Mother India

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University of Michigan Press, 2000 - History - 298 pages
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Mother India, a polemical attack against Indian self-rule written by U.S. historian Katherine Mayo, was met with a storm of controversy when it was published in 1927. The controversy generated still reverberates and thus is still worth revisiting, some fifty years after Indian independence. In responding to Mayo's argument laid out in Mother India, the leaders of the national movement and the independent women's movement in India laid the foundations of an alliance that gave modern Indian nationalism its distinctive character.
Mrinalini's Sinha's edition provides selections of this controversial book and commentary on the Mother India phenomenon. It also reprints a range of responses from Mayo's contemporaries. Sinha's edition works to locate the book and the controversy it incited in the context of U.S. domestic, British Imperial, and Indian nationalist politics. Unlike previous editions, Sinha's examines the history of cultural feminisms and the relations between women's movements in the United States, Britain, and India; the examination of these different movements reveals intriguing insights into the nature of the varied reactions to Mayo's book. The edition includes several formerly obscure contemporary responses to Mother India from representatives of the women's movement and of the anti-caste movement in India.
Intended as a tool for students and teachers alike, this book will be an important text in the field of women's studies, cultural studies, political science, history, and religion, among others.
Mrinalini Sinha is Associate Professor of History, Southern Illinois University. She is the author of Colonial Masculinity: The 'Manly Englishman' and the 'Effeminate Bengali' in the Late Nineteenth Century.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Mother India
63
Foreword
65
PART I
67
The bus to Mandalay
69
The Argument
75
Slave Mentality
81
Marbles and Tops
93
Mr Ganhdi
215
The Sin of the Salvation Army
216
The Sacred Cow
219
The Quality of Mercy
221
In the House of Her Friends
223
Home of Stark Want
224
The Reforms
226
The Princes of India
233

Early to Marry and Early to Die
100
Spades are Spades
107
PART II
117
The Grand Trunk Road
119
The Earthly God
121
Wages of Sin
130
Mother India
137
Behind the Veil
152
Woman the Spinster
161
PART III
175
The Brahman
177
Less that Men
180
Behold a Light
187
Give Me Office or Give Me Death
194
We Both Meant Well
198
Why Is Light Denied?
200
A Counsel of Perfection
207
PART IV
213
PART V
237
Into the North
239
Firebrands to Straw
240
Sons of the Prophet
247
The Holy City
251
The WorldMenace
255
Quacks Whom We Know
259
Psychological Glimpses through the Economic Lens
263
Conclusion
267
Medical Evidence
269
Enfranchisement of Women
271
Select Contemporary Responses to Mother India
275
Miss Mayo AnsweredMuthulakshmi Reddi
276
CorrespondenceWomens Indian Association
287
Extracts from MOTHER INDIA KA JAWAB
290
Extracts from MEYO KUTRU MOYYA POYYA
293
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About the author (2000)

Mrinalini Sinha is Associate Professor of History and Women??'s Studies at Pennsylvania State University. She is the author of Colonial Masculinity: The ???Manly Englishman??? and the ???Effeminate Bengali??? in the Late Nineteenth Century and the editor of Mother India: Selections from the Controversial 1927 Text.

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