Woman-as-Symbol: The Intersections of Identity Politics, Gender, and Indian Nationalism

Citation:

Rao, Shakuntala. 1999. “Woman-as-Symbol: The Intersections of Identity Politics, Gender, and Indian Nationalism.” Women’s Studies International Forum 22 (3): 317-28.

Author: Shakuntala Rao

Abstract:

The purpose of this article is to explore the connection between Indian nationalism and gender identity. I provide a critique of Radhakrishnan and Chatterjee's notion of the outer/inner dichotomy of Indian nationalism by stating that religion, in postcolonial India, has emerged as a discursive totality that has subsumed the politics of indigenous or inner identity more so than other rhetoric of caste, tribal, gender, and class. I provide a groundwork for this debate via the writings of Nehru and Gandhi. I conclude, through an analysis of the practices of amniocentesis and Sati, that women and their bodies have been used as representations of the conflicts surrounding national subjectivity.

Topics: Gender, Women, Nationalism, Religion Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 1999

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