Representation of Feminism in the Novels of Nayantara Sahgal


In the world, women have been suffered for a long time since the human specie evolved from monkeys, and some people are constantly raised the voice against the suppression of women. In India, Nayantara Sahgal, an English Writing, is one of them who wrote many novels that depict the social condition of women in India and advocates how to demolish the enslavement of women.

Family and Background of Nayantara Sahgal

Nayantara Sahgal was born on 10th May 1927 in Allahabad, India to orthodox Hindu family. Her mother Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit was first Ambassador to UN, and her uncle was Jawaharlal Nehru, and her cousin was Indira Gandhi. Even though she born in orthodox Hindu family, she raised the voice against oppression of women in Indian society.


Representation of Feminism in her Novels

Nayantara Sahgal has written eight novels, two collections of memories, and some non-fictional works. She is one of the few authors who has written about feminism in her novels. She has written about female child murder, female child marriage, and purdha (disengagement). Nayantara Sahgal, in her novels, depicts the actual status of women in Indian, and she stressed that women should raise to break the barriers that were set by our forefathers. In her novels, she has portrayed women as a strong personality. She created “Rose” and “Smitri”, the female characters which had the strong will power and ability to live independently without male companion. Amanjeet (2018) said Sahal has dived deep into the female mind, that is why she could depict female mind clearly. Sahgal, in her novels, stresses the equality of men and women, and she opposed the customs that worship husband as God. Prasanth and Ambika (2018) said: “Nayantara wants to bring out the rule that man women (sic) relationship with perfect equality.”


Nayantara Sahgal is one of the few writers who work for women empowerment. Even though she born in orthodox Hindu family; she fights for women equality. She dedicates her life to women empowerment, because of his works she won Sinclair Fiction Prize and the Sahitya Akademi Awards, but one thing she forgets that without demolishing all religions, women empowerment cannot be possible. Most religions in the world treat women as second-class citizens and properties to male.


  1. Amanjeet, K., (2018). “Feminist perspective and approach in the novel of Nayantara Sahgal: a review”. Journal of Advances and Scholarly Reviews in the allied edition. 15(6): doi: 10.29070/JASRAE
  2. Prasanth, K. and Ambika, G., (2018). “Portrayal of feminism in Nayantara Sahgal’s the day in the shadow.” Research Journal of English Language and Literature:

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