Neo-Malthusian Ethics and Reproductive Collapse in Mahasweta Devi’s “Strange Children”

Mary Louisa Cappelli, JD, PhD

Independent Scholar, former Lecturer Emerson College.

  Volume 1, Number 3, 2016 I Full Text PDF

Article DOI:  10.21659/bp.v1n3.s101


Throughout the globe, the subaltern reproductive body has become an ideological battlefield of patriarchal control and reification in which women’s bodies fall prey to a host of gendered, racialized and economic forces. I contend that a close reading of Mahasweta Devi’s short story “Strange Children” exposes how Neo-Malthusian mal-development projects aimed at undermining adivasi reproductive systems and subsistence livelihoods have subverted urgent policy discussions of redistributive social justice. I specifically read Devi’s documentary narrative to testify to how mal-development projects have led to reproductive collapse and human rights violations and how adivasis have begun to assert their rights against the many layers of corruption and continuous oppression.

Keywords: Mahasweta Devi, adivasis, reproductive justice, population control

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