Nation, Female Body, and Sexuality in Hansda Shekhar’s “November is the Month of Migrations”

My paper attempts to explore the intertwined narratives of nation, migration, violence and female sexuality in India with particular reference to Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar’s short story “November is the Month of Migrations”. It begins with the construction of Indian woman’s identity as a genuflection to the notion of nation and goes on to trace the difficult, problematic and elusive trajectory of female sexuality as an indispensable effect of class, and caste. The Adivasi women have remained in the periphery of belonging and non-belonging, and their presence/absence within the overarching narrative of the Indian woman in relation to the documented narratives of nation and migration has either been inadequate or myopic. Shekhar’s short story “November is the Month of Migrations” needs to be put within the sociocultural context of the official discourse on female sexuality in India that is nebulous, discursive, and highly relational.

Aparna Singh, She/Her, Assistant Professor, English, Diamond Harbour Women’s University

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