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Unformatted text preview: viii 1' PREFACE address the question of male sexuality: a sociology of gender is surely » incomplete without the consideration of both masculinity as well as femi- ninity. _ As may be evident from this brief summary of its contents, this collection is a truly interdisciplinary engagement. Though the majority of authors are sociologists/social anthropologists, the volume also draws on contributions from social historians and scholars of politics and law; within armore or IeSs explicitlyfeminist' framework; On' the other hand, the nature'ZOf the-theme hafs itself challenged scholars tel'Ookbéyond the. narrower parameters of .. their own disciplinesaiid to: yentureinto new territories. Thus, no fewer than of the nine sociologists/serial“anthropologists have addressed themselveé’tb historic'al.th¢iaest whilsiaffiumbsr'sf scholars fromiaréas outside legal Studies,'includi'ng"S'everal sociologists, have 'chOSen to focus 011' 'astiéttsi'bff the lésal' 'SY'StEm inlcslbai'al' 'anid .sbntémpofari'. India? Not- withstanding‘this yariety' 0f materials, 'persPectiyes 'andj’disciplincs, the papers'present an unusually. focused contribution to'discussions of the rote “of the amt in the'pr'omotion or social: goals; They also collectiver contri: . bate toproblématisins th: Category. offsqcial reform? from a sender Per: Spective',‘ and'to interrOga'ting thenotions oi maleand'teniale sexualityithat 'idepioyedi in 'Official and "tantra-cream campaigns-for secial reform siliihét'wétsifitfinsis10.ths'r'sonrsfitutiénbf modem indian natio‘nhéod- Unfortunately, owisgfts conSideration-s of space", we Weren'ultimate'lyi'not able” to inelude'in this volume set of. papers on the _genderi_ng',o_f communal discourse, some of _'which'_ha'\'r_e"sin_ce been published elsewhere. __ _ - "i we hisxgr'atéfiifl to? a. mack difihéiViduals and institutions. for their suppdh‘ih‘th’é‘ brfiductionzofthistownie: majority” or papers were originallyrrssdintejd 31.. aI‘PFI‘iITE’QIatF-HY $¢Fhiflérfiéld at: thii‘IHS'titFté 6f Economic Growth, Delhi, in December?i9_93,‘__fsp¢psqréd bathe Indian ' tit-Social Seie'nce Research. We owe particular thanksto Ornita Gorilla Ha'r'shj Scthi, ahd T¢.iéshwsr..8insh..9fSass Publicatiqns (India): who have-"not :only'borne the: process of handling an outsiae scublé issue .of‘ the, warmer behave mptivaéd us: "to . eachiout :19 .an ands-ha beyond. the 'néaow'r' readéfihifi, afiprbtés'sisfial Z was i'ofirha'l- Cénttib'ufibris’jifbmef. CosEtdi‘ttir; 'Raxi‘usthandré .‘Guha "‘hédTehcfifirsséd this initiatiue from the pass 3‘ stage, and AradhyaB waj _hajs_'a'ssijsted at, 1....Stases pf prosficfisialandliprepated the" iadéx: ,Ifistitut’e of Eco- macaw Lh'as 'pforidsd. m‘uéh ap‘i’i'técia'ted infrastff.uc.tdral support gt‘ 0 hour" (we should also than}; _th'elmany_¢911_e'agujes_'whqnliad given _of the! to .391 asilissirssants wheaithé pap'ér‘s'itsté 'firsti'lo'fé'Sentcd, and. 'ésreéii..t0,r¢f¢téé,theffiiialissdtraits-f' " ' " " ' S * ‘ *7-9'ntr0ducti0n: Pmb'smsfisins .sosial - r . Problemafismglsricial; reform: , 1 - 1 r - -.The;history of modern India’s programmeof social reform, as it has'been communicated now to generations of students, is a relatively straightforward ‘ affair-.u-‘It-oonsisted of- two more'or -]ess_-autonomous-movements: (i) the _ fight-against caste and :Untouchability;;and (Ea-the. emancipation- of women, andtit- reached-its apogee; in éagqnu'mber of provisions ,enshrineda'inthe _Constitution:(YE-Independent- lndia;—(1950)~; and'in legislationenacted-there-. 1‘ 3 , after (Chandra . €1990: £115.; 5,: -&.i~*10).:'=._Social 'reformism,-; this received account, is; scen‘as animated: by: the progressive; modern. ideals',;0f< indt: 'jyidualism, egalitarianism. and humanism; as: also .bya- ‘cul'tural nationalist’ - - ' r impulse torrestore the pristine valuesof Indian .civilisation;.- It is especrally . - .valorised gas; :‘:the .- redeeming, : aspect“ of ;-several;-'<modern .religiousureform ' movements,r-~ which : are otherwise" judged; to; have _-_b_een compromised - by A their tendency todivide the-Indian peeple. along communalg-lines (ibid.-).t .. ion women’s issues, the achievement; of social reformismis measured-in termsof a series of legislative.enactments; starting -_with'thellghan-u I .immolatiorr (1829). It. was-deemed merely. :a'.hi'noi?iifilemish,jhistorically . .understandable,-- that the.E early;--initiatives=-a,ona the women’s) question: had been taken largely, try-men; at i-least befdrethe rise ofth'e IndianeWomen-is -Mo..vem_ent inning-{19208;} that the reformers;.belongede<-mostly. to, the-.: upper castes-and emerging elite classes;"and that=the Specific problems of findi'an women as the. ; reformer-s 5- :foregrounded '2 and identified : them ,5 :-were. not general through all strata of- society; and thrdugh: the geographical spread of :India (Chandra 1-990:--chs.r 558C 10).- " : 7" I _} Snuch" reservations notwithstanding, the contemporary textbook account of Indian social- reform: ne'a’tl-y- erases: some‘ of the-awkward Questions-that the; historical record throws: up. For instance, what was thepartmeh’ris'tian missionary enterprise in .instigating-thedemand' for reform and-in writing tits-Specific agenda? Clearly; from their Own self-congratulatory:recordg; the Christian missionaries. played'a- more important-rrole-'ithan-icontémporary- x/ PATRICIA UBEROI accounts now care'ttor-‘concede in identifying target areas of reform and in providing institutional models forreformist emulation, and such efforts Wei-e oaén'ifi sharp? contradiction 't‘d dined imperial policy (c.g., Ballhatchet 1980;,Heims'ath -196_4_:_._;5-_1_,_.—5_4;_3;-Hyam 19905 ch. '8; Oddie 1979). Were the social, religious and political (nationalist) movements of this period all just different facets or emphasesof the same general phenomenon, or were these trends opposed to each other? The historical record suggests both overlap andcontradiction (e.g., Heimsath 1964). Again, should social reform lie-seen as an incremental process of betterment, continuous till the present, or was it, as some historians insist, a very limited and specific phenomenon spanning—at most—-—the century prior to the end of the First World.War? For some writers at least, the historically important question to be addressedis the question of why the momentum for social reform, including (or especially) 0n the woma‘s'question, had flagged by the early decades of this century, to be reactivated only with the advent of a second wave-of international feminism-in. the 19703; These authors'argue that it is 3not'o'oincidence that the dialing of women’s problem paralleled - th_e_-rise'of the nationalist movementon the one hand,'7aii'd"'oftlo'WEELEas'te, peasant and tribal:movementsmofi".themotheriiin"EithEr case; the women’s question was-co—opted to a. larger political project, put "on’hold’ pending . the achievement of: "other objectives" (Chatte'rjee 1995:- chs; 16- 8537;" "Heimsath 1964:-ch. _9§1'Kumar -1989;.‘-Stree ShaktiiSanghatana 1986). __ --'Similarly"erased'in the textbook narrative 'of'cumulative-legislative en- actments on behalf of women is-the question of the efficacy Iof-the-lawr and the. enforcementiagencies-Of the ’state in bringing about changes in basic socialiattitudes and institutions-Indeed, social=_legislation in‘India has been so ineffective On a range of issues that it can only-cast doubt on the sincerity of the lawmakers,-_ who sometimesseem to have been more concerned-to present-a-progresSiveface,:to disarm criticism, and to co-‘opt certain classes to: their-support than. to challenge the existing social order of. gender relations(Dewar-.1978; Nair-[1996: ch; 2; Parashar'1992).s The=issueis obviouSly. one of-great concernifor activists 'in' the women’simt'wem'ent (as for all those involved in the-making of.=social policy),- who have seen their cffortsto promotesocial change through the law- defeatedrgby 'a combination of compromises in the legislature; loopholes in the'drafting' of legislation, an unsympathetic . judiciary and inadequate enforcementé(Nair§1996). Indeed, legislationha's often-had- qnite contraryfresults:to-thOse expressly intended, as, for instance, in the case of recent amendmentsto'the. rape law (Agnes r :.The_se;-' and_o_ther;questions- of emphasis .and interpretation have increas- ingly been opened? out for interrogation—by :.‘-Subaltemist5.'.llistorians- Eseeking ,: to recover: a; noneelite perspective .on modern historical events and processes (e.g'.:=,--;:.Guha‘1981;.- I-Iardiman' 1985), .by human rights activists and-others -alertgtogtheinvasionarys and coercive powers of-the mOdernistate (e:'g'.,' Das terrain; - Problemarising social reform, engaging sexuality, intérrOgating the state! xi 1995}, and by feminist writers in various secial' science disciplines asking new questions 'of the historical'and contempomry record from the perspec. tive of-gender (Hasan 1994; Nail-1996; 'Sang'ari'and Yak-15.19893, etc.) At the ' risk of appearing ehurliSh', in worse; of ' appearing togjendorse or condone-the pernicious social practices and forms of violence'agamst Women that the r'efOMS had endeavoured to eliminate (Uberoi 1993:251), 'the'la'tter' have sought to prOduce a more complex and textured-view Of the - precesses of seeial'te'form‘, related in many cases to the evolving. dilemmas 'driébfiiéifif“ ary feminist political practice (e.gL,' Gandhi and Shah 1992; Kafiiii‘ Cossman1996)T'Néiih'ér'mecontemporary textbook account of social reformism',‘ summarised (not tosay'; parodied) above, nor the imperial . self-j'nstificatory account to which thisis itself a defensive reaction, sinvive ' this-critical scrutiny, which has rendered past certainties:increasingly un- _. The present volumeessentiallyicontinues this-collective critical endeavour, at once expanding the range of issues addressed, and narrowing the focus on: some of the relatively'_well-stndied issues (such as the age of marriage and age of: consent controversies) to-the minutest detail_.__The result is; not, and surely'cannot hope to be, an alternative-fSynoptic_'-account of Indian social reform from a gender-Sensitive perspectiveThis is a task which lies still farraliead. 'But it‘ 'can' certainly; hope to generateaffurther set' of fra'gments'fo'r' Composition into a more complexjriew picture. _ __ '_ i - Why W9men?'~' - ' it may appear obvious, butfin'lfact is 'noti'so,‘3that questions concerning Women should be So central to the social reform agenda, as well as. to the various ‘ppmgityjhjselftrespectland social uplift m0vements'0f-m'odern'times. Clearly, Indian'WOme'n hatefiééfi" subject to man-37551133 and inmsititfitibilal= ised formsfof violence, often sanctioned byreligio'us beliefl'and custom, and the persistence of these practices into modernttimes (sati); their exacerbanon . :. ‘- . "T’"N"L‘—""".