Indian Women's Feminist Movements
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This paper discusses the pragmatism of the women's feminist movements in Indian history by presenting the points of view expressed in articles written by four different authors, namely: Suruchi Thapar-Bjorkert's "The Domestic Sphere as a Political Site: A Study of Women in the Indian Nationalist Movement", Carol Hills' "Nationalism and feminism in Late Colonial India: The Rani of the Jhansi regiment 1943-1945", Basu Apama's "Feminism and Nationalism in India, 1917-1947", and Stephen Legg's Gendered Politics and Nationalized Homes: Women and the Anti-Colonial Struggle in India: 1930-47". The analysis and discussion of these articles represents a critical view on the nature of feminism in India during the rise of Indian nationalism during the early and middle parts of the 20th century.
Analysis and Discussion
Analysis and Discussion
From the Paper:"Basu Apama's article "Feminism and Nationalism in India, 1917-1947" dictates the state of feminist movements during a wide range of history, but provides the tenets of the feminist movement that was seen through the rise of Indian nationalism. Apama's argument for feminist liberation resides on the power of Mahatma Gandhi who actively supported the various feminist movements that sought to derail the traditional patriarchal constructs of violence as a form of opposition:
[Gandhi] claimed that women were better than men in waging nonviolent passive resistance because they had greater capacity for self-sacrifice and endurance, were less self seeking, and had moral courage.
This aspect of the women's movement helped to bring many women into the nationalist movement in India, but certainly, the pragmatic aspect of this foundation for feminist involvement only supports a patriarchal construct. One critical view of this feminist" ideology is that women were actively still performing a submissive role that could still deemed submissive to the male roles of aggression and "violence." The basis of a feminist movement in India appears to be validating the aggressive and submissive roles of women, especially when Apama defines women through Gandhi's ideology for being "less self seeking" in their agenda as a women seeking liberation. This begs the question: Were women merely being used as human shields through their typically submissive female roles in Indian nationalism? The pragmatism of Apama's article surely does not answer crucial questions as to how women were being liberated due to the often powerful men that still controlled political and traditional male roles in Indian society. Although feminist movements began to become more organized, the issue of its effectiveness is highly questionable under the policies of Gandhi in this period of history. In this manner, Apama promotes the freedom of women from the bonds of patriarchal institutions, yet there is little evidence that they made advances in reducing the often submissive stereotypes and generalizations made about them by the male donated nationalist movements in Indian history."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Apama, Basu. "Feminism and Nationalism in India, 1917-1947." Journal of Women's History, vol.7, iss.4, Winter 1995: 95-111.
- Hills, Carol. "Nationalism and feminism in Late Colonial India: The Rani of the Jhansi regiment 1943-1945." Modern Asian Studies, vol.27, no.4, 1993: 741-760.
- Legg, Stephen. "Gendered Politics and Nationalized Homes: Women and the Anti-Colonial Struggle in India: 1930-47." Gender, Place, and Culture, vol.10, no.1, 2003: 7-27.
- Thapar-Bjorkert, Suruchi. "The Domestic Sphere as a Political Site: A Study of Women in the Indian Nationalist Movement" Women's International Forum, vol.20, no.4, 1997: 493-504.
Cite this Article Review:
Indian Women's Feminist Movements (2008, April 02) Retrieved September 27, 2022, from https://www.academon.com/article-review/indian-women-feminist-movements-102820/
"Indian Women's Feminist Movements" 02 April 2008. Web. 27 September. 2022. <https://www.academon.com/article-review/indian-women-feminist-movements-102820/>