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Articles: Literature
Chalamís Maidanam
- Dr. Rajeshwar Mittapalli
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Chalamís Maidanam: Marriage vs. Free Love Woman too has a body; it should be given exercise. Woman too has a mind; it should be given knowledge. Woman too has a heart; it should be given experience. - Chalam Chalam, Telugu Fiction and Feminism Gudipati Venkata Chalam, popularly known as Chalam, was a major literary figure in Telugu during the three decades preceding Independence. He gave a violent jolt to the complacence of the Telugu literary world, and by extension to the Telugu society itself, by writing one controversial novel after another. Although born into a rich and orthodox Brahmin family, he chose to become a rebel and rejected all the Brahmanical and patriarchal values governing peopleís lives during those days. Chalam used the novel as a powerful medium to propagate the liberal/feminist values he cherished. The chief factors contributing to his rebellion against especially the institution of marriage were the uncritical and excessive importance accorded to customs and traditions in marriage rather than to love and physical attraction, the maltreatment and injustice the women had to suffer when marriage stood dissolved or just did not work, and the general unfriendly attitude of society towards women. He theorised that it is not just womenís social upliftment but their freedom of choice and integrity of body too needed to be ensured. He believed that the repression on women is exercised primarily through marriage and that the institution itself has been so designed as to be extremely disadvantageous to them. He pleaded that women also have desires but within marriage they are not given the opportunity to fulfil them. And when women take recourse to extra-marital affairs, although men are equal partners in such affairs, the entire blame is placed on women alone.

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