-'r .":"' "' -. ‘I I ' ' I “T'— I ses (dowry, purdah, the systematic-neglect of female Ic‘lir ten) transtori'nation' into new forms: ofi‘viOIence land. enigp’lgi‘tation Wammmnwu—ans “diam—WWWm—unmmm (doWry murder; femalefifi'fifiej-me genuine cause for alarm. " ‘ ' - -But a close readinglof-so'cial'reform'idebates*'reveals= that thingsare.'not eitactly as they seem; or rather; that supposedly philanthropic concern for the condition of women" has not been entirelyi'motivated by abstract prin- ciples of humanitarianism; Recent scholarly attention to'_-the:_speci__fic'argu- .ments advanced for-='and against'reforms, to the-authorities appealed to m Ithwegourse‘of the' reformidebates, and to’the gender stereotypes invoked has 'shown large areas-bf“ agreement .betWeen different,‘-' and opposed, positions'(e.g.,'-Man_i 1989: esp;"pp=.-109—18).-'- -- Even more to the point, close attention to the rhetoric of social reformist discourse‘has- disclosed the-extent to Which, in the modern period, the xiii PATRICIA UBEROI_ _‘women’s question’. .has become part. of __a quite. different political agenda, being central to constructionsoi selfhood and projections]of;_othei‘ness, notably inthe context of the rise of nationalism. Thus the _image.._of the opp ressed non-Western womandhe willing or: of / practices such as sati, foot-binding 0r._feinale circumcision (and-these issues reverberate still in feminist writings [e._ g. ,. Daly 1978]), has served a gargei: ' . I i i . \. Qfmthfl...imil§ifiié!l.S’BEEEEEC- In reverse and refiafiéfiithé‘figfifif‘fiffiéEma-n g4)"; ~ “ woman in.nationalist discourse has beeninvested with.positive. value 3.5. the s0. ‘ Symbol of aim-covered Indian (or'Hindu).traditi_on.gChakraVafli 1939).-3nd mwmmnmmm... M“ V -wmmflw .:__ .. her place in .the home valorised_.as"fthefispaee.‘3f"uncontaminated purity (Chatteriee.1995;_ch. .6; .Sangari and ,Vaid 198%; Sarkar_1992). Deployed inthis wayiias victim, or as culturalheroine, the_.:woman becomes merely the site on which larger political claims are made and contested—on behalf of the nation as a whole. orin the. context of communal, caste oriregional - andwhiCh pitted frefonners’. against both-‘traditionalists’: and fnatioiialists,’, illustrates not. only the ongoing. process. of- the :hegenionisatioii of Hindu law in a Brahminic'ai/Sanskritic mode, but a contest ove “H ' is the proper authority to adjudicate questionsreiatiiiggtéfife _ and__ohligfiii§njsfjgf::§:womanilfiii‘ihe'e‘nd, one is teiiiist‘éa'ia agree with. the commentof RaklnnaIEaifs friend midiqonadaptetpagaita Ramabai, that the outcome ofit‘his'ease bore testimony toa pact. between Britishand Indian men against the women of India!) . ._ __ . ._ . _. - ._ _ fI‘he iconicisationof women assymbols of nation and- community is .taken :up also by Maitrayee Chaudhuri; in her paper in this volume, an analysis of _the_F_irst PlanDocumentfor Women: prepared bythe Nationa1._;Pla_nning Committee {of the Congress in:1938 in anticipation ofthe responsibilitics of Estatehoodi Here we have.-a=docui_nent,_riven through. with the. contradictions of its agefbetween soci_aiist_-and.:liberal models of nation-building, between nationalist; pride. and admiration- .for-foreignmodels, between secular- and religious _values,.1-etc.-:—wi_th.-women__constructed. alternately as productive workers contributing to. the building ofganewiiation, .as victims of super- stition; and-:opprcss'ion, especiallywithin the family, and as emblems of; the national- cuiture and the; bearers-par; excellence; of itsitieals: This pathbreaking .document-tie:clearly-the; progenitor; of..-t.hp.-:197.5.;.report .ong-sthe- .statiis .- of t .1; I- at they-dawn- of independence looks at the negotiation of models of modern Indian masculinity and ‘ fungh'pn as an affirmationgin‘nrow an superiorityand a.ju_s_ti_ficati0n I ind; staining}? context Dispel Problematising social reform, engaging sexuality, interrogating the state] x111 ' ' ' ’ I he cinematic narrative -. immt .m Mehboothan s Andaz (1949). Heret __ __ traditiohal masculine authority (fatherlhusband) over thewotiian an especially harsh manner, affirming her role asmotherbut punishing .her for. flirting at once with an alien lifestyle'and another; man; However, through the figure of the comic and in scenes of fantasy and transgression involving the woman, the film gives brief glimpses _of an alternative modern female-Subjectivity, ultimately repressed. ; -. . . ' - The-deportment of the'modern Indian woman eontinnes _to;_be anim- portant focus. of public attention, anxiety freawakenednow- by globalised lifestylesand the challenges of diaspora But the primary. site, for the Mmim-w. iconicisation of women as emblems of culture and tradition Ewniempgrm mmmmW‘MM—mm w.w.,..,,.\...s;m.~..__._m_..m .,.... My . M. .mmewm,‘ . oliticse-particularly the,HinduvMusliniwguestipn. While .t/jiaii‘r‘éf‘é' _ diitififstpaperidoes .t 'flwuvnwumerm WM. m W :problematise theequation of women/nationfi-Iinduism (a theme addressed in several other papersthatiultimately could not be included in, this voiume), regrettablythere isfno attention here to thequestionthat has-dominated public discourse since. the Shah Bano case of 1985—ii6'and thaws central to ongoing debates on the. questionof a Uniform Civil_.C:ode_T_that, is, the Jtrope _of the minority woman as the fvictim’ of the men of her communityia ' an; Winona—r" :majoritarian proj_ect_ion);,‘ Drasthe signifiei'qof a community. Siegle :(from'the viewpoint3 of.the._iiiinority). (Kalpana Ram’s paper: while it deals .with a minority.communityhTamil catholics, andtheigatholic priesthood s “role inf-modernising?:their. parishoners’. attitudes to sexuality, invokes Ia Limit ite'gionai, more. than a.Cathol_ic minority,.identity.).F01'tunately, this issue hasbeenvery amply and ably addressed elsewhere _(e.g._,-Das 1995: 94—107,; .Dhagamwar. 1989, .1992;_Hasan 199.4; Kapuriand Gasman-1996; sch ." Gift-trashy 211992), Here .we. needmerelyaeknowledge the generality of the fact thatwdmen, andfthe relations ofthesexes,are-typically central to the operation of.identityépoliticsfithe. construction of selfhoodrand__.the projectioii of.'otherness¥rr-whcther. at the level of caster ciass, community, _ region or nation; and. that, in theprocess, .thc-ptoblcms and needs .of-re'al Women, tend: to.» recedc into the. . background (Pathak. and .'_S__i_.1_iid'er_-.Rajan .19389)t.'q1"hat stereotypesalso haveaswtual dimension is- an issue-that .Wc. Wilttilsetup below .. . Whine: men? I _ Again it would obvious,- : apparently ; is not, that. anadequate sociology of gender should attend both to women and” femininity and to _ men and masculinity. As it happens, for reasons onwhich one can only speculate butwhich are surely connected with the sexual politics of know! ledge, masculinity. has rarely come under..explicit focusexcept, recentiy, in the co at of theWe's'tern :‘gayismovement’s challenge to conventional masciiline relekexpectationsl Though the ethnography of masculinlty in the Indian context is remarkably sparse, aside from the contributions of le/ PATRICIA UBER'OI Nandy’s influential analysis (1983) of the mutually- anon of masculinity in'late'_ 19th century-India and results in both). " ' ' ‘ ' --' "“ Mrinalini Sinha paints a slight] study, Colonial Conditioning -_;énégofi'- ' I y more complex 'pictnre in' her rECent masculinity (1995), showing how theieoionialoonstfnotiml , of the manly_Englishman’ versus the ‘effemiaate 'Befi'gali’ - 9 3.9%; (With mam? s37 Prbblematising social reform, engaging sexualng interrogating the state] xv- r women?’,. ‘Why not men?’-§’7~but_la_lso_a scepticismregard- imo ’b hmduifioms gAs in-the classic ‘whodunit? detective. novel, .t—t-fé,¢_solution:rliesf‘iii‘rfloiibting alibis on the: one hand ,(a careful deconstructionoftex'tual evidence), and on :the other in askingthe vital material question, who gains? As many caserstudics have .now- demonstrated refoms expresle directed towardswigigroxing women’s lot have often benefitedmthgumeo macemEdWrunohremthfian the women. Particularly suspect in this regard:are”'fhé”iii'fé‘fiientiofis tor‘erfo—fifi"matri- lineal institutions, which have been_._extensiveiy investigated (e.g.-, Agarwal 1994: ch. 4; Arunima 1993; Nair" 1996: 150—63; Nongbri 1988), and to suppress temple dedication and other traditionallyinstitutionalised forms of ‘prostitutioinimair 1923; Srinivasan_198_8)._ ' I I ' '_ 5 Similarly, state..-.Support for, indeed-encouragement of. ..various sustomam law. arrangements;._f_riight actually serve the materialinterestsofzmen to mg” disadvantage of_;\_iron1_en. was the _case,_' for . instanoe; with the, institiir; tionotthe levitate-ainongthe agriqulturaicastes of northwest India; In her, ' paper-in} this Volume..- continuing -:_he_r earlier work-Ion: the saniefth'eine (Chowdhry 1989.. .1994); Pram Chowth shows howipeasant Widows 'in this region attempted to resist the" custom of levitate, "especially-where it. required. the 1 forfeit of theirnsnfruct rights over their.:'dead husband’s orbpefty: .fiaziy of: them.) Siniplyl 'pieferred to. admit. -. td_3-imm9.rai liaisons. (Mimi) outsidé-iiéiaifiassr whéfllémith or with unrelated men.. ._ _. ._ ' . 