Widows of Vidarbha | Making of Shadows

Farmer suicides are the most brutal and unforgiving indictment of the neglect of agriculture by the state and the politics, obsessed with power and the market. The continuing farm crisis represents not only failure of economic and development models but also collapse of the democratic system. To divert the blame, the statistics have been fudged and the farmers accused of being too ambitious, reckless, even unstable, especially in places of high suicide incidence like Vidarbha. But the story of the distress of the farmers has an immortality that does not end with the farmer’s death. It lives on in the experience of the farm widow, who struggles in the shadows outside the boundaries of the limelight. This book is the story of 18 such widows of Vidarbha who have been invisible to the state, the community and even their families. Tracked over two years of research from 2014 to 2016, the widows spoke about their lost dreams of education and identity, their diminished view of the world, and their helpless surrender to conveniences of patriarchy. The book reveals the process through which the six invisibilities were imposed on the woman from the time she was a child, forcing her to relegate her rights to the visible and the male. The daughters, the wives and the widows are the survivors of the farm crisis in India and subjugation of their voices will only delay the solution. For the first time, the narratives of the widows of Vidarbha bring to light the dark and desperate corners of their invisible world, which represent the state of the farm widows across the country.

YEAR: 2018


Widows of Vidarbha
Making of Shadows ( 2018 )
Oxford University Press