Feminist Perspectives on the Apology of Louis CK and the #MeToo and #TimesUp Movements

© Media Watch 9 (3) 278-290, 2018
ISSN 0976-0911 e-ISSN 2249-8818
DOI: 10.15655/mw/2018/v9i1/49488


Interrogating Impunity through Counterpublic: Rethinking Habermas’s Public Sphere in Paulaumi Duttagupta’s Onaatah of the Earth

The present paper aims at analyzing the inevitable relationship of patriarchal impunity with counterpublic in India with reference to Onaatah of the Earth (2017) by Paulami Duttagupta. It is apparent that much of the discourse on counterpublic emphasizes on either countering the existing state agencies as mentioned by Nancy Frazer where she critiques the exclusionary practices of bourgeois public sphere labeling the process as undemocratic or advocating locational counterpublic to uplift the subalterns to establish democracy discussed by Kanika Batra. However, not much has been discussed about the exclusion of discourses critiquing impunity which forms an essential background to establish a correlation between patriarchal impunity and the counterpublic. Thus, the paper attempts to examine bourgeois public sphere mainly as a patriarchal discursive arena disseminating and strengthening the idea of impunity granted especially in cases of sexual violence within the framework of Habermas’s public sphere. The study also focuses on how the novel Onaatah of the Earth acts as a counterpublic to undermine or neutralize the impunity by addressing issues related to gender sensitivity bringing them forth not only in discursive space but in activism too.
Keywords: Patriarchy, impunity, counterpublic, public sphere, sexual violence
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Sakshi Singh is a research scholar in the School of Languages and Literature at Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University, Katra, India. She is currently working on sexual violence against women.
Dr. Anurag Kumar is an assistant professor in the School of Languages and Literature at Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University. His research interests include African American literature, marginal spatial realities, Dalit literature, sexual violence against women, and transgend