7.. I In many cases through199.colonialipe_ri9si;ithé,‘writifis? of customary law and its '_Ffixing_’_ throngh caselawprecedentjresultedhithe' curtailing of Women’s. freedom andxproperty reworking of customary law-in. accordance withghom S‘anskritic': measuresof ritual status and ;.Western middleeclaiss nudist-standings of ._‘i_i1_oral_ity.’ paralleled, the .eonenrrent hege- rnonisatio'n of Hinde'personal law-=_(see, _fo_1:'.ins_tanee,.Nair 199$: oh. Yeena Poohacha’s-study, here,.on changes in; Cdbrg customary‘lafif priortof and during the colonial period is _ a good illustration _'of this .pgocje'sspf‘ the gradual réstfietiogof-WOmen’s options in the course Of theQreconStit'ntion of A number of_._r_eeent1 Studies havealso demonstratedthatu'refofim and iigggey ons,1ostensg_ihlyl;jgeantto aid _women,¥hav_e rfiflt¢fifi§fifififf gflggw ,t I, _ the-olififlssioiifby.tfiéfihsifiiii‘iéiifélififis dishware; $54129an'thegnaiésslissssHawaiians name; "Pf-1:99 7:999:97 and: rehabilitfiifiH‘oWhe..womsn abducted “Ii-WEB 931019193! Vgéna D98 and. others (1.3931995- ' 11.; 3;;Buta.1ia. 2192';~Z;;1&l3299,.n__ chéiSi‘ii-fl1'993liis a are'i w M entionsfitoeoxiitrol venereal diseas‘JesffBallhat: chet.1980):'andlatterljiglfigbortq 7 othersocial Problemsiihésé,basi9 muss-"15.19! be. more afiéxplfiiffitws 909151 ,andcwnomic order. than the mor_al;.tarpitude. ofindiyidnals,Janaki‘Nairjs aeoOunt (this. , Problematising. social reform, engaging sexuality, interrogating the 'state/ xvii 'f terrain','biit at least it.can,,’first, privilege'the issue of seXuality,’ and second, offer same further fragments towards-a more complete'ipicturef , - : In'an early andextremely influential comparative'=essay' on’ the sytnbol- - is'atio'n of female-puberty rites in south India and .Ceylon:(Sri-Lanka), Nur‘: ‘ __ -' g , II . . . . . . Yalrnan (1963) had interpreted these rites as' complementary'to the Brah— _ . " Engaging sexuality " .: '-I'-:.:.:::.. -» a . ‘2 . _ riij'nical practice of pie-pube'r'tal‘marria'ge', Beth" types'of rites symbolically ' " ' ‘ " ' " - - ' - ' ensuring the ‘purity’ of women through harnessing their emergingJSexuality- in caste-appropriate marriage. After all, the very existence of the institution of caste is dependent on guarding-thewo'men ofea'chicaste group against _. u ._ ,. . __ _ _ . c'ontainiriatiqn'by men of lovirer ritua1"statu'§,'-thus maintaining the'boundé ' fl 7 7 ‘_ ’ W ‘zgexfiafifygmvé-r the: -_ dries of the‘eiido'gamous. group'on the one hand',‘ andtliecaste’s hierarchical dfifflgflfiflmgfiwww fiffilfifif relatio'hrsififia; ‘ f; _ ranking in the order of castes onthe' ether."Sh'ari'ng_ thiscommon function; " ' ' " ' " "‘- * the various ritual practices and marriage customsofdifferent communities » I"fil'fifactfiéififijzéartanthe. - also function as the diacritical markersof' the community’s ritiial'st'atus ‘fgfifi'figfi‘éfg‘fifigWembeifig; a‘nd: such that enhancement of caste status: Charaeteristically:inVoIves the emu? r. . - _ ' ‘ - 1' ' ' " f; . I: lation by lower castes of the practices Of the rippercastes '(SriniVas. .1984). or perhaps not’su'tprisingly; Indian social science tended" ' -' Theconcep'tual link betweeri"'the social order of 'caste'and the conduct of ,i _ _ _ I I _ ' 'expliCit 'acknoivledg'ernent :of {this Well¥testified factiof hijbfy’: J: Women is particularly clear in'~Uma Chakravarti’s-paper on the pre_'-eolonial' notwrthstanding the'groWing literature“ on colonial" sexualities" of i :5" I PeShwa regimel'in’westem India-"She Shows-how- thé moral and P'Oilitiéh‘l' ropendioussynopsis of the sexual opponunjsm of 6111mm i355; 3 if: legitimacy‘ofPeshwa rule'Was intimately'connected _with-the‘-enforcement ' ' ' ' ' ;' . ass Mfissé:1985;‘Patkérlet“al_ of _'a ‘gender code", differentially for ripper and lOwe'r castes, and'With' ..ers,.. fin.ng fiamarchvEE a Systéh} : paqicular emphasis on the correct sexual department of 'Bra'hmin women. ‘ "' " " i ' - - - - ‘ - = Certain secial' practices relating to women‘(ton'sure“and continent widow- h‘oOd, for instance) Were-regarded asthe prerogative of_ upper castes-Jan'd . strictIyTenforced (in-their Women at the-risk of outcasting. The Peshwa state ‘ _ both endorsed community controls-overfthe conduct 'of"_women 'o'f'all castes, and intervened if necessary to' maintain thehierarchiCal'5order of castes by preventing aspiring=ldwercaste groups fret-n emulatingiBrahniinical' Customs: - - a s It - _. ‘ -: .'r - .- ,' _ "' Apart fromits detailing‘of the intersection of gender and caste hierarchy I {he fieg'je-mOhis'ati-Onfbf sexual ' ' through the different“ bodes-er conduct enforced'on'higher- and lower-easte- 6ri_an 'nfiddleiglas‘simaags‘;:fithw-Consflq-uem; _ wonien, 'Chal-(ravarti’s paper is '- interesting for its attempt -- to engage'critically How'is' Sexuality'réfidéfed'Iih'éciefififiét '1' a the role-Lofzthe pre-colonial--'state‘in= enforcing 'gender'norms'and ' " ' ' " WWW“ ” ‘ monitoring the relations of _'t he'sexes.'This-is irriportant iii-"the'light’of' the (24., assemption in many-icontlempOraryWritings that]: the p'reseigjgmggffllndian women are largely attn utable to tHWEETIWEEEe of'eoloinial‘pétriarchy' bommzxafigfiffifiafiéwefih t dltiafiarrgerrfiilés: Clea-"fly . ._.._...u——-.-._.uw.._a. _h “MW, “mm—m...“- - Mn“,me - the-interrogation of-tl'ie'f gender politicsofipre-colonial states, 'as Well fas-o'f the erstwhile princelystates'Of'pre-Independen'ce.il_ndiafi(see‘Nair 1993 and this "Volume);'-’will contribute to. the building ‘of a.“ more complex picture; suggesting b’o‘tlii-cominuit'y'and'iuptureingender'relationSE" ' ' eradieaite;_sfipersti ‘ scrence and, interestingly, 9 pith: Tamil lite. “one Not unexpectedly 1""ng and sexRainy-and. to the. a.u.th9,riftypffl..thé;ghu';¢h,.,of far-YE cal-191:1: aFQIbFQflght together Problemanls'ing social .-refo.nn, engaging sexuality, interrogating thesth l-xix to. endorse _a reformed; sexuality within _ monogamous. marriage, and? 19 affirrri the importance of. motherhood. Once one finds. that sexuality. as mere desire is. .contrastedjiwith :a highertfom; of seruality, thatwhichis subérdinated-'t0 conjugal dutY-énsl geared t9.-the',shar¢d E¢$P9n§ibilities of pecan.qu (cf- Ward-.1994)! — ~ - Theories regarding-the meetiifiigpf vireiriityy-tfié lspéci’éilettfibttésl'éf qenjggel_,s_exualiw, and the, relationship betweensexuality. andrprecreetivity: (differentlyfor each 'sex} are explored further in my own paper.1 on_§‘gvery:._ different universe of discoursmoritemporaryE‘.j_udicia_l:.pontifications: in ' shitt'fbfi nullity and divorce-"While..explicitiyfiddressing. themseliés deciding between principlesof fsacrarnent’ and fcqntra_c17 as the :basis of. the _ cohiuga‘ltrclation, and applying .thél'aw accordingly, judges actually bring ii'itii 3-way . .3. Set Lot gender .'-$Qt¢r.edtypes . and; theories. of. male and female ; sékufility athat' soméfifnesepdbrse; but also .seméfimes contradict} the .,a¢t|tal,-. prefisioiis of the Aflgb-Hindu statute muggy i , ‘ 1_. 2.: .' ;,This. is perhaps the pointed Whidi. to méfiftion 'thmhe State’s engagement. ‘ With sexuality is” expressed-mosttransparently audiméét warm in the. definitien of hermai and-tinnatdralnsemalit .aiid' inithe tégulation.;an¢ Pfiflish'rficnt offséxual .dcriéncéféndséxual .wol'crm. '(e-g-f, Smart find, fifilafi. ' 1978:1934). Am Dhmdh’spaperrmis 'volmne) ,on Of psychiatry. and .the law mignailtly.demoiIStmwSIfhegender-diScfiminatQIY and. “bear-restrictive Ways inuwhifihftfie, state’s bééfcive Powers 3:6 ékpei‘iz enced by persons diagnosed 'as' legally igsage'pn the; ialithorityoff-irioderh' psychiatric medicine, and the degree to inhieli'gende'réi'nappropriate behavL iour invites the label of-insanity. The_:st§1te’s interest in defining the limits of legitimate sexuality, in upholdingof propriety and in punishing deviance is illustrated, if 'sorrerlitit iiitiiréctly; irii‘the dialectic of customary law and Anglo-Hindu lawtdcscfibed in 5%:an tbspapers in this. volume. (Chaim: new: P66.na¢ha).;' fhél.'¢1i1st6fiiaé*y'.law' piovidmg legifimét6%+.. if restricted and agitated—spaces for'tlifterenc_e'and 'deViationi'HOWWer; it mo'st'be conceded that the papers ‘in indium-e" address riot-mal _ normatii'e sexuality much: more theiri 3 deviance. 'a'rid‘: criminality; ' and tli‘e senSitiVe'area' cf “sexual choice’ "‘(lc'esltii'aiii’‘srr‘n'ien'dE hthSex_uafitjk) is left I completely unadtlressed. Clearly the theme of socialj‘co'ntrol éifi'd sexual denier-ice, explored from 'a'Igeh'der-sefisitive'Iperspectiiie, isone 'sho'uld cdfiimafid‘gr'eaiér'attemion' i'n' mute: *At firestefit’, antiquite understandably; iti'is‘especiélly'th'e area" of seknél violence; fihérejWQmeh are con'sttilcted__es" viCtim rather tha'njjas; idéis'i'riiig' subjects; that is the: feeds of most'_ Scholarly '_ attention; ‘Wdifiefi"s‘“fiétimfihb s‘*"c'1é'ar1y" a’ifi‘driefijjaliticaily acceptable ‘Ai-r‘ne'jfir pre‘eécupanidribr mil-ch’cofiten‘lporery‘socialisciencef \t’rriting on 1 sexuality is the: i‘s‘s'ue- 6t ‘control’: the" state‘s iéb‘n‘t'iolibver 'm'ale' ’a'zid fe'm'ale' ’ seXfiélity-and'the" periafiéétiofi‘bf dEVier-lce',‘ the-community’s cdfitrol' over" the sexualityE Worried: its é" bofihdaryimaiht'ehfince“ device ,' 'arid ' men’s _ xx! PATRICIA UBEROI." - ' - control over women’s. sexuality‘as' an aspect of patriarchal family structure.- already'noted,‘ the seen-at "domination'o'f'meiiiovergivome'n tends to" becoifie 'a metaphor'for all relationshi ' cula'rly in the context or-éoidni'éi rule '(Pandiari, thisvolu ‘ ' ' _ ' I evidently, and "mainly, aggressive-and- "female sexuality'passive ands‘iibjecr, and that-an unambiguous masculine semi-identity “beexpressed’ through domination " ‘ . -' Jos'ep "Alter’ys‘paperion north radian‘wgéiiiihg‘describes‘a' discipline in' . . .. . . byfighmonjws bflafidé. nie'.jof_diet',-“vigorOus garage and _ ’ _ _ ‘ (brahiiiirchaiyn), Idirciec't'ed'not to eont'rol'OVeif'Iotht-Lrs but to'ggifigcamroz as the‘liighest goal (chimney :1983;';I_J_beroi _1995)_;'--Th5i“ m'is'.?ide'§ra§?$n ‘ H "society it"‘viiiiieraeiéfills-"carrdsidnjin a' ' ‘ piis’ii‘éandfis; beside the point. jWhétjwe or scanty, ' ‘ T'fl??"—‘q\no.no._ .W .. unset this headhas already stat!) tactintcrrogatiag the role-ems Stats from.th pe'tspsstiie. at gender has been primary-sheave. stills “Elaine (see Preface) ’ ' " ' ' ' ' ' The} Iqatsfidn at' inns;.uulliéfi...i$..9aé .béihi. theoretiséi ‘ and-'p'réaiea humiliate lean-mated Walt-Particularsigenci aseintenatxia seats!!!- Porafy sender], studies, hilt. --.iS._l§1¢¥afli in, avert context - wherei- academic -Pr.e<¥ti9els5°°ial max eamngage on theorieihaiid; PS idf"dOfififiafiofiesubjectionépam; :1 mic)- The assu‘n'ip': Problemaalsing social refonn, engaging sexuality, interrogating the state] xxi.. nature cannotdo otherwise. The only questions at issueare (i) the extent “a, ‘ I n n f/ I to-which the state depends on-socialrconsensus achieved through ideological control rather than on sheer coercion; and (ii) itsdegree o: ‘autonogga from the immediate intereSts of the classes that. constitute. _t e gunlgfd for. naming elites, on behalf 'of its wider claims to legitimacyhan 1 and 2]) support (for a helpful review, see Chandhoke [1995. esp. c s. t asfin .. These contrasting 'theories:of the nature of. the. state have: con rdircég: practical implications, too. Thus, while-some activrsts continued: t to their efforts towards the statHemandmg new legislation, amen 61;]? rs existing-laws, heavier-penalties, more effective enforcement, etc.-—o e xp al the pattefi‘inirméé. ..déd,,bdhfi01 and .memance' of‘a passive citizenry: They insist'on the contrary thatthe only tenant-sf1 '15 I the strengtheningof-vigorous and-vigilant democratisuig movements wit in- . the civil. society. This brings. us to the other-side of the problem of the state, a r 3 that is the- question of-the‘role and: nature of civil society, 31nd of relationshipwith the'state. Interpreting'the history of modem In an 15:96:18 reform in- its gender dimensions impliesan addressto.“ the-segues to J,- 7' licitl or'ex licitl . .. -' ' - . . . filfihzegalpggs in glis volEme, ind-the-wider literature on socialreform sexuality that wehave drawn onin this introductory .essay,.re1:lresenthe range of:theoretical- positions on the state, on eiVil-soc1ety,.an .on- ' dialectic of their interrelationship. These. positions are sometimes expliCitly. stated (e.g., Menong. Ran-1;: .Whitehead), but‘ are mostly: implic1t in the; scholars’ identification of the problem-to be addressed, and the nature 0 that address.