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The Womens Question in Nineteenth Century India - Research Paper Example

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The question of women and their participation within the question of modernity in colonies is one that leads to more questions than answers. The problems that were created through the interaction of several traditions and the forces of modernity were complicated in a country such as India…
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The Womens Question in Nineteenth Century India
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The Womens Question in Nineteenth Century India

Download file to see previous pages... Here, the social institutions of caste and patriarchy combined leading to the oppression of women in more ways than one. On the other hand, the pressures of modernity that arose from the colonial quarters was something that led to reformers within the Indian society feeling the need for change in the way the society was structured. The burden of this modernizing impulse was then transferred onto the women of the society. This followed, again, a traditional notion of women being the bearers of the honor of a society. This move in the direction of modernization was something that can be seen to be an expose of the chinks in the Indian society and the blindnesses that it was prone to. The reformers often made the mistake of viewing upper caste Hindu society as Indian society, ignoring the members of the lower castes, the Muslims, the Sikhs, Christians and Parsis and so on and so forth. This tendency was due to the privileged position that many of these reformers came from and this clouded the judgement that any of them made in this regard. The writings of many women writers of this era however, posed questions to these movements and made them aware of the need for a reassessment of the problems that pre-colonial traditions posed and the ways that were being employed for the purpose of engaging with them. The complexities of the situation can be assessed from the fact that there was a great deal of differences as far as the hierarchies of caste within the different parts of the country. In Haryana, for instance, as Prem Chowdhry points out, the Jats who were primarily cultivators, held one of the most important positions. They were considered to be as important or more, as the Brahmins and the Rajputs who held higher positions than the cultivators in most other parts of India (Chowdhry 307). This had many implications for the condition of women and the colonizers’ ideas regarding what needed to be done for them. An understanding of this situation requires knowledge of what the economic conditions of the time were in a place like Haryana. The economy was almost entirely dependent upon the agriculture of the place. As a result of this, the position of the cultivators was quite important in the larger scheme of things. Here too, there were certain changes that the role of women underwent as a result of the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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