Assertive power: as portrayed in Nayantara Sahgal’s: A situation in New Delhi
Women have been suppressed since times immemorial, their Assertive Power was mainly focused in Indian English fiction when feminism, as a new way of life, as a new perspective, came into existence in India with the feminine psyche trying to redefine the women’s role in the society. Nayantara Sahgal can be discussed prominently as a writer who most unequivocally articulates her dissent of the conventional Indian hierarchisation, which placed women in a subservient position. However, the process, in reality has been a slow and painful one for women since they have had to overcome social opinion and orthodoxy on the one hand and personal hesitation and insecurities on the other. The process of self-awareness, assertion and the quest for identities requires conducive social circumstances as well as sensitivity and fineness of individual sensibility. In Nayantara Sahgal’s first novel, A Time to be Happy, Kusum initiated the process towards selfhood unconsciously, but Saroj, Simrit and others consciously release it in her later novels. Sahgal’s women are not a mere “Goddess or an automation” they pass through a processes of transformation and move from weakness to strength, from indecision to self-assertion and from bondage to freedom.