Bengali Women’s Writings in the Colonial Period: Critique of Nation, Narration, and Patriarchy

Bengali Women’s Writings in the Colonial Period: Critique of Nation, Narration, and Patriarchy AbstractCritical engagements like the first autobiography written by a Bengali woman, Rasasundari Devi, and the non-fictions by Kailashbasini Devi, Krishnabhabini Das, and other women writers in the second half of the nineteenth century contested the imagined idealization of the Hindu domesticity and conjugality as spaces of loveableness and spiritual commitment. They criticized coercion in child-marriages and the forceful injunctions of the Hindu scriptures on both married and widowed women. Such rhetoric of quasi empowerment needs to be disaggregated to perpetuate issues of ‘double colonization,’ ‘dual-hold’ in feminism in India. The question is whether there can be any grounds of women’s agency in the Indian tradition. Eurocentric critiques are ill-equipped to politicize all modalities of a culture of social exclusion in Hindu imaginaries. Henceforth, as questions of equality, emancipation, and empowerment are fiercely debated in the public domain in contemporary India, we need to argue how immanent dissenting woman subjectivity can originate to counteract multiple patriarchies formed in Indian immediacies. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Zeitschrift für Anglistik und Amerikanistik de Gruyter

Bengali Women’s Writings in the Colonial Period: Critique of Nation, Narration, and Patriarchy

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Publisher
De Gruyter
Copyright
©2018 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston
ISSN
0044-2305
D.O.I.
10.1515/zaa-2018-0004
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

AbstractCritical engagements like the first autobiography written by a Bengali woman, Rasasundari Devi, and the non-fictions by Kailashbasini Devi, Krishnabhabini Das, and other women writers in the second half of the nineteenth century contested the imagined idealization of the Hindu domesticity and conjugality as spaces of loveableness and spiritual commitment. They criticized coercion in child-marriages and the forceful injunctions of the Hindu scriptures on both married and widowed women. Such rhetoric of quasi empowerment needs to be disaggregated to perpetuate issues of ‘double colonization,’ ‘dual-hold’ in feminism in India. The question is whether there can be any grounds of women’s agency in the Indian tradition. Eurocentric critiques are ill-equipped to politicize all modalities of a culture of social exclusion in Hindu imaginaries. Henceforth, as questions of equality, emancipation, and empowerment are fiercely debated in the public domain in contemporary India, we need to argue how immanent dissenting woman subjectivity can originate to counteract multiple patriarchies formed in Indian immediacies.

Journal

Zeitschrift für Anglistik und Amerikanistikde Gruyter

Published: Mar 28, 2018

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