- Thus, notwithstanding the concerted on issues of gendfr. and sexuality in this volume, there is no homogeneity of theory on tlfie s; t: and civil society considered in the context of gender relations; nor, or. a matter (and the two are related) can it‘be\said:thatl th/efpapers express a single ‘feminism’r - . OJg/g‘} l” W cm ti“ As already noted, many of the writingsmonm'lndiansocial reform assume that social. reform been-Essentin st are? “Weed-11,; successive. and continuing""'act§"‘of progresstve legislatr I ._The.. histtgry. of. reform on women’s iSSUes is often rendered in this way, posmg a-num er 0 " problems from agender perspective regarding the real motivationsbehind legislative reformthat is so often gender—biased, unenforced or-unenf-orcee .ionI_-‘. .3 . ._ .. '_ abfisgifi‘izing ,th)at.thei.- state is a major playergin-Tibeenterpnse.of social reform, several papers in this-volume have focused on the legal systensas: the branch of . government that needs serious interrogation from. aged er,- sensitive- perspective. There are papersconcerning the gender-implications of the codification of customary law and .its appropriation within-,statutef law, on the dynamics of the legislativeprocess, on the gender. biases .o ACME} ; air/‘2 - MW“) nil/PATRICIA UBEROI ' -' stereotypes brought into dispute: tcomes of. application .of: the - law. hunting restrictions, etc.—'_—some‘of ras ‘gender’ issues.-'- ' ' _ _ bortion on grounds and: the demand that‘the bodily. autonomy-and that eWCise madam medicallsystem and.“ ‘ n- issue which'this ,1 though Judy Whitehead’s : paper- gr‘the ‘Sarda’ A e'-of Marria erB‘ll - - " ' ' these later-developments; " -' 'lé-flvnnupatory .Of priests take on the. state’s enlighten flShIl‘lg community’s a the. community’s educ collabdratirig.='wit_h an :~_ _ 7 ment mission to reform a backward preach to‘=conjugality, TesSays- Hahn-31994): 'In either instance the he religious leadership andwith patriarCh'al .7.W,_.,...MY_ 7W, _ H r against: the interests of- 'Ininority_.‘-women; ‘- dmg 'ofa’social reform; 'other"--_write'rs- have "E.the..-regulation Of=sexuality,iauthors have sometimes applauded,sand some- 06?! / . 0/ ca; ' ' the former. in this collection is-that of the elimination. of=Kuliii€Brahmin l Probléinanlsing sacial reform, engaging sexuality, interrogating-the. statelxxiii :spciety-(Heimsath-‘1964),' independent of, or: even'contra‘, a more or-le'ss :reluctant'state. As with writings on the roleof the state in social reformand .:tiI_Iies condemned; reformist initiatives from within civil societyi-s-An-cxample - ~ polygamy in Bengal at the close of the 19th century as a result of the efforts of social. reformers within the community, endorsed by the hon-me personal k 3 narratives of Kulin women (Malavika Karlekar).- In this case, state inter- vention to suppress the customwas? no't'required (polygamy was outlawed among Hindus only in 1956'): the community successfully accomplished its own self-reform. . . - _ ,.The.eljmi_nation'of Kuhn-polygamywould appear to been eminently JSucce‘ssful ease of‘co'mmunity self-refprm tome-benefit 'ofwom'en; just as, in mm“: the. colonial state’s 'Supfifcssiéfi'of fémalé ififanfiéidéé‘aasv 3.1.1 unusual example (if the state’s seccessfulinteryention‘to a'pernié cious social practice, albeitthroughquite illiberalmeans-(Baxi 198.6:43; , Nair 19965 84-»89). But it: is ‘clearthat-inimany cases social- reformiactififies \a militia ‘ wnitlmfiiiissa ‘,P%¥L9statlxnifiithé “We” “will? 7' a . . . _ I . .. . . : 'é'e’ii'EiféHiiifiTT‘rTéEéfi. freformf._of matiilinCal institutions and the custom of .‘temple dedication". In fact, many writers see thefmamil‘fi the mun y-and the contemporary centinuity-with the qciISii-iai smiley-assess. ally ;_patri-'\ sc'fidsr. issues: somewhat after. thafimmes déscfibcd here byUmafCfifaK'raiKaffi.intestine tfoithe preriielbnial- Beshwaistatq (st-gig 'Agarwal 1988; 'HaSan 1994; .I‘Kosambitthis: _Vol_ll_me;_..:Sangari,and vaid 1989b).. . .- i - .» - -. -. ;- ' 7- _ . a; - Thus, privileging the concept of civil society againstithestate does not in met dissolve the problem‘of the duality of thestate. It merely displaces it to 'a new site, the civil-society, movements‘of:sodal'reformm the area ofsexualityand' gender relations may, bemothrrepress‘ive emancipatorylfl where apparently progres'sive social or relig‘loiis'”ifiovemi.énts maybe quite retrogreSsive' on gender issues", and where otherwise conservative- move- ments may Offer important spaces for-womenfs":enereise:_'0f . The essays inthis volume do'not. provide'final'aaswefifé thé-PrtibIGme "Vitrhe dialectig gf civil so'giety .'the state through-the. lénSOfL'gendet justice. But, as densely empirical case studies of a variety ofrinstances of social reform and of self-reform, of- community and state control of sexuality and of the ideal of individualself-control, they provide‘furtlier' towards . that coil.99¢iv.¢..proi9¢ti'truerswagger 'thatiithsoiie-stéf icivir sheer aid.” the state'must seriously-attend to gender._issues,i'and:; not simply-to the heady empirical phenomenon of the-women’s movement- as an: instanceof 3a-‘-new sOcialzmovement’.- Gender is a-‘principle that cross-cuts other prin- ciples_of social grouping and hierarchy, and itsmeorporation"into'political / ,f U '15} J .-xxiv I PATRICIA Unnnor theory may well be productive of new insights in that domain. Conversely, bnngmg central issues of political and social theory more directly into gender studies; both mediated by and-"independently of the insights of' Contemporary feminist theory (as, for example,- MacKinnon .1989), might reverse the..marginalisation'.and :‘ghettoisation'.-that alwaysthreaten this endeavour.- . ..- _AGARWAL, BINA.‘"1988. Patriarchy and'the-Fmodernizing’ state: An-introduction. In Bina .: _ Agar-we], ed.,.Strnctures. of patriarchy: State: community and household in modernizing _, a: rises, pp.:1728.‘New_Delh_i: Kaliforwomenw I I .. . I I II I I - 1994;;41'fietd of one's own‘ Gender in.in land ago in SoathIAIsio CamI ' IigawbndgeUniveISilYPressfi I II 'I‘ ‘ III ' " I I' gs Aonns‘, Fut'vm. 1992. Protecting women'aga'inst'violence? Review of a decade of legislation, 1980-89; Economic and political weekly.2_'l,‘11::WSl9—30.- 'I ' ‘ 'I ' :. ARDNIMA,‘ G. 1993. Multiple meanings: Changing conceptions of matrilineai kinship in 19th r and; century Malabar. 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The Hindu wife arid the Hindu nation: Domesticin and nationalism in nineteenth century Bengal. Studies in history 8. 2: 213—35. xx‘i’i/‘PATRICiA UHEROI' - Bengali’ in {the late nineteenth cert : sM-ml, 'c. 'andiB. s‘mér.”1978.=wamen. Sam-was; NLN. 19845-Sonie reflebiiohsI'an'-Haii5ry£':_Delhi: Qxfdrd UriiVérsity Press)" = 3" SRINIVASAN. AMRI-r. I988; Refqrm or confonnitj'r: Temple prdétitqtidn ahd' the‘cor'n'munity in w' the :Madras"Piééidénpyéfli:‘BiliaiAgai‘wal; ed; Structure; ofpiztiidrchy.‘"Statejcbmniuh'ior ' - afidhouiehozd-‘in fiibderniz'iilg'I'Asia, mar-97415. Néw' Delhi: Kali '-for Women. STREE SHAKTI SANGHATANA. 1986. We were making history . . . Life'hbidi'y of Women in ' thé'Teieng'a'na People’s Srru'ggle.‘-New Delhiz'K‘éli for Wémén'.‘ ' ' " ‘ 'i TURNER; BRYAN. 1984. The body and society: Explorations inmcial-théory.’03ifofd: Basil UBEROI, PATRICIAf-IQQI. _ (ghinese _woman_ in the construction df'Wesiem' feminismL-flltei-naliyes -~ 16: -- I ' -._:':':'3 i- " 1‘ -- J-‘ Radio School, Sydney, October 1994. ' ‘ '5‘“ 3' =.' 1995-;rfB'ody;imie'and cosmds: Maui mmgsresmay Of‘physicaliédficiatibn‘ (1917). ' " ‘ China "report 3'1-3-~1:~"109.33; -' VATUK', SYLVIA. 1992; Sexuality and the middle-aged woman " anddfidith‘ K."-'BroWn, eds:,-'ln’-'h'ér'-prime} [57—70. Urbana and Chicago: University of YALMA'N; NU‘R;'1963. on thé purity o'fw'omen' in the -" 3 the"Rbycii'fihihrbpéiogical'Jmlimie'bfGrem soulh ’As'ié.=‘]n Virginia Kems ww- view; of middle-aged-“vvoméh; p5. Illinois-Pre'skf" f- 3' “'3 ' éaiste's' of Ceylon ahd- Ma'ilabar_.- Jéumalbf Britainand'lfélaiid'SIS'E-i:‘ 25-58; ' Jéicuqliijiand satialéamrbi:-'Lpndon'e 'Routledg’e a'na. The regulation and self-regulation ' of sexuality ' ' 186/JANAKI NAIR SARRAR,‘ TANIKA. 1993. Rhetoric against age of consent: Resisting colonial reason and death of archildwifefl- Economic and-paliflcal-weekly_'27, 36: 1869-78.. ' H ' I SAUMAREZ SMlTHL 1285-. REE-5H6“)de and. _4lfyle-byjreports; . Complementaty _‘ aspects of the British imperial rule of law. Contributions to Indian sociology 19, 1: 153—76. . ' ' " ' ' 5 - '- - " , SRlNlVAS, 1342. Marriage and famin in Mysore. Bombay: New Book 00mpany. Modernising. the-motherhood archetype-3:: Public health 'modelssantfilgjthe Child Marriage .. . ;' ' -- Restraint Act of-1929- "] .. I'udy_.whi_te'hgsa__ Early 20th century women’s organisations and social reformers in India advocated the increased participation 'of middle class women in. education _ and the professions. They did so by promoting reformsthat combined the nationalist, symbol of motherhood with biomedical arguments and the reform Hinduism of. the Arya Samaj.__'I'hrough their reform " the colonised middle classessoughtbythe 1920s to project'themselves as the legitimateheirs of -.‘_th_e nation’. pitted: against a colonial. bureaucracy. increasingly wary of'alienating its narrowing base-of political support. In thismovement towards politicalhegemony, the apparently.universaliand,.i neutral argumentsof Western medicine were important instruments inthe legal codification of women’s roles, both upholding the values of female I advancement and buttressmg the legitimacy and modernity of the nat_ional'-. ist cause. The revivalist mother irnage, symbolising woman as the protector: of the home, the._embodiment of sacred power, and the iconic representation _ of the nation, was renegotiated doting the._192_0sas,the urban middle class. linked: the modernist ideal of national. and scientific progressto the priyat_e'_ ‘ practices of the home and child-rearing. J _. ' Since the human body is simultaneously a physical,"_symbolic antigen-to:- ‘ tional phenomenon, a measure of control over it is a crucial adjunct toany assertion of . authority. Forms of. bodily. disciplinei'connect. the body. to. the widerbody; politic, allowingfor _a constant interchan'geiof. meanings .betvyeenthe .sociai world l'and‘the ‘natural’ world-offthej body . (Scheper-Hughes and Lock 1987:"1). Discussions ever changing forms of ' bodily-regulation can reyealthe class distinctions underlying the ongoing- Acl'movrledgenlentst II would-like to the social-Sciences and Humanities Council of: ' Canada for funding the research which made this paper possible. ' - - 188/ JUDY WI-IITEHEAD formation of nationalist gender identifies. By focusing on debates surround- ing the passage of the Child Marriage Restraint Act of71929, this paper reveals the parallels of class distinctions between Indian reform nationalists and the British middle class that were eirpressed in the legal and medical construction of gendered bodies. - - _ , 'I r . Reforms for women that were implemented during the 1920s included the Child Marriage Restraint Act of 1929, an easing of purdah restrictions, better education-for girls, and the suppression;fo the devadasi institution. These._m_e_asures reflected the habitusof middlerclass nationalist reformers, habitus be.ng defined- 'as habitualbodily practices ' er ’decorum',‘ dress, hygiene, seXualityf'and .taste'Etha’t-Tinform gender and class identities (Bour- . dieu 1990: 66—73). The ideal wOman espoused by reformers andlwomen’s organisations—man educated mother aware of home science and hygiene— combined the self-sacrificing, traditional mother image, the educational ' autonomy ofthevedic woman, and hygienically informed ‘modern’ motherr hood. 