Overview for Pandita Ramabai Through Her Own Words: Selected Works
"The life and work of Pandita Ramabai (1858-1922) is immensely important today for understanding the social reform movement in Maharashtra, and reclaiming India's feminist heritage. Pandita Ramabai's unusual life trajectory carried her from an Orthodox Hindu childhood steeped in Sanskrit learning, to conversion to Christianity during her stay in England, and further to a feminist campaign in the USA to collect funds for a pioneerng residential school for widows in India. Ramabai's significant contribution to the women's cause through this reform initiative and through public lectures and writings has been general eclipsed in the social history of western India, partly because of her proselytizing activities and partly because of a patriarchal backlash. This book presents a selection of Ramabai's writings which cover a wide range of topics, both in original English and in first ever translations from Marathi, and include her internationally known works as well as an unpublished manuscript. A comprehensive introductory essay contextualizes these writings, traces Ramabai's ideological evolution and helps us to reconstruct a more complete and balanced social history of western India. Presenting a nuanced profile of this fascinating woman, Pandita Ramabai Through Her Own Words will be invaluable for scholars, teachers and students of women's studies, history, sociology, and religious studies, both as primary source material and for its analysis."