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Vijay Tendulkar's dramatic piece, Sakharam Binder, stands out as a critical examination of the sociocultural paradigms that perpetuate the exploitation of women. This article delves into the multiple layers of oppression and discrimination faced by the female protagonists and situates the play within the broader context of postcolonial Indian society. Tendulkar, through his audacious characters and narratives, throws light on the deep-rooted patriarchal norms that dictate female subjugation. The central figure, Sakharam Binder, is both a product and propagator of these entrenched societal beliefs. As a man who provides shelter to destitute women in exchange for domestic and sexual services, Sakharam becomes the embodiment of male entitlement and dominance. The women in his life, including Laxmi and Champa, become representative of the countless women whose identities are stifled by a male-centric worldview. Laxmi, the submissive, and Champa, the defiant, are instrumental in demonstrating the spectrum of female experiences under the weight of patriarchal constructs. While Laxmi's meek surrender highlights the internalization of patriarchal values, Champa’s rebellion underscores the dire consequences women face when challenging the status quo. Tendulkar masterfully juxtaposes these characters to critique the ways in which society polices and punishes deviance from gendered expectations. The spatial dynamics within Sakharam's house serve as a potent metaphor for the wider societal space where women are confined, controlled, and commodified. The narrative underscores how economic dependency and cultural conditioning become tools of subjugation, forcing women into cycles of exploitation. Tendulkar’s sharp, unflinching portrayal of the social and sexual exploitation of women demands introspection and reform, making the play a significant contribution to postcolonial Indian literature and feminist discourse. The play provides the various themes and concerns related the middle-class psyche.
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