My Body, My Consent: A Study of Purabi Basu’s Stories, “Salehar Iccha Oniccha” and “Janak-Janani”

Sanjana Hashim


The present paper looks closely into Purabi Basu’s two short stories, “Salehar Iccha Oniccha” and “Janak-Janani” from her Naribadi Galpa (2009) to examine the extent to which the female protagonists have right over their own body, it studies their right to consent in sexual intercourse and the consequence they suffer in the hand of men and society. The rationale behind selecting Basu for the present research is that Purabi Basu’s writing, both fictional and non-fictional, centers around women’s issues: their physical and mental health, their voice and silence, power and resistance, and their plight in and out wedlock. The paper explores her fictional world which is full of women’s history of oppression, submission, suppression, and subjugation. Jolekha and Saleha, the protagonists in question are two of many other female protagonists from Basu’s fictional writing who are marginalized, deprived of the right to make a choice of their own let alone take a decision. Most importantly, most female protagonists of Basu are victimized by overwhelming patriarchy. The present paper investigates how their belonging to a male-dominated society allows them little right over their body which is the main site of their oppression. Besides, the paper questions the extent to which motherhood, pregnancy, and reproductive faculty of a woman become barrier in their personal life and stand between woman’s individualism and societal expectations. Most importantly, the issue of woman’s consent in sexual intercourse both in and out of marriage is the main focus of the present paper.


Woman, consent, body, sexuality, society, patriarchy

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