercion obliges him to know it. What one might falsely think of as a political privilege- knowing English properly-stands in the way of a deconstructive practice of language-using it correctly through a political displacement, or operating the language of the other side.It follows that I have had the usual translators problems only with the peculiar Bengali spoken by the tribals. In general we educated Bengalis have the same racist attitude toward it as the late Peter Sellers had toward our English. It would have been embarrassing to have used some version of the language of D. H. Lawrences common people or Faulkners blacks. Again, the specificity is micrological. I have used straight English, whatever that may be.Rather than encumber the story with footnotes, in close I shall list a few items of informationPage 393 The five Ks are Kes (unshorn hair) kachh (drawers down to the knee) karha (iron bangle) kirpan (dagger) kanga (comb to be worn by every Sikh, hence a mark of identity). Page 396 Bibidha Bharati is a popular radio program, on which listeners can hear music of their choice. The Hindi film industry is prolific in producing pulp movies for consumption in India and in all parts of the world where there is an Indian, Pakistani, and West Indian labor force. Many of the films are adaptations from the epics. Sanjeev Kumar is an idolized actor. Since it was Krishna who rescued Draupadi from her predicament in the epic, and, in the film the soldiers watch, Sanjeev Kumar encounters Krishna, there might be a touch of textual irony here.392 Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak DraupadiPage 397 panchayat is a supposedly elected form of village selfgovernment. Page 399 Champabhumi and Radhabhumi are archaic namesfor certain areas of Bengal. Bhumi is simply land. All of Bengal is thus Ba ngabhumi.Page 399 The jackal following the tiger is a common image.Page 400 Modern Bengali does not love between her and his. The her in the sentence beginning No comrade will . . . can therefore be considered an interpretatin.Page 401 A sari conjures up the long, many-pleated piece of cloth, complete with blouse and under frock, that proper Indian women wear. Dopdi wears a much-abbreviated version, without blouse or underclothes. It is referred to simply as the cloth.DraupadiName Dopdi Mejhen, age twenty-seven, husband Dulna Majhi (deceased), domicile Cherakhan, Bankrajharh, information whether deador live(a) and/or assistance in arrest, one hundred rupees. . . An exchange between two liveried uniforms.FIRSTL IVERYW hats this, a tribal called Dopdi? The list of names I brought has nothing like it How can anyone have an unlisted name? SECONDDraupadiMejhen. Born the year her mother threshed rice at Surja Sahu (killed)a t Bakuli. Surja Sahus wife gave her the name. FIRST These offic ers like nothing better than to write as much as they can in English. Whats all this stuff about her?SECONDMost notorious female. Long wanted in many. . .Dossier Dulna and Dopdi worked at harvests, rotating between Birbhum, Burdwan, Murshidabad, and Bankura. In 1971, in the famous surgical process Bakuli, when three villages were cordonned off and machine gunned, they too lay on the ground, faking dead. In fact, they were the main culprits. Murdering Surja Sahu and his son, occupying upper-caste wells and tubewells during the drouth, not throw in the toweling those three young men to the police. In all this they were the chief instigators. In the morning, at the time of the body count, the couple could not be found.The blood-sugar level of passe-partout Arjan Singh, the architect of Bakuli, rose at once and proved yet again that diabetes can be a result of anxiety and depression. Diabetes has twelve husbands-among them anxiety. Dulna and Dopdi went underground for a long time in a neanderthal darkness. The Special Forces, attempting to pierce that dark by an armed search, compelled quite a few Santals in the various districts of West Bengal to meet their Maker against their will. By the Indian Con- 22. I am grateful to Soumya Chakravarti for his help in solving occasional problems of English synonyms and archival research.stitution, all human beings, regardless of caste or creed, are sacred. Still, accidents like this do happen. Two sorts of reasons (I), the underground couples skill in self-concealment ( 2 ) ,not only when the Santals but all tribals of the Austro-Asiatic Munda tribes appear the same to the Special Forces.In fact, all around the ill-famed lumber of Jharkhani, which is under the jurisdiction of the police station at Bankrajharh (in this India of ours, even a worm is under a certain police station), even in the southeast and southwest corners, one comes across hair-raising lucubrate in the eyewitness records put together on the people wh o are suspected of attacking police stations, stealing guns (since the snatchers are not invariably well educated, they sometimes say give up your put up rather