Signposts: Gender Issues in Post-independence India

Front Cover
Rajeswari Sunder Rajan
Rutgers University Press, 2001 - History - 382 pages

As a newly-independent nation-state, India saw itself as initiating progressive social change, increasing economic prosperity and encouraging the advancement of political ideals. Though the reality has been a vastly different one of struggle, compromise, and the lapse of ideals, there have been some hard-won gains in these areas. Issues of gender have been central to the process of new nation-state formation.

The essays in this volume map the concerns of gender onto the terrain of nation, finding significant connections, disjunctions, and tensions between them. The authors argue that for any cultural analysis to be performed in the context of the decolonized nation-space, gender must take centre stage.

The essays explore gender as a point of crisis in the cultural, social and political space of the nation. They attribute the existence of these crises to conflicts between gender, on the one hand, and family, community and nation on the other. These are then analyzed in terms of female identity, subjectivity and agency within a narrative of historical modernity.

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Virgin Mother Beloved Other
17
Thinking About the New Indian Middle Class
57
Gender Development and the Womens Movement
100
Gendercleansing
125
Gender Caste and Modernity
155
The Impossible Subject
188
Understanding Sirasgaon
205
Cutting to Size
249
Of Victims and Vigilantes
293
The Story of Draupadis Disrobing
332
Mnemosigning
360
Copyright

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About the author (2001)

Rajeswari Sunder Rajan is the author ofReal and Imagined Women: Gender, Culture, and Postcolonialismas well as other books and articles on South Asian gender issues, and feminist and postcolonial theory. She will soon be joining the English faculty at the University of Oxford.

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