The Personal as Political: A Study in Nandini Sahu’s Sita (A Poem)


  • Sagar Kumar Sharma Ph.D. English, SRF Awardee (UGC) Project Associate (Teaching) Indira Gandhi National Center for the Arts, Ministry of Culture, New Delhi.



Epic, Gender, Gender Politics, Body Politics, Patriarchy, ‘Alternative modernity’, Ecological concerns.


When authors attempt to pen down their ideas on an issue relevant to the society, their own social contexts are bound to seep in into their texts, with or without their awareness of the same. In that sense, all writing is political. Applying this dictum of the cultural materialists, this paper seeks, among other things, to study the meeting points of the personal and political in Nandini Sahu’s groundbreaking epic-scale Sita (A Poem). Focus will be on the analysis of the text’s subversive potential, the demythification of Sita--the heroine of the epic Ramayana. How well Nandini Sahu’s ‘Sita’ transcends the boundaries of time and space in the process of claiming her rightful identity will be addressed herein. The texts and contexts of Sita have always been a matter of great critical debate; critics, at all times, have constructed and deconstructed this character according to their own politics. Sita–the character from Sage Valmiki’s Ramayana–is at once simple and complex. Patriarchy cleverly pushes to the sub-texts the ‘behind-the-curtain’ politics associated with the multiple texts, with almost singular narrative, that claim to be all faithful renditions of Sita’s story. Her complexity can be understood only when a deeper reading of such sub-texts is properly presented. It should be interesting to find out how Sahu’s narrative falls in or out of line with the popular narratives on Sita. And while observing this, the politics of Nandini’s Sita will be attempted to be brought out through this paper.


Coelho, Paulo. “Hymn to Isis (3rd or 4th century AD).” Paulo Coelho: Stories and Reflections, 13 March 2012. Accessed 23 May 2023.

Mukherjee, Srideep. “‘The Concert of Womanhood’: Reading Nandini Sahu’s Sita (A Poem).” The Criterion: An International Journal in English, vol. 7, Issue- 2, April 2016, pp. 137-150. Accessed 20 May 2021.

Sahu, Nandini. Sita (A Poem). The Poetry Society of India. 2014.

Sahu, Nandini. “Ahalya’s Waiting” from SELECTED POEMS OF NANDINI SAHU, Vol-2. Signorina Publications. Spring 2021.




How to Cite

Sagar Kumar Sharma , translator. “The Personal As Political: A Study in Nandini Sahu’s Sita (A Poem) ”. Creative Saplings, vol. 1, no. 01, Oct. 2023, pp. 26-36,

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