than give up your gun), killing grain brokers, landlords, moneylenders, law officers, and bureaucrats. A black-skinned couple ululated like police sirens before the episode. They sang jubilantly in a savage tongue, incomprehensible even to the Santals. Such asSamaray hijulenako mar goekopeand.Hende rambra keche kechePundi rambra keche kecheThis proves conclusively that they are the cause of Captain Arjan Singhs diabetes. Government procedure being as incomprehensible as the Male Principle in Sankhya philosophy or Antonionis early films, it was Arjan Singh who was sent once again on Operation Forest Jharkhani. Learning from Intelligence that the above-mentioned ululating and dancing couple was the escaped corpses, Arjan Singh fell for a bit into a zombielike state and finally acquired so irrational a dread of black-skinned p eople that whenever he saw a black person in a ballbag, he swooned, saying theyre killing me, and drank and passed a lot of pee. Neither uniform nor Scriptures could relieve that depression. At long last, under the shadow of apremuture and forced retirement, it was possible to present him at the desk of Mr. Senanayak, the elderly Bengali specialist in rubbish and extreme-left politics.Senanayak knows the activities and capacities of the opposition better than they themselves do. First, therefore, he presents an encomium on the military genius of the Sikhs. indeed he explains further Is it only the opposition that should find power at the end of the barrel of a gun? Arjan Singhs power also explodes out of the male organ of a gun. Without a gun even the five Ks come to nothing in this day and age. These speeches he delivers to all and sundry. As a result, the fighting forces regain their confidence in the Army Handbook. It is not a book for everyone. It says that the most despicabl e and hideous style of fighting is 394 Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak Draupadiguerrilla warfare with primitive weapons. Annihilation at sight of any and all practitioners of such warfare is the sacred duty of every soldier. Dopdi and Dulna belong to the category of such fighters, for they too kill by means of hatchet and scythe, bow and arrow, etc. In fact, their fighting power is greater than the gentlemens. non all gentlemen become experts in the explosion of chambers they think the power will come out on its own if the gun is held. But since Dulna and Dopdi are illiterate, their kind have practiced the use of weapons generation by and bywards generation.I should mention here that, although the other side make little of him, Senanayak is not to be trifled with. Whatever hispractice, in theory he respects the opposition. Respects them because they could be neither understood nor dismantled if they were treated with the attitude, Its nothing but a bit of impertinent game-playing wi th guns. In order to destroy the enemy, become one. Thus he understood them by (theoretically) becoming one of them. He hopes to write on all this in the future. He has also immovable that in his written work he will demolish the gentlemen and highlight the message of the harvest workers. These mental processes might seem complicated, but actually he is a simple man and is as pleased as his third great-uncle after a meal of turtle meat. In fact, he knows that, as in the old popular song, turn by turn the world will change.And in every world he must have the credentials to survive with honor. If necessary he will show the future to what extent he alone understands the matter in its proper perspective. He knows very well that what he is doing today the future will forget, but he also knows that if he can change color from world to world, he can represent the particular world in question. Today he is getting rid of the young by means of apprehension and elimination, but he knows peopl e will soon forget the memory and lesson of blood. And at the same time, he, like Shakespeare, believes in delivering the worlds legacy into youths hands. He is Prospero as well.At any rate, information is received that many young men and women, batch by batch and on jeeps, have attacked police station after police station, terrified and elated the region, and disappeared into the forest of Jharkhani. Since after escaping from Bakuli, Dopdi and Dulna have worked at the house of virtually every landowner, they can efficiently inform the killers about their targets and announce proudly that they too are soldiers, rank and$le.Finally the impenetrable forest of Jharkhani is surrounded by real soldiers, the army enters and splits the battle domain. Soldiers in hiding guard the falls and springs that are the only source of drinking water they are pacify guarding, still looking.On one such search, army informant Dukhiram Gharari saw a young Santal man lying on his stomach on a flat stone, dipping his face to drink water. The soldiers chilliness him as he lay. As the .303 threw him off spread-eagled and brought a bloody