Vol. 5, Issue 1 (2019)
Mirabai and the Poetry of Protest
Author(s): Dr. Wasia
Abstract: Literature, since ages, has served as an important means for registering protests at multiple levels be they social, political, religious, cultural or gender. Mirabai, a 16th century Bhakti saint from India used the genre of poetry embedded with social, religious, cultural signs to protest against the patriarchy. A Rajput princess by birth, Mira took to streets and refused to adhere to any of the set norms. By transgressing the orthodox boundaries at the personal, social and the feminist levels back in the medieval age, she emerged as a vanguard of freedom and identity for all. It is this ethos in her poetry which grants her space in the contemporary era also. The paper aims at exploring the different ways in which Mira attacked and protested against the then social, religious and cultural order and looking at the contemporary relevance her poems bear. The forms that the classic tradition of her poetry takes would also be examined in addition to examining the features that invest her story and poems with a generative life extending across time and diverse cultures through translation.