By Anindita Ghosh
This e-book re-examines 'everyday resistance', gender and tool during the lens of women's reports in colonial South Asia. relocating clear of informed and extraordinary figures and drawing on a number unconventional sources, it reveals a story of deep and enduring resistance provided by way of much less remarkable ladies of their day-by-day lives.
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Extra info for Behind the Veil: Resistance, Women and the Everyday in Colonial South Asia
In the early part of nineteenth century, the establishment of colonial courts of law as well as the right to appeal to executive authorities opened a venue for the successful assertion of women’s property rights. 36 And in my work on the emergence of feminism in western India I have demonstrated how the daughters and widows of landed elites (sardars) in the Bombay Presidency appealed against the onslaught of the Watandari Bill (or Bill of Hereditary Offices Act of 1874). By Regulation XVI of 1827, the government had declared that a female could not inherit a watan and further claimed that the ruling was in ‘complete harmony with the feeling of the watandars themselves’37— what we witness here is the happy marriage between various forms of patriarchies, Indian and Victorian, made visible in land-administration policies in nineteenth-century Maharashtra.
The debate between them is conducted at several levels. First, both opponents fall back on scriptural injunctions on the rights and duties of the sexes, and Saraswati Devi ably matches Vikarananda’s learned rendering. For every example he cites—in which women spell doom for men’s path to salvation—she provides ten to the contrary. At another level she compares and contrasts administration in the men’s kingdom to that in the women’s, and demonstrates how inefficient was the former. Here we notice the function of the dystopia (men’s kingdom) versus Utopia (Women’s Kingdom).
70, Comp. no. 174, MSA. , 1st edn. 1882, rpnt 1967), pp. 74–5.