Resistance can be as esoteric as silence and silence can be as impenetrable as hegemonic power; conversely, both resistance and silence have the potential to challenge power. By its very nature, resistance is non-confrontational. It works subtly through seemingly small, innocuous everyday acts of non-compliance and achieves the desired results imperceptibly and slowly. As a socio-cultural-historical practice, resistance has been largely successful, the most obvious example being Gandhi's philosophy of 'passive resistance'; as a literary practice it poses challenge to the reader as well as the author.
Indian women writers have provided variegated pictures of resistance practices in the modern Indian context. In this study, Bande examines the treatment of resistance in nine contemporary novels written in English. Through a close reading of the selected novels of Anita Desai, Shashi Deshpande, Githa Hariharan, Manju Kapur, Shobha De, Arundhati Roy and Bapsi Sidhwa, she examines women's conditioning, their internalization of patriarchy and the reasons for their inability to subscribe to any oppositional action. Textual resistance functioning within the feminist, cultural and post-colonial milieu of the novels provides a platform to understand the theoretical debates and identify various resistant strategies deployed by the creative writers. She traces – drawing on the theories of feminist resistance, resistance operative during the anti-colonial/nationalist struggle, and subaltern resistance – the inter-connection between gender, cultural practices and the Western influence on India social system. Bande observes that despite the influence of the Western ideologies, which cannot be avoided in the Third World context, and the present socio-economic changes, one cannot sidetrack the strong cultural leanings of the authors that provide unique ethos to the works. In her analysis, Bande focuses on issues such as resistance offered to patriarchy, to the matriarch as patriarchy's agent, rape and violence against women, childhood experiences as resistance and revisionist mythmaking as resistance. Recognition of resistance in these texts help us locate the implicit urges of women to re-define their 'self' and to survive not in abject passivity but with dignity.