'IThe'Se-apparently diverse eiements were held in balance through their correspondence with the body politics of the reforming middle classes. Of late, a great deal of attention has been focused on the representation of bothwomen and colonised peoples as closerto nature than to culture in the.Western'_Enropean medical'tradition (see, forfexample," Brandt 1989; Foucafilt 1973; 1975', 1979;"Jordanova 1989;"MacCorn1ack and seamen 1930; weeks 1935); However, 'rnii'ch ofthis literature neglects the fomiation' of _ class “identities, "are: Often sym_bOlically‘_ ‘ 'eirpressed through" notions of piopriety and 'or' respectability iron; respectability, subsnininga great'range of behaviours and norms; Unlike the: CelaniSér/ébloaissd meme:distinctions;which-aeoren symbolised' as "simple binary oppositions of: calture and? nature',_‘;class identities. are formed through multipiei'formsiof'distinctiori; This multif- plieity been '_ fruStrates”la-I‘seat'ch: tot “a' purely oppositional discourse}: Habitus, as embodied Land piraetice', possesses the pct'enti_al'_'t)f transeending? varioo's' foundational dualism-is; between mind and body," secure and. agency: the ideal as material; which”..have .bed‘evmed heroes 0f consciousness and practical interpretations thereof; A central argument" of aisles: i's thatrhe‘neébtiatioa of the. motherhood .iihagejthrqaghout the late colonial 'period‘connected gender with messages; while ini'ages of proper womanhood p I I I I I nationalist.iiiéntitiéS- '. . . . . . . .. ":While"Bonrdieii'hasnanalysed'hebilus'aecording id class'distinctionsjthe gouge t ‘ean' focus :oiir' attention 'onithe [embodied history'Which causticsjade-identities with-'iap'se'br gems; andiinationimourdieii; 1985 199_’1"1::1’I71'—-72')"'Pi'6 ertinid'ieswectable“ ‘1' for;in "enwerelinked 'o‘fth'e; ; J: The notionloirhab'itus i'asiembodie'd history has been seenas partially otterooming European Science's foundationalduaiism of mind. versus body, while Bourdieu himself has argued that its federal: presses overcomes"tliii'=‘"clnalis‘rn erase '- 'objectiiiisnr'(Beddyf1993i' 1—2; Bourdieu 1990: 53-56).-”-"= i 1' -:=-"‘ i 2' v' ' 1' -:- a -- 1 - -._:; .- lavsd- an_,imiv6rténjtf,r.61e=-in: area‘s "nameless: Modernising the motherhood archetype! 189 virtue of ' each nationalist cause through theimetaphorical extension -of_ images of motherhood from the household to the -‘imagined community? of the nation in the early 20th century: Indeed, debates 'over the proper form 'of' mothering'were 'often'the focus of competitive’claims to cultural and moral'superiority between - various 'nationalismsfduring -‘_this‘ period, with other identities tot-women‘bieing cast'into'shadow (Mo'sse 1985: 3—21‘; Parker et al. 1992: _1—20)."' " 7 ' ' ' . ' - - a _ Each stratified societyPOSsesses bodily disciplines which link-habitusto wider symbolic systems and wh'ich"'c'onstitute- the ‘commoanense? 1'01? class and gender identities: Bedily disciplines maintain internal lines of stratific- ation and defend social groups "against transgression of external boundaries (Douglas1993).'A great deal Of systematicity often exists .in' bodily meta- phors of gender and class stratification, e.g‘.',_ healthy versus unhealthy; or 'pure'versus impure; practices. ‘Since'both‘ were stratified soCieties‘, .the habitu's of the -pOSt=Vict0rian middle class andthat- of'caste -. Hinduism exhibited many similarities/Both poSt-Victorian'and Brahminical traditions equated high status with mental labour, masculinity," and-specific regimes of bodily'control.’ Both also drew'metaphoric divisions between clean and ' unclean practices, although inzthe Brahminical'rcase, these distinctions were-validated throngh religious texts, fer example thé'dhaimashaStrzi, and in" the English ' case, through -Sanitary-"and hygienic science."- ln addition, intimate social contacts between lupper and lower'classe's and castes;'especi— ally sexual'relations, Were highly regulatediin'the' two traditions'r-Hence‘, the relative ‘status of 'a family-'Was judged-partly by the-fidelity-of'itS'Wives and theirconduct as mOthers; upper-class wOmen in both traditions being viewed as gatekeepers of their family’s'status 'or honour.'__Iri Brahminical Hinduism, however, women’s ' Sexuality" was largely controlled-9 through spatial restrictions, purdah‘ and arranged marriages, while in middle-class English socialisation,'- psychological repression Was the main instrument of moral regulation (Engels 19891425);- - ' ‘ - - ' - " ' ' :Symbolic-distinCtions betWeen high' and'low bodies and-their boundary maintenance were-duplicated in" parallel views of the reforming middle 'ciass'es' of both soeieties."For_' the English 'middle classes that became important social agents-in the Victorian and poSt-Victo'rian eras3 sanitary and socialreforms Were associated with" evangelical values of" progress, ' thiift,‘ sobriety, " respectability and- self-iniprovement (Davidoff 1983;?" Hamlin 1985;" Stalleybrass'and' White 1986): Many Indian social referm'ers- of the late: ‘19th and’ earlyI'ZOth' centuries,"of course, were soei'alised thrOii'gh . iniSSionary' education to accept the sanitary“ and social purity" attitudes'of 7 English reformers. Yeteven groups which were self-consciouslyindigenous, such as the AryaSaiIiaj, often reproduced. the social purity viewsof their middle—class counterparts in England, America and Europe. Despite many other differences, secular and rationalist reformers such as Malabari, Gokhale or the Brahmo Samaj , on the one hand, and the vedic nationalists of the Arya Samaj , on the other hand, measured the progress of the Indian 190/ JUDY WHITEHEAD nation-partly by- the. physical and moral health of ‘its’ mothers and children. Equations betweenthe health of mothers and the future health of the ‘race’ gained.increasinglprorninence internationally from thelate. 19th century . onwards,'as.Social Darwinist- evolutionary movements articulated a supposed connection between national-advancement and racial health. Within the terms of scientific, racial Darwinism, the biomedical .con'structionof bodies acquired an important-role, shown in the increasing prestige of eugenics societies andviews in many nationalist, and even socialist, movements of this period (Arnold 1993; Davin 1979; Mazumdar .1992; Moss_1985)._'l_n 'India,- the .increasing medicalregulation of women’s bodies linked the habituscf the _-re_forming middle classes,-wi_th.their imagery of- physical, social and, moral improvement, to wider. ideologies that reflected the passive. political revolutionof the Indian National Congress} _ _' _ The..:1.9205 were a-high-point-of- legal reforms for women, marking the first period in which the necessity for changes in theposition of women acquired nearly: unanimous consentfrorn variOus currents. of thenationalist movement-Hence, the mild reactionto the 'Sarda Act prohibiting early marriages in- 1929-stands in contrast tothe controversies aroused bythe ban on sati,-the law permitting widow remarriage, and the 1891 Age of Consent .-Amendment. This shift in nationalist opinion reflects the entry of women’s nationalist organisations into the political sphere, the changing balance of class relations inlate colonial India, andthe increasing prestige of bio- medical science in. legal debates and medical jurisprudence.- Rather than being viewed as; interventionsfrom anexternal, colonial power, the 1920s’ reforms. for. women, especiallythe Sarda Act, were seen as originating from within the nationalist bloc itself, . _. - '. _. ' __ f ' -.The-medi_c__al,and moral discoursessurrounding the. Child Marriage Restraint Act of. 1929 can- revealthe modernist contours of motherhood whichwere signalled for the ideal female _citi_zen of thefutureindependent Indian state. While, the Assembly Debates,- newspaper reports, women7s magazines, and Age of Consent Committee documents usedhere do not provide much information-on the actual effects of public healthpolicies - and-legislation atthe level of everyday practice, theyreveal the outlines of the ideal. feminine subject which was being assembled. by state legislation duringthis period.- The importance of women’s organisations in debateson .the age-of- marriage laws in the. 19205 reveals the ways in fiWhich'wornen were drawninto the discourse of modernity, while retaining the multivOCal ._s_y_mb__ol of motherhood which tied them to the nationalistcause. Yet due to their predominantlymiddle classandurban habitus,:theseorganisations :_ 5 i The teifm "p'assive revolutien‘is derived from Gramsci and refers___to a political movement 'in'which 'subaltern‘CIaSSes are not inactive,‘ but their goals become partially subsumed within --‘ an , emerging - bloc; while their realtinterests 'are marginalised: from the" dominant political : u 'forums,':leadership.and policies“ - _§ . ; - ..: - l I I I I i i i Modernising the motherhood archetype/19,1 often, and. perhaps. unwittingly,- adopted many :of.the distinctions of pro- priety and. respectability that; lay embedded within various-reform nationalist -- - and biOmedical discourses.-. : :-' ‘ i - ' ' - - - -. a .‘Historicalscontext' The Indian women’s movement of-fthe early 20th century has been inter— preted'as-a' social feminist-movement, which combined: gnals of greater equality for women with the pursuit of .politicalindependence :for-India' - 7' (Forbes '1982a). These organisations stressed the complementary roles 'of men and women and adopted-the nationalist symbolbf'selfwsacrifiCing - - motherhoodas a means to surmount-boundaries between-the. private and public realms, since public roles of women were defended as extensions of their maternal roles. By adopting the nationalist symbol of motherhood ' r and widening its confines;.these early-organisations appear to have been negotiating a fine line between nationalist reactions against colonialism, which had'legitimated its presence partly through disparaging Indian forms of patriarchy, and=the feministcurrents of this period (Forbes-1981, 1982b).. -='While-many of the 19th century measures'to-improve" the position'l- of '- women were proposed by male reformers,_in the early-20th century a number of ,women’s organisations were created. Promoted by women who had benefited from early educationalopportunities, they were. justified in . terms of providing an environment ‘in which-women..