foam to his mouth, he roared Ma-ho and then went limp. They realized later on that it was the redoubtable Dulna Majhi. What does Ma-ho mean? Is this a violent slogan in the tribal language? Even after much thought, the department of Defense could not be sure.Two tribal-specialist types are flown in from Calcutta, and they sweat over the dictionaries put together by worthies such as Hoffmann-Jeffer and Golden-Palmer. Finally the omniscent Senanayak summons Chamru, the water carrier of the camp. He giggles when he sees the two specialists, scratches his ear with his bidi, and says, The Santals of Maldah did say that when they began fighting at the time of King Gandhi Its a battle cry. Who said Ma-ho here? Did someone come from Maldah?The problem is thus solved. whence, leaving Dulnas body on the stone, the soldiers climb the trees in green camoufla ge. They embrace the leafy boughs like so many great god Pans and wait as the large red ants bite their private parts. To see if anyone comes to take extraneous the body. This is the hunters way, not the soldiers. But Senanayak knows that these brutes cannot be dispatched by the approved method. So he asks his men to draw the prey with a corpse as bait. All will come clear, he says. I have almost deciphered Dopdis song.The soldiers get going at his command. But no one comes to claim Dulnas corpse. At night the soldiers shoot at a scuffle and, descending, retrieve that they have killed two hedgehogs copulating on dry leaves. Improvidently enough, the soldiers jungle scout Dukhiram gets a knife in the neck before he can claim the reward for Dulnas capture. Bearing Dulnas corpse, the soldiers place upright shooting pains as the ants, interrupted in their feast, begin to bite them. When Senanayak hears that no one has come to take the corpse, he slaps his anti-Fascist paperback copy of The Deputy and shouts, What? Immediately one of the tribal specialists runs in with a joy as naked and transparent as Archimedes and says, Get up, sir I have discovered the meaning of that hende rambra stuff. Its Mundari language.Thus the search for Dopdi continues. In the forest belt of Jharkhani, the Operation continues-will continue. It is a carbuncle on the governments backside. Not to be cured by the tested ointment, not to burst with the appropriate herb. In the first phase, the fugitives, ignorant of the forests topography, are caught easily, and by the law of confrontation they are shot at the taxpayers expense. By the law of confrontation, their eyeballs, intestines, stomachs, hearts, genitals, and so on become the food of fox, vulture, hyena, wildcat, ant, and worm, and the untouchables go off happily to sell their bare skeletons.They do not allow themselves to be captured in open combat in the next phase. Now it seems that they have found a trustworthy courier. Ten to one its Dopdi. Dopdi loved Dulna more than her blood. No doubt it is she who is saving the fugitives now.They is also a hypothesis.Why?396 Gayatri Chakravorty Spiuak DraupadiHow many went origznally?The tell is silence. About that there are many tales, many books in press. Best not to believe everything.How many killed in six years confrontation?The answer is silence.Why after confrontations are the skeletons discovered with arms broken or severed? Could armless men have fought? Why do the collarbones shake, why are legs and ribs crushed?Two kinds of answer. Silence. Hurt rebuke in the eye. Shame on you Why bring this up? What will be will be. . . .How many left in the forest? The answer is silence.A legzon? Is itjustzjiable to prolong a large battalion in that wild area at the taxpayers expense? final result Objection. Wild area is incorrect. The battalion is provided with supervised nutrition, arrangements to worship according to religion, opportunity to listen to Bibidha Bharat i and to see Sanjeev Kumar and the maestro Krishna face-to-face in the movie This Is Life. No. The area is not wild.How many are left?The answer is silence.How many are left? Is there anyone at all?The answer is long.Item Well, action still goes on. Moneylenders, landlords, grain brokers, anonymous brothel keepers, ex-informants are still terrified. The hungry and naked are still noncompliant and irrepressible. In some pockets the harvest workers are getting a better wage. Villages sympathetic to the fugitives are still silent and hostile. These events cause one to think. . . . Where in this picture does Dopdi Mejhen fit?She must have connections with the fugitives. The cause for fear is elsewhere. The ones who remain have lived a long time in the primitive world of the forest. They keep beau monde with the poor harvest workers and the tribals. They must have forgotten book learning. Perhaps they are orienting their book learning to the soil they live on and learning new combat a nd survival techniques. One can shoot and get rid of the ones whose only recourse is extrinsic book learning and sincere inbred enthusiasm. Those who are working practically will not be exterminated so easily.Therefore Operation Jharkhani Forest cannot stop. Reason the words of warning in the Army Handbook.Catch Dopdi Mejhen. She will lead us to the others.Dopdi was proceeding slowly, with some rice knotted into her belt. Critical Inquiry Winter 1981 397Mushai Tudus wife had cooked her some. She does so occasionally. When the rice is cold, Dopdi knots it into her waistcloth and walks slowly. As shewalked, she picked out and killed the lice in her hair. If she had some Kerosene, shed rub it into her scalp and get rid of the lice. Then she could wash her hair with bakingsoda. But the bastards put traps at every bend of the falls. If they savour kerosene in the water, they will follow the scent.DopdiShe doesnt respond. She never responds when she hears her own name. She has seen in t he Panchayat office just today the notice for the reward in her name. Mushai Tudus wife had said, What are you looking at? Who is Dopdi Mejhen Money if you give her upHow much?Two-hundredOh GodMushais wife said outside the office A lot of preparation this time. A-1 1 new policemen.Hm.Dont come again.Why?Mushais wife looked down. Tudu says that Sahib has come again. If they catch you, the village, our huts . . .Theyll burn again.Yes. And about Dukhiram . . .The Sahib knows?Shomai and Budhna betrayed us.Where are they?Ran away by train.Dopdi thought of something. Then said, Go home. I dont know what will happen, if they catch me dont know me.Cant you run away?No. Tell me, how many times can I run away? What will they do if they catch me? They will counter me. Let them.Mushais wife said, We have nowhere else to go.Dopdi said softly, I wont tell anyones name.Dopdi knows, has learned by hearing so often and so long, how one can come to terms with torture. If mind and body give way under torture, Dopdi will bite off her tongue. That boy did it. They countered him. When they counter you, your hands are tied behind you. All your bones are crushed, your sex is a terrible wound. Killed by police in an encounter. . .unknown male . . . age twenty-two . . .As she walked thinking these thoughts, Dopdi heard someone calling, DopdiShe didnt respond. She doesnt respond if called by her own name. Here her name is Upi Mejhen. But who calls?398 Gayatri ChakravoS pivak Draupadi Spines of suspicion are ceaselessly furled in her mind. Hearing Dopdi they stiffen like a hedgehogs. Walking, she unrolls the$lm of known faces in her mind. Who? Not Shomra, Shomra is on the run. Shomai and Budhna are also on the run, for other reasons. Not Golok, he is in Bakuli. Is it someone from Bakuli? After Bakuli, her and Dulnas names were Upi Mejhen, Matang Majhi. Here no one but Mushai and his wife knows their real names. Among the young gentlemen, not all of the previous batches knew.That was a t roubled time. Dopdi is confused when she thinks about it. Operation Bakuli in Bakuli. Surja Sahu arrange with Biddibabu to dig two tubewells and three wells within the compound of his two houses. No water anywhere, drought in Birbhum. Unlimited water at Surja Sahus house, as clear as a genus Corvuss eye.Get your water with canal tax, everything is burning.Whats my profit in increasing cultivation with tax money?Everythings on fire.Get out of here. I dont accept your Panchayat nonsense. Increase cultivation with water. You want half the rice paddy for sharecropping. Everyone is happy with free paddy. Then give me paddy at home, give me money, Ive learned my lesson trying to do you good.What good did you do?Have I not given water to the village?Youve given it to your kin Bhagunal.Dont you get water?No. The untouchables dont get water.The quarrel began there. In the drought, human patience catches easily. Satish and Jugal from the village and that young gentleman, was Rana his name?, said a landowning moneylender wont give a thing, put him down.Surja Sahus house was surrounded at night. Surja Sahu had brought out his gun. Surja was tied up with cow rope. His whitish eyeballs glum and turned, he was incontinent again and again. Dulna had said, Ill have the first blow, blood brothers. My greatgrandfather took a bit of paddy from him, and I still give him free labor to repay that debt. Dopdi had said, His mouth watered when he looked at me. Ill pull out his eyes.Surja Sahu. Then a telegraphic message from Shiuri. Special train. Army. The jeep didnt come up to Bakuli. March-march-march. The crunch-crunch-crunch of gravel under hobnailed boots. Cordon up. Commands on the mike. Jugal Mandal Satish Mandal, Rana alias Prabir alias Dipak, Dulna Majhi-Dopdi Mejhen surrender surrender surrender. No surrender surrender. Mow-mowmow down the village. Putt-putt putt-puttcordite in the air-putt-putt-round the clock-putt-putt. Flame thrower. Bakuli is burning. More men and wo men, children . . .jre-jire. Close canal Critical Inquiry Winter 1981 399 approach. everywhere-over-over by nightfall. Dopdi and Dulna had crawled on their stomachs to safety. They could not have reached Paltakuri after Bakuli. Bhupati and Tapa took them. Then it was decided that Dopdi and Dulna would work around the Jharkhani belt. Dulna had explained to Dopdi, Dear, this is best We wont get family and children this way. But who knows? Landowner and moneylender and policemen might one day be wiped outWho called her from the back today?Dopdi kept travel. Villages and fields, bush and rock-Public Works Department markers-sound of running stairs in back. lonesome(prenominal) one person running. Jharkhani Forest still about two miles away. Now she thinks of nothing but entering the forest. She must let them know that the police have set up notices for her again. Must tell them that that bastard Sahib has appeared again. Must change hideouts.Also, the plan to do to Lakkhi Bera and Na ran Bera what they did to Surja Sahu on account of the trouble over paying the field hands in Sandara must be cancelled. Shomai and Budhna knew everything. There was the urgency of great danger under Dopdis ribs. Now she thought there was no shame as a Santal in Shomai and Budhnas treachery. Dopdis blood was the pure unadulterated black blood of Champabhumi. From Champa to Bakuli the scratch and set of a million moons. Their blood could have been contaminated Dopdi felt proud of her forefathers. They stood guard overtheir womens blood in black armor. Shomai and Budhna are halfbreeds. The fruits of the war. Contributions to Radhabhumi by the American soldiers stationed at Shiandanga. Otherwise, crow would eat crows flesh before Santal would betray Santal.Footsteps at her back. The steps keep a distance. strain in her belt, tobacco leaves tucked at her waist. Arijit, Malini, Shamu, Mantu-none of them smokes or even drinks tea. Tobacco leaves and limestone powder. Best medicine for s corpion bite. slide fastener must be given away. Dopdi turned left. This way is the camp. Two miles. This is not the way to the forest. But Dopdi will not enter the forest with a cop at her back.I swear by my life. By my life Dulna, by my life. Nothing must be told.The footsteps turn left. Dopdi touches her waist. In her palm the comfort of a half-moon. A baby scythe. The smiths at Jharkhani are fine artisans. Such an edge well put on it Upi, a hundred Dukhiram* Thank God Dopdi is not a gentleman. Actually, perhaps they have understood scythe, hatchet, and knife best. They do their work in silence. The lights of the camp at a distance. Why is Dopdi going this way? Stop a bit, it turns again. Huh I can tell where I am if I wander all night with my eyes shut. I wont go in the forest, I wont lose him that way. I wont outrun him. You fucking jackal of a cop, deadly afraid of death, 400 Gayatri Ch a k r a u o Sp iuak Draupadiyou cant run around in the forest. Id run you out of breath, t hrow you in a ditch, and finish you off.Not a word must be said. Dopdi has seen the new camp, she has sat in the bus station, passed the time of day, smoked a bidi and found out how many police convoys had arrived, how many radio vans. Squash four, onions seven, peppers fifty, a straightforward account. This information cannot now be passed on. They will understand Dopdi Mejhen has been countered. Then theyll run. Arijits voice. If anyone is caught, the others must catch the timing and change their hideout. If Comrade Dopdi arrives late, we will not remain. There will be a sign of where weve gone. No comrade will let the others be destroyed for her own sake.Arijits voice. The gurgle of water. The direction of the next hideout will be indicated by the tip of the wooden arrowhead under the stone. Dopdi likes and understands this. Dulna died, but, let me tell you, he didnt lose anyone elses life. Because this was not in our heads to begin with, one was countered for the others trouble. Now a much harsher rule, easy and clear. Dopdi returns-good doesnt returnbad. Change hideout. The clue will be such that the opposition wont see it, wont understand even if they do.Footsteps at her back. Dopdi turns again. These 3% miles of land and approximate ground are the best way to enter the forest. Dopdi has left that way behind. A little level ground ahead. Then rocks again. The anny could not have struck camp on such rocky terrain. This area is quiet enough. Its like a maze, every hump looks like every other. Thats fine. Dopdi will lead the cop to the burning ghat. Patitpaban of Saranda had been sacrificed in the name of Kali of the Burning Ghats.APehendA lump of rock stands up. Another. Yet another. The elderly Senanayak was at once triumphant and despondent. Ifyou want to destroy the enemy, become one. He had done so. As long as six years ago he could anticipate their every move. He still can. Therefore he is elated. Since he has kept up with the literature, he has read First Blood and seen approval of his thought and work.Dopdi couldnt trick him, he is unhappy about that. Two sorts of reasons. 6 years ago he published an article about information storage in brain cells. He demonstrated in that piece that he supported this struggle from the point of view of the field hands. Dopdi is a field hand. Veteran3ghter. Search and destroy. Dopdi Mejhefi is about to be apprehended. Will be destroyed. Regret.HaltDopdi stops short. The steps behind come around to the front. Under Dopdis ribs the canal dam breaks. No hope. Surja Sahus brother Rotoni Sahu. The two lumps of rock come forward. Shomai andBudhna. They had not escaped by train.Arijits voice. Just as you must know when youve won, you must also acknowledge defeat and start the activities of the next stage. Now Dopdi spreads her arms, raises her face to the sky, turns toward the forest, and ululates with the force of her entire being. Once, twice, three times. At the third burst the birds in the trees at the outskirts of the forest awake and brandish their wings. The echo of the call travels far. Draupadi Mejhen was apprehended at 653P.M. It took an instant to get her to camp. Questioning took another hour exactly. No one touched her, and she was allowed to sit on a canvas camp stool. At 857 Senanayaks dinner hour approached, and saying, Make her. Do the needful, he disappeared.Then a one million million million moons pass. A billion lunar years. Opening her eyes after a million light years, Draupadi, peculiarly enough, sees sky and moon. Slowly the bloodied nailheads shift from her brain. Trying to move, she feels her arms and legs still tied to four posts. Something sticky under her ass and waist. Her own blood. Only the gag has been removed. Incredible thirst. In case she says water she catches her lower flange in her teeth. She senses that her vagina is bleeding. How many came to make her?Shaming her, a tear trickles out of the corner of her eye. In the muddy lunation she lowers her lightless eye, sees her breasts, and understands that, indeed, shes been made up right. Her breasts are bitten raw, the nipples torn. How many? Four-five-six-seven-then Draupadi had passed out.She turns her eyes and sees something white. Her own cloth. Nothing else. all of a sudden she hopes against hope. Perhaps they have abandoned her. For the foxes to devour. But she hears the scrape of feet. She turns her head, the guard leans on his bayonet and leers at her. Draupadi closes her eyes. She doesnt have to wait long. Again the process of making her begins. Goes on. The moon vomits a bit of light and goes to sleep. Only the dark remains. A compelled spread-eagled still body. Active pistons of flesh rise and fall, rise and fall over it. Then morning comes.Then Draupadi Mejhen is brought to the tent and thrown on the straw. Her piece of cloth is thrown over her body.Then, after breakfast, after reading the newspaper and sending the radio message Draupadi Mejhen apprehen ded, etc., Draupadi Mejhen is ordered brought in.Suddenly there is trouble.Draupadi sits up as soon as she hears Move and asks, Where do you want me to go?To the Burra Sahibs tent.402 Gayatm Chakravorty Spivak DraupadiWhere is the tent?Over there.Draupadi fixes her red eyes on the tent. Says, Come, Ill go. The guard pushes the water pot forward.Draupadi stands up. She pours the water down on the ground.Tears her piece of cloth with her teeth. Seeing such strange behavior, the guard says, Shes gone crazy, and runs for orders. He can lead the prisoner out but doesnt know what to do if the prisoner behaves incomprehensibly. So he goes to ask his superior.The commotion is as if the alarm had sounded in a prison.Senanayak walks out surprised and sees Draupadi, naked, walking toward him in the bright sunlight with her head high. The nervous guards trail behind.What is this? He is about to cry, but stops.Draupadi stands before him, naked. Thigh and pubic hair matted with dry blood. Two bre asts, two wounds.What is this? He is about to bark.Draupadi comes closer. Stands with her hand on her hip, laughs and says, The object of your search, Dopdi Mejhen. You asked them to make me up, dont you want to see how they made me?Where are her clothes?Wont put them on, sir. Tearing them.Draupadis black body comes even closer. Draupadi shakes with an indomitable jest that Senanayak simply cannot understand. Her ravaged lips bleed as she begins laughing. Draupadi wipes the blood on her palm and says in a voice that is as terrifying, sky splitting, and sharp as her ululation, Whats the use of clothes? You can strip me, but how can you clothe me again? Are you a man?She looks around and chooses the front of Senanayaks white bush shirt to spit a bloody gob at and says, There isnt a man here that I should be ashamed. I will not let you put my cloth on me. What more can you do? Come on, counter me-come on, counter me-?Draupadi pushes Senanayak with her two mangled breasts, and for the first time Senanayak is afraid to stand before an unarmed target, terribly afraid.

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