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Early Feminists of Colonial India: Sarala Devi Chaudhurani and Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain

 
Bharati Ray (Author)
Synopsis Set against the backdrop of surging nationalism and reform in twentieth century Bengal, this book recounts the lives of two outstanding women—Sarala Devi Chaudhurani and Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain—and compares their work, their approaches and their ideologies. Sarala Devi Chaudhurani belonged to a Hindu—Brahmo community and was related to the nationalist poet—philosopher Rabindranath Tagore. One of the few women graduates of her time, she was perhaps the first woman political leader from Bengal in the nationalist movement. She inspired a robust heroic martial culture amongst the youth, and also founded the first all-India women’s organization in 1910. Born into a well-to-do Muslim conservative family, Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain was denied a formal education, but emerged as a leading writer of her time and founded a school for girls that survives even today. She was a fiery proponent of the independence of women, forcefully attacking the hypocrisies of society. This well-researched study explores the differences and similarities in the perspectives of these two women by tracing their family backgrounds, and the social, political, and cultural influences on their lives. Bharati Ray weaves biography, history, and gender issues together with great dexterity in narrating the story of the lives of two women in colonial Bengal. Scholars of gender studies and social history, and general readers will find here a narrative of great interest.
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About the author

Bharati Ray

Bharati Ray taught History at Calcutta University and was Pro-Vice-Chancellor there from 1988 to 1995. She was Founder-Director of the Women's Studies Research Centre at the university and is currently Honorary Professor and Member, Peace Research Group, Department of History, Calcutta University, and Editorial Fellow of PHISPC. She is a bilingual author and has numerous books, both authored and edited, to her credit. Some of her Pramountcy (1988); Detecting Disadvantages: A Pilot Study of Scheduled Caste Women in Two Districts of West Bengal (1994_; Early Feminists in Colonial Bengal: Sarala Devi Chaudhurani and Begum Rokeya Sakhawat Hassain (2002); Women's Struggle: A History of the All Indian Women's Conference 1927-1990, jointly authored with Aparna Basu (1990-2002); From the Seams of History: Essays on Women in Colonial India, ed.(1995); From Independence toward Freedom: Indian Women Since 1947. co-ed. (1999); Women and Politics: France, India and Russia, ed. (2000) and Politics and Identity in South Asia, jointly edited with David Taylor (2002). She has also compiled and edited two volumes of articles published in the earliest women's journal in Bengal,Bamabodhini Patrika, 1863-1922. She was a Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha), 1996-2002, and a member of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the Empowerment of Women. Married with three children, Bharati Ray is fond of reading, writing, listening to music, watching plays, cooking and travelling. She loves the company of children and is currently President of the Children's Little Theatre, Kolkata.

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Bibliographic information

Title Early Feminists of Colonial India: Sarala Devi Chaudhurani and Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain
Author Bharati Ray
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2002
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 0195656970
length xi+173p., 23cm.