-raised~in asex— segregated. society could act with a. degree; of autonomy, Unlike other nationalist movements of-this- period,-.the-: connection between women’s 'rights'andnationalism. inzlndia was continuing and long-standing,.In fact, the. first women to. become politically. prominent-,:'-such- as Sarala- Debi ' Chaudharani, Swarna Kumari Debi,.'or Bhikaiji Rustomji1 Carna, did so first as nationalists.andsecondly as _w0men.3 The Bharat Stree Mandal, created in 1910 by. Sarala Debi Chaudharani in.-La‘hore, for example, was _ viewed -as_ a selfihrtlp-nationalist organisation. Its goals were..to .equip women,- through education and training, with the valuesof self-reliance and nationalpride (Kumar-1993: 30). - - -..‘ -. Kg. .' '1 -: a . ..:‘.While_-much. impressive scholarly;'attention..has been focused on-the ‘invented tradition.’- of nationalist mother images in thezlate.19th;oentury,. less attention has been paid-to the. renegotiations. of this imagery-= during later periods.of-the.-Independence movement, when _.women’s roles-were brought -. squarely: into the} modernist project 'of - nat_ionebuilding- _(see,._,fo_r' example,:_H__. Bannerji. 1991;. Chakravarti-1989;.Chatterji-1989;.:Sarkar - ’55Pandita Ramabai, started for widows waspromin'ent the movement for women’s education there and stressed gender over colonial co'nt'radiCtionsi_ appeared to.- be an exceptionto this general trend, albeit a-pioneering one; . l - 192! JUDY WHITEHEAD - 1987); Like-many political symbols-,the- nationalist-image. of motherhood- simplifies and‘condenses reality-,--- While retaining -a3fmultivocal 'potential which can flexibly signal 'variouslclass positions,1.forms- efishabitus; and world-views. What gendered practices .would be grounded in the mother? hood ideal, how the social context of'domestic labour would be envisioned and organised, and how the.ideal mother wo'uld be educated for her new role in Independent India were questions that were continually negotiated throughout this period. The public-healthmodels of motherhood adopted by reformersand women’s organisations-in theearly 20th century focused almost entirely on raising-the hygienic andsanitary standards of domestic labour withinthe home.- They largely ignored the effectsof poverty. on ill,- » health and the fact that many working-class and poor peasant: women in the early 20th century. were economically'compelled to work outside the-home (N.:Bannerji.1985;"Engels'1993)§1=~ ‘ z.” - ' : t- . .- ' = r :Metaphcirical appeals to the health anddiseaSe of- women, their children, and-the nation, may:appear- so obvious today that they are. often ignoredfi Yet medical arguments-for latermarriages, reform of purdah,.o_r. increased education for girls were powerfully innovative ones for. late; '1-9th and {early 20th c'enturyfwomen7s organisations. In-the first .=Age of: Consent debate'of '1891,..they were ultimatelylsuccessful 'in- persuading Landsdowne,-.='the Viceroy,- and‘Scoble, the Legal Member 'of-the rViceroy’s'Council,. ofsthe: needfor legal intervention in early marriages despite anticipated'op'posié tion from revivalists-and the orthodoxy. The Arya 'Mahila Sammg'a pioneer-— ing women’s Organisation created .by'Pandita‘fRamabai'in-- Maharashtra, wasiactive in persuading British. lady doctors in India-to.send'a-strong petition -' graphically describingtheréphysical-injuries.due-to early: echabitation of. thirteen ELgirl‘i bride's" whom they-"-encounteredi fin i=the' 2'course : of 'rtth'eir ' careersi The AryaMahila Sam-aj also enlisted?the=Support-sof-f-Dr.'Edith Pechey,. an - outspoken medical: 'i'critic5 of early - marriages, *in- their {public meetings andpetitio‘ns (The Indian spectator, JanuaryéMarch 1891). The importance-of medical evidenceinithis'contentious debate was underlined by- the frequency with which petitioners referred =-toa-:early'--marriages as? a, maj‘or'cause' of'rthe' declining physique of Indians. Numerous petitions from physicians in Bengal were included inithe'zLegislativeiPrdceedings, 'as'Well - as 'arrextract’ from: Chev'er’s Medicaljurisprudence'on' the damaging phySio- logical-and rp'sychOIQ'gical con'se'qIIences:'forwOmen'cf early-consummation and early-maternity (India iiand‘ZO'riental 1 Office r-Library, UP: =&:' 11/5154)".r‘ :' * The Controversy surrounding the-Age of Consent Amendment of 1891 represented 'rth'el‘first - time that reformers-had 9 successfully? used 'allopa'thie medical arguments ’i'n'éah iSsueof'stiCialirefo'rm for. wom'enidt indicatedgthe . extent-towers ransaithqdiahsd listens. RQliticiscd by.:tlie..1890s and that. rainxuhish.medical..argumchts.czofinésfifigi'Iiaticrialiiithfméternal health-could influence legal debate; There-appearstorbea consensusthat the impact of biomedicine on middle-class Indian life—experiences Was very . limited before 1910 due to the enclave character of the Indian Medical . ‘4" Modernising the motherhood archetype] 193' Service in' theeil9th century and-the-numerical predominance 'of voids and hakims, even in urban-areas(Arnold- 1993: 243; Jeffrey 1982:5309); How-' ever, theequations=that.'\veremade between'the health of bodies and the health of the nation-in the =1891-=’Age of- ConSent eontroversy‘indicate that biomedicine' .was beginning to define the terms of debate through which the - value -of'=both invented traditions and invented'--=triodernities was'being" contested by? the nationalist intelligentsia: This pattern became more pro— ' 'minent: in the early -20th' century, as nationalist interpolations of '_‘race’ became increasingly:linked-Ito ‘1' concerns about the physical and fmoral progress of the future nation (Arnold 1993; 220); NationaliSt'i reformers of ' the early 20th century, such’as Gokhale and Besant, hoWever, reversed the - Eurooentric termsé’of this debate by arguing that not Only were certain: social practices,-'such:as-childmarriagegiunhealthy,'but also the British- presence‘bitself. They attributed a causative role in increases in'malaria and" cholera to the introduction of railways in the latter half of the 19th century-.- By the second decade 'of the'20th- century, Western-trained physicians were more confidentof their scientific prowess due to successes in treating- infectious diseases, and the numbers‘of Indian" medical graduates and licence-holders'were substantial; They began to'- offer areal challenge to voids and. hakims in -major Cities and towns, particularly through - the. growth of’ dispensaries. Nationalists and refermers exhibited- diverse responses to this new challenge; from complete espousal of Western medi—= cine,- _as=on the part of Dr. Muthulakshmi‘Reddi,‘ one of‘the'ifirst Indian women graduates from medical school, to outright rejection on the part of - others, such as Gandhii-In-Gandhi’s Hind swaraj. (1938);;doctors, along with lawyers and the railvi'ays,‘ were seen as responsible for India’s decline- under British rule..-.Western civilisation was comparedto tuberculbsis', a" diseasehot causingmuch surface damage, but gradually gnawing away at; health and strength underneath; He 'viewed Western-medicine,- since it- focused-on treating disease symptoms while leaving intact a-disease-causing' ‘ life-style, as-Zu'ndermining the-capacity of individual: Indians to rule them;- selves;(and hence their-country); While Gandhi’s views provided support for; attempted revivals of ayurvedic and-unani -medicine,-the- varied processes- of _.adaptation .andresis'tance to Western mediCine-reveal that equations. between the health of individual bodies and the .health .of the natiOn had: already been accepted in-‘many nationalist circles.. On the other hand,.rthe=. scientific promises of biomedicine and its deficient reality were frequently. - delinked from the colonialproject and used as. a- critique against continued? British presenCe in.India;(»Arnold- 1993: 2785,. .: '. '- - ' - ‘~ - ' ' . - .- .-...-Hygienics; eugenics-and-mothei'hood' -' v 3 Nowhere were these processes of contention, debate andfoir acceptance 'of the biomedical regulation of habitus more evident than, in relation to 194/ JUDY WHITEHEAD_, women..The health and status of women were frequently used metaphors for measuring the level ofprogress or degenerationof-nationaland ethnic groupsduring- this period. As idealised mother. figures, women also often symbolised the imagined community of thennation. Hence their: capacities as mothers weregincreasingly focused upon- as nationalist competition grew during - the early 20th- century, both between. the imperial.--poWers..and between the latter and their colonies (Davin 1979; Mosse 1985).- In the British-Public Health Service, anxieties about child health were prompted by .military reports. of_-high levels-of morbidity-amongst British troops ' during the Boe_r.'-War, -- most of whom were {recruited from the English working. class. Attempts to decrease infant mortality and morbidity in the Britishworking- class were vieWed as furthering imperial goals of maintain- ing-a. competitive annyand-workforce,‘ andproducing healthy settlers in the face of increasing-international economic and political competitit'm (Davin 1979: . _ : .- .-_--Beginning at-the dawn of the 20th century, the hygiene model of public health-also gained pre-eminence in national and'international health organ- isations,-both theoretically and practically. At the level of theory, the germ theory of disease. transmission was accepted by-the‘ British Medical Associ- . ation-; in the 18905, and about .a decade - later, by the Indian Medical Association; At-the level of practice, the. germ theory fostered public health interventions;that- focused .on elevating the hygienic standardsof . childcare practices as a way of preventing what wereseen as alarming rates of infant mortality, which were thought: to undermine national and racial health. One-implicationof the new'hygiene-model was an increased focus on individuals as- vectors in disease transmission.- Thus it' became-increasingly difficult .within medical institutions to-argue' fer improvements in housing or sanitation for the-poor. as important aspects of public-'health-policies (Sears 1992).