By Anindita Ghosh
This e-book re-examines 'everyday resistance', gender and gear during the lens of women's studies in colonial South Asia. relocating clear of informed and remarkable figures and drawing on various unconventional sources, it finds a story of deep and enduring resistance provided via much less remarkable ladies of their day-by-day lives.
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Additional resources for Behind the Veil: Resistance, Women and the Everyday in Colonial South Asia
They are blessed with equal intelligence and equal rights. ’32 To this advice the heir to the throne replies that he will try to ensure that no injustice will take place against the female sex in future. Thus, by role inversion, women help to clarify problems in their society. The play also extends behavioural options for women when, through formal means, they are able to exercise power and protest against an unjust social order. It is significant that the reversal of roles by women does not entail mimicking men and male conduct in society, but pointing out to men that society can be a harmonious place with both sexes sharing equally the joys and sorrows of life.
When such acts of defiance by women were noticed, their cause was sometimes fought for at higher levels of the administration. T. T. G. Ranade, and Pherozeshah Mehta, who were elite representatives on legislative bodies, were in a position to influence and bring about change in the laws governing urban civic life. They used their influence to mitigate hardship among the lower classes. 61 In many of the instances detailed above it is observable that women of all classes—upper, middle, or lower—resisted the encroachment of their menfolk or/ and the state where they perceived it to be unjust and actively made claims.
An impressive 36 Sandra Rogers, ‘Hindu Widows and Property in Late Nineteenth Century Bombay’, in Gail Pearson and Lenore Manderson (eds), Class, Ideology and Women in Asian Countries (Hong Kong: Asian Studies Monograph Series, 1987). 37 Cited in the Second Reading of the Bill No. 2 of 1885, a Bill to amend Bombay Hereditary Offices Act III of 1874, vol. 24, Bombay Legislative Council Proceedings, hereafter BLCP, 1886, V/9/2802, p. 91 (Oriental and India Office Collections, hereafter OIOC). 38 In the beginning, landed women found loopholes in the law and resorted to adoption or appointed deputies to perform estate-management services.
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