March 22, 2023

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Alka Joshi Novels “To Value” Women’s Struggle In India | Culture and Entertainment | USA Edition

Alka Joshi was born into a traditional family in India but grew up in the United States, encouraged by her mother to reject the restrictions imposed on her, which she reflects on in her novel “The Henna Artist”. Women’s struggle “must be respected and heard”

“The Henna Artist”, edited by Mewa in Spanish, is the first novel in the Jaipur trilogy, which will go on to become one of the best-selling books in the United States and turn into a television series.

In it, he tells the story of Lakshmi, a young woman who escapes from her abusive husband in 1955, when she was just 16, and moves to Jaipur, where she becomes a much-loved henna artist and a woman’s confidant. Upper castes.

Alka Joshi continues to amaze, “Readers around the world – women and men from 26 countries, translated into ‘The Henna Artist’ – connect with the story of the women’s struggle to be valued, heard and appreciated,” she explains in an interview with Efe.

He explains that the view of women is often neglected, misunderstood or deliberately removed from historical texts, and the author highlights the value of literature in expressing these values.

“In many cultures, women are not allowed to read or write; they are not allowed to record their stories. He says.

To create the world of his heroine, the writer came to India five times in the ten years it took to write the novel.

“My parents, who were born before independence, got married in 1955 and raised all three of us in Rajasthan after independence. My father was a respected engineer who helped rebuild India after the British left; he contributed greatly to my understanding of politics and economics at that time.” Joshi recalled being interviewed by healers, henna artists, merchants and contemporaries of his parents.

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As his novel was written, “India was a prosperous and self-sufficient nation before British colonialism. Hindus and Muslims in India worked side by side without enmity. When royal families lost their titles after independence, he devoted himself to politics or real estate in order to survive” or the Maharajas They chased away the children and, at the instruction of their astrologer, adopted the crown prince from a family of the same caste.

As the opening sentence of the first chapter of “The Henna Artist” says, “Freedom changed everything; freedom did not change anything.” “After 1947, although India was experiencing exciting restructuring and growth, the status of its women did not change much.”

Further, he assures us that what happened in India before and after independence, “thousands of readers around the world have a better understanding of how colonialism has negatively affected the people of South Asia and how hard India has worked to build industries and infrastructure.” Destroyed by the British. “

Alka Joshi believes that, despite progress, there is still a lot to be done for women’s rights around the world, including in the United States. Women earn less than a third to a quarter less than men for the same work. Most of the victims are women, affecting all cultures.

Carmen Naranzo