--Another implication of the new hygiene policy was increased interest-in and influenceof eugenics policies. The health of each nation became associated:With-increasing the physical strength and purity of'the ‘race’; scientifically brought up by hygienically enlightened mothers-and uninfected by miscegenatibn with outsiders. As the family and the-home were-symbolisedas microcosms of the nation, the domestic roles of wOmen were absorbed into various nationalist debates concerning the progress-of nationsand fraces". The influence-of eugenics societies was perVasive in the early-20th century, encouraging new laws regulating immigration, alcohol- ism, homosexuality, and marriages-between" the mentally handicapped. The hygienic model was integrally linked tothe' state, since it-presupposed . state intervention and legislatidn as the major means of creating a healthy 7 and biologically ‘fit’ society. ' . ' . . 3 -- _ - By equatingztherconcepiti of'nation-with.‘ that of"-‘3ra'ce?',-:'eugenicist philos- ophy naturalised the role. of women as- biological reproducers. The hygienic modelalso reinforced the-nuclear .family'and-the role of mothering, Since Modernising the motherhood archetype! 195 the public health policies, linked with germ theory, concentrated on sanitis- ing the, domestic labour of women, not on. providing better food or living conditions. As._Davin notes, the disseminationof the middle-classfamily ' ideal, with the mother as homemaker and-father as provider, was at the core of public health projects of the early 20th century (Davin 1979: 43), particularly the ChildWelfare Movement, which expanded rapidly inithe first decades of- this century. The question of a healthier nation was integrally-related to getting women toperform their domestic labour more effectively, intensively and scientifically, while statistics of infant‘mortality and _morbidity,‘-.t‘:ollected from the early 20th century. onwards, began to quantify the national state of healthy mothering. - " ' - In Indian nationalism, the health of the nation .was linked to the goal of swaraj, through self-governance .over the physical, moral and spiritual aspects of ~life..-Modernising the -‘motherland’, spiritual self-improvement, ' and self-rulebeeame intertwined ideals. Here too, a major responsibility for improvingthe health of the nation fell on self-sacrificing mothers, who were to promote better hygienic practices not only in their own-homes, but also through the social service work .of early women’s organisations. 4 . . .. . III 2'. All-India women’s organisations The first all-India women’s organisation, the Women’s Indian Association (WIA), was started in 1917- by Margaret" Cousins, .an Irish and Indian nationalist, and'Dorothy Jinarajadas'a, a'theosophist and nationalist It stressed the twin'ideals of Indian mothersas self-sacrificing protect0rs of traditional values, and as ‘modern’, scientifically educated housewives; As a self-consciously patriotic organisation, the leaders of the Women’s Indian Associ'atibn distinguished themselves from'English Suffragettes by stressing the complementary roles of women and menQWomen working outside the home, it was argued, supported the work of men, but did not compete with it, and a'woman’s protective maternal role was necessary to "maintain the moral and- physical health of the nation’s quarre‘lling children. In politics, the argument for women’s suffrage in Municipal and'Legislative Councils was often expressed in terms of the distinct -‘natural’ characteristics Of women, which albne could'impar-t harmony to the public sphere, and of the specific feminine problems needing-representation by women alone. Annie Besant, the first President of the V'Women’s IndianhAssociation, wrote: ' ' - Men -and=women-are- not the Same, as- I'fancy some of the reformers in ,- England-'are-iinclined -to think ";3.- audit is on that difference that I - would base'my'-plea for the-recognition? of women in the public, as well ' as--inrthe social, life-of the nation . [While] the average man has, much more initiative than the average woman, a woman’s brain excels 1961’]qu 'WI—IITEHEAD - 3 at- a mastery of administrative details‘ which makes her-Fmo'st'valuable -- I‘whereiorganisation'is- concerned, '.; . =.i'pa_rticularly. of hoSpit'alsfi‘schools'; -' ='-and. social-work organisationswhere her maternal instincts can be usefully [extended ,(Besant 1913:5204)” " " -':Whi1e'-the' spiritual 'Superiority' of Indian'mothers'"over".-theirj"British - middle-class counterparts 'Was praised by Besant;'Jinarajadasa"an'd- CouSins, their child-rearing practices, like thoSe oft-British Working class mothers, were seen to3'ne'ed'significant- modernisation;- The first issue “of. the-WIA’s journalgsm dharma, stressed'the necessity of educating womenin hygiene as a ‘means of increasing women’s awareness of their maternal duties to the nation’ (Stri-dharma, 1918', 1‘, '1:» 2),."Scieane’-,' it Was argued, “shouldibe brought into the=training of the strong, great-race of the'future children Of India'- through its mothers”- (ibidii: 2); Dorothy Jinarajada'sa-saw? ‘hygiene, the cause and prevention of diseases, sanitation" and - cleanliness,"uand' the care of children-as the most impertant‘reform' issue's-for discussion: in new branch='organisations of the WIA’--(ibid".).. Other issues included-‘the edu— ' cation of lower classes, duties to loWer 'Castes, the'reform of early marriages, .and ideals of citizenship, of which knowledge of hygiene was an important component’ (ibid.: 4). While the major public goals were increased female education and female.suffrage,early-articles in this: journal also focused on the child welfare movement in England, the need for increased facilities for training-womendoctorsand nurses, the; causes of- infant.»mortality,'the necessity. for the hygienic. training of dais, the prevention .of cholera; the motheras teacher, and the health of- women. An article entitled.:‘The'new womaniwas written Dr._..Mary-Scharlieb, who received her medical degree,_fr_om. Madras_«in_.18;75,,and set upprivate.practice-=therezzuntil ill"- health forced her to return to England-where; she became a-noted;eugenicist active, in.-the.._Infant'gWelfare Movement in England (Arnold -.19.93:-;'259; Davin 1979; 51:). .The,‘new_.woman’ :of Scharlieb’s article needed to know the most importantarts bf maintaining. cleanliness an‘d..personal hygiene; and. of- banishing-rubbish,flies, and dust (Stn' dharma, November.1921': 22).. Between 1917. and, 1922, Stri. a'harma andgthe .Women-’s Indian Associ- ationpromotededucation for girl_:children_ that-included ‘child welfare ,r first ' aid, hygiene, some biology and sciences, needlework and embroidery, and _finally,_, physical .culture’“, (Sari ‘dharme, JanuaryE 1921; 3);_' All: - article-on medical. education by -Dr,.;,_,Muthulakshmii ,Reddi, the second . President. of the ,WIIA, the first femalegrnedical; graduate of Madras'Presidency, and;.a President of. the AIWC in the 19305, argued for education on ‘important' .§!1bJ.S’-9FS...$HCh . as;{domesticthygicne,- sanitation and,--:.chi.1d-.;andc-matsrnity gwelfaref _;_ _.‘In . England ,_ she: concluded, ‘infant. mortality ,is---.low_er; because flamen- health - visitors... -. --,-te.achs- wemen how to 100.1(- rafterathsmselves' .dlir'iugt-labqurj .aud-howrtorbring up healthy-children;:(ibide: 8)...;T£‘he task of building clearly lay with individual mothers. Modernising the motherhood archetype! 197 rearing healthy and moral citizens fit, for the arduous task .of nation— ..The, metaphorieextension of mothers as. defendersfof. thehometo caregivers of the nation, however, provided the Women’s Indian Association With. an argument for increased edueatidn and female suffrage. Thesewere often defended in terms of their long-termmedical benefits. for children, and hence for the nationas a whole. .An earlyarticie, entitled ‘Death rates among.babies’,,compa_red infant mortality rates in various Indian provinces unfavourany :With'IthOSC-iH New Zealand..l‘Because women thererhad possessed the right to vote-since 1893’, it was argued, ‘legislators had been compelled to improve laws relating to sanitation, the regulation ofmid: wifery, and the purity of. food which affected the health of mothers- and childrenj.,(St_ri altar-me, 1918: 34).. With. mothers as. legislators,..itgwas argued, the; health: ofthe nation was-bound to be r_ai__sed.- . - '. _j Women’shealth.wasviewed as important to national progressbecause, ‘women [were], the mothersof the nation, and. if‘-.they [were]. physically underdeveloped and sickly, thenthewhole nation would become. Weak and- enfeebled..’ Margaret Cousins maintained that fpurdah in North India should be reformed to” improve ,the physical fitness of future mothers, since the * zenana system encouraged tuberculosis in young women, through the-lack offresh air, exereise, and. sunlight?- (Cousins 1922:_.45.)_..Her argument was. supported by prominent allopathic practitioners-of theeperiod._-For example, Dr.,.Arthur Lancaster, in a studyrcfor the-Lancet of; the causesof TBin India, traced its prevalencein' urban. areasto social customs-,especially ' purdah._ Seclusion of women in hbluses'which- provided little-ventilation or. sunshine allowed the TB bacillus tothrive (Friend- of India, May.1916: -21)-.‘. ' _ The Tuberculosis Association of Calcutta, createdin'1929, ,noted.that.the ill—ventilated and dark surroundings of the urban lower middle class pro— vided the best environment for the tuberculosis bacilli to breed. Younger women,- enclosed in zenanas, had? an eightsfold greater percentage efTB than young men (Amrita'bazhar pdtfikd,‘ 5'_J'anuary'1929: 8). ' _ " . The Women’s Indian Association? was not the only social referm organ- ‘ isation which accepted an underlying connection between thehealth of the nation’s mothers and thefu'tu're progress of the "race’i Saroj Nalini Butt, a prominent reformer in Bengal, used public health arguments in her defence of women's education.- “ "_ " If you think that women know all they need to know Without education, then howwould you account for the appalling rate of infant mortality in I_ndia?... ._ Education.inthelawsof health and-hygiene alone can-lift .j thiscurse of ignorancefrom themothers Mahila Samitis will bring. the knowledge of thesciencesto the-very doors'of women (Dutt 1929:--. 198/JUDY WHITEHEAD . ' Impressed with the Chilerelfare Centres after viSiting them in England with Sarojini Naidu, Dutt became-Convinced of their necessity'in Bengal. Married to a civil1Servant,- she created Mahila Sa'rhitis"in'each'centre- to Which her husband Was transferred; incl'iidirigiPabna, 'Birbhum', sultanpur and Bankura.- The goals of the Saniitis were'to train womenlin'domestic science and hygiene, to provide-training in cottage industriesfto'organise literacy classes for purdah 'women',"and to develop friendly cooperation among purdah women. Following her death in 1925,-the Saroj Nalini Dutt Memorial Association was established, which boasted'of 256"Sarnitis by 1929 and 305 by 1930 (The statesman, 21 January 1930: 11;- The times‘of India, 14'February19293"10);'“ ‘ - ' "I " '- _ The'A'ryajSamaj,‘ aE social reform organisation founded iri- the-late -_19th century byDaya'nand Saraswati and particularly influentiallin‘ north-west India in the early-20th century,“ also stressed a relationship?between?the vitality 'of" In‘dianwomen'? and the" strength of 'the‘ nationjirarfsaraswan, India had degenerated 'frOm- the vedic- period in Which women had'been ' educated to the" same le'v'elas men_'.’-In order-that Indian children become sturdy patriots-it was necessary for mothers't'o become 'eduCated again. His desired curriculum for women includedigrammar, 'theolOgy,’medicine and art, With the-basics of -- Western sanitation 'being included -' so that mothers could prevent disease and’know‘ how to: t'reat'both3h'usbands and children(SaraSW_ati-1887: . _ 7 Even? before'éthe-Age of Consent debates Were are-opened in: the early 19205, many Women refdrrners'adVocated-later-marriages bec'auSe of their ' benefits to natiOnal-and racial health“. In- this literature ,"_one nudes, connexion between-the themes-of national health national morality. AnnieBes'ant,‘ for exampleiwr'ote: ' ' -' '- " " -' 5' "- " " future'_ anal-ion depends tin-the" abolition of marriage amongst thepeople. AEs-long’as. that persists, there are certain: inevitable consequences of lowe_red.._vitality, of thespreadof nervous diseases, of premature. old age, . . standing in_the wayofher taking 'her place among the. physicallystro'nger nationsofthewo'rld. Judging the terrible statistics in the Victoria Memorial’s. report on infant mortality, .. .' .'ear1y_'marriage_s_lead to high maternal. andginfant'deathe. rates, due to the higher incidence ofp'uerperal fever-among younger r mothers (Benet. 191.7: 4.8, 6246.3): = ' ' ‘ ' " ' ' '- ‘ '. 3 Both- Besant and: 'Dr.‘= Muthulakshmi Reddiinot‘ed’that- infant mortality ' rates Were highest iii-regions with- the highestrates orientatesadness-and lowest rates ofzeducation” for Women :(BeSant- 1917:3--62;-'=AIW'C’Report _ Saroj Nalini Dutt also argued against'early marriages on the basis of ‘ their physiological effects on women, their children, and thus on the nation Modernising the motherhood archetype] 199 as a whole. ‘With the lack of girlhood for Bengali girls, they never obtain opportunities for full mental and bodily development, and thus the country ' lags behind both physically and mentally’ (Duttl929: 72). Early marriages were also criticised by the Arya Samaj, bothsfor-being- a deviation from vedic idealswhen women ideally did not .marry before age 16 and men-_ before age 25, and on the groundsthat they produced weak offspring which .- eventnaliy- led to the degeneration of the race. Saraswati, in fact, classified marriages as inferior, medium and superior, cerrelated- with the ascending.- ages of husbands and Wives, and'the increasing quality. of offspringwhich- each type of marriagepro‘duced. Despite his stress on reviving-indigenous- - values and education, his scheme of classifying marriages according to age bore uncanny resemblances. to' the arguments of. the British Eugenics: Society-to legally prohibit-early marriages in-England.- For both the Arya__ Samaj and the'eugenics movement-only marriagesbetwecn mature indi-. -- viduals could produce vigorousoffspring- (Mazumdar- 1992). = - " . '. In fact, by the second decade-10f :the20th century,.international health ' organisations also equated the health of mothers with. national progress. The Rockefeller Foundation,- the major financial supporter of-tropical. disease .institutesafter 1910, used.epidemiologiCal-models to argue that .- social customsrand infectious diseases were the major causes of-poverty " (Farley .1991: 89).--Since infectious diseases were now theoretically prevent-. able byrinoculation, it was traditional .socialpractices, and-particularly- those of child-rearing, which most: needed reform andmodernisation. The .' League of Nations and the International Labour Office were also; prominent . supporters of both the Infant Welfare Movement and later marriages as a major means of reducing infant mortality and morbidity. In May 1927, the Child Welfare Committeeof- the League of Nations passed a resolution on' - the positive moral and physiological effects of a' high age of consent. ' Katherine Mayo, an American journalist who was influenced in her work on the Philippines by. Dr. Walter-Heisena prominent officer of the Rockefeller Foundation,-’propagated ideas that were predominant in_th_e_ international health eStablishment in her infam'ous_.Mother India. (1927),, - She argued that india’s lack of economic progress: under theBritish was - entirely'due toHindusexuaI practices, such as early marriages,.whic_h encouraged an obsessive focus on_sexuality.~' Traditional sanitary practices, _3 such as the use of dais,’and .the collective use .of .village tanks_,-.were also strongly criticised by Mayo. Despite_'the'racism of Mayo’s opinions, many ‘ of her views were .butembellished forms .-of the .e'ugenicist _. arguments . associated With the ,public _hygie_ne__inodel_(Anderson 1992; Sears 1992; : White:head__1992_)_._ In India, most_.nati(_)'nal_ist'_s.,and' reformers, including the _. Indian social reformer, strongly: criticised the book. for its exaggerated. . .focus upon sanitary and sexual practices in India. Gandhi referred to it asa '- gutter' inspector’s report and Shrimati Uma Nehru, .a prominentfeminist-in ,- Allahabad, published alHindli. rejoinder, entitled Mother India our using... jawaabon behalf of the recently formed All-India-Wornen’s Conference._ _ 200/ JUDY WHrrEHEAD _ Notwithstanding Mayo’s exaggerated concern with Hindu sexuality, infant and maternal health were clearlyimp'ortant internation'al’issues in' the first decades of the 20th century. In the symbolof the woman’sbody as nation, the - physical health - of mothers 'became' an ‘sir’npo'rtan't 1metaphor for the . reforming middle classes, whether metropolitan or colonised, to claim the' I moral right to regulate bodies, mindsand populations:Hospitalsfor. women, often run by missionaries, Were opened throughout India in the early 20th century,- and baby shows became regularevents in cities: By 1929; there were nine Infant Welfare Centres in BOmbay along with three-maternity hospitals, While-there-were six Infants-WelfareeCentres in Lucknow and nine in Madras;'-The view that early marriages-and early maternity contri- ‘ butedto high rates of infant mortality was promoted: by=prominentmedical practitioners in India. - Sir John Magew,“ Medical. Adviser at the (India'- ' Office, estimated that-one-tenth ofiyoungibrides- in---India5were doomed to die in childbirth before they ceaSed='beaIing children (quoted in Rathbone 1934:..--'26). =Dr. Adhikari',210pening a-Maternity and Child Welfare Week Exhibition in calcutta, entreated his audience to ‘marry— their daughtersat ' a' later-age, since born of-frail, young mothers-,- the children were-bound to be no better, . . . while'the promotion'of: maternity and child'welfare would provide a great impetus to preserving national life-and vigour? (Ammd baz'aarpatrika,‘7 January'1929:‘12).- In'=1928,-the"All¥India Medical - Conference passed a resolution that the union of a Woman under- =16 years and a man .under’:20 years was-detrimental'to the futurehealthof-the'nation 7 (Thesmtesman, 21 December 1928).- - -- i ' _ With “nationalists” in ithe" 1920's’projecting' the'mSelves as ni‘é Illegitimate caretakers of ' the'nation’s health, and With'the 'sup'port'of'nati'onal and internatiOnal'ihealth bodies, two Indianrefo'rmers injthe' Central. Legislative Assembly, BakShi Sohan Ltd and Dr. H.S‘.'GOur, tried to'raise'the Iage'of consent from 12' to Min-1922 and11923,:respectivelyi Yet, beCauseof'the 1891' Age of Consent controversy, the: Bengal Lieut'enantLQovernor delayed the-'progreSS of'Gour’s bill 'u_ntil"1_9:25.' Lal_’s"bill, hoivever,‘ was_:'stalled before reaching the committee stage; During the debate over G'oi1r’s theiLegislative Councilisurprisingly passed aiimotion'in favourioifraising the ages?!" Cohssnt to 174' and. 16'f0i’msiital fifis.'e’ifts4mari'til éasei reinictirslr: f Forijfeat more, SUPPOi't .amofigLiths’bithiidoxl elements; flaming]? the O'HIYS‘iPPOfiaS 'szriiiih rule; the. enamel: recedes .. motion- in'Marcli 1925-,»- . . ., ' " iI—l:i')\ll'r_:v'er_,'_the: reformers 'IperSistedfandi only six months after ' initiative-was blocked, 'gb'véfnment'vési foriiédftd'(intro'diiée. 25115111 1:05 raise :th-e'fag'ejer consent to "13': and'lliinf marital iaiid 'extra-marital‘_'c'ases _' ' respectively (Engels19375145)" Then R'ai- :Ha'rbila's Sarda', a'prominent Modernising the motherhood archetypal 201. --Arya Samajist who was also Deputy Leader of the Nationalist Party, introduced a bill in February 1927 to-prevent:the marr’iagesof girls below age 12 and boys. :below . 14; A month 'later,: Dr.- 1-1.3: - Gout introduced another bill to raise'the age of consent from 13 to 14 in marriage and from :14 to 16 .outside marriage,-arguing:that north India’s high rate of infant mortality could be partially ascribed to early'marriages' (Government of ~-Ind_ia. 19293: :Vol. 3, p; 52). Reluctant .to proceed with any seeialilegisla- tion, the Delhi-government referred the-mattersof age of consent and-age of marriage to a-select committee. '~ ,- ' ». 3-' 5 - '- "1 ‘- The Age of Consent Committee, established in June 1928} was all- Indian,-except for one British woman doctor. It. Was headed'by Sir Moropant Joshi, formerly Home-Member of the Central Provinces. Theother nine .members included two judges, four lawyers, and the Delhi repres'bntative of ,4 the All-India Women’s Conference,- Rameshwari Nehru. Frequently praised for its thoroughness, the .Joshi Committee composed: a lengthy questionnaire which was circulated'to 6,000individuals and public institu-' tions in the summer of 1928, and to a further::1,930'persons through local governments. The Committee toured all provinces except Assam in the fall and winter of 1928—29, interviewing over 400 medical men and women, social workers, and leading representatives of- different 'classes,7commun~ ities,-and women’s organisations (Government of India. 1929b: 14-). -I ;--;From the initial questionnaire.to-the-final report, the Committee’s . questions and recommendations stressed the healthtconsequences- not only ' of- earlysmarriages and‘early maternity, but also. of a range'of feudal gender traditions,- notably the poor. state of girls’ education;--purdah, and- the confinement of parturient mothers-in ill—lit and poorly ventilated: zenanas. : Only Muslim community leaders uniformly-rcjected‘thc need for. atchange in the law, stating that the Shariat- already prOtected-'Muslim-' girls from early marriages. The array of medical evidence against-the effects ofear-ly " marriage was so strong that it led the 1931 Census'Commissioner to‘remark - that: ