Jessica Rawson, Hira Bose


“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”

― Charlotte BrontëJane Eyre

During Independence of the Nation, where the country was being divided on the bases of religion, women were being victimized, oppressed and traumatized for being a ‘Woman’. This has been rendered in writings of various writers who have shown an agonizing and harrowing condition of women by citing events which occurred during partition of India and Pakistan. But this was only one side of the coin as on the other side there were women who strongly opposed the harassment being done on them or others either by killing or dying in the struggle. Amrita Pritam’s novel Pinjar has broken the stereotype image of women and shown a strong character like Puroo, who defy the social law and acts like an impregnable bird who can never be captured again in the cage of society. The aforesaid novel clearly depicts the resilience of women and enunciates the victimized as strong, powerful gender that not only suffered the geographical, mental, physical and social partition but also sacrificed their life as true martyrs. The proposed paper would highlight the resilience of Puroo, a victim of cross-religious conflict, who is abducted by a man who later marries her. She also takes up a stand on her decision of staying back with her abductor husband during the Recovery Programme of 1947. She does that only because he accepted her when her own people were not ready to do so. Puroo manifests the condition of all the women who were not allowed to come back by their family in fear of social stigma. She asserted herself by saying that after her abduction “religion had become an insurmountable obstacle; neither her parents nor her in-laws had been willing to accept her. And now the same religion had become so accommodating!”  She delineates into the fact that a woman is not an object which can be exchanged on the possessors will; rather a woman has all the right to decide what she wants or whom she wants to choose. Amrita Pritam also shows Puroo as a woman who despite herself being a sufferer does not confines to her own suffering but has a panorama of the condition of women during Partition. She delves in temerarious situation while trying to save her sister-in-law from her abductor; she secretively keeps her in her house and hands over her sister-in-law to her husband. Thus she is an epitome of a strong woman who stands as a model for the society. A reading of Pinjar is a clear testimony to the fact that Amrita Pritam dared to be different and didn’t portray partition victims’ only as pathetic creatures depending for male support or shedding tears and taking pity on their painful past but as true martyrs who underwent silent sacrifice.

Full Text:



Basu, A. Mridula Sarabhai: Rebel with a Cause. Oxford University Press, India.1996.

Butalia, U. “An Archive with a Difference: Partition Letters.” The Partitions of Memory: The Afterlife of the Division of India. Edited by Suvir Kaul, Indiana University Press Bloomington, 2001.

Iyengar, K.R.S. Indian Writing in English. Sterling Publishers Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi, 1962.

Naik, M.K. A History of Indian English Literature, Sahitya Akademi. New Delhi, 1982.

Pandey, G. Remembering Partition: Violence, Nationalism and History in India. Cambridge University Press, 2001

Singh, K., translator. Pinjar. The Skeleton and Other Writings, By, Amrita Pritam, Tara Press New Delhi, 2009.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2021 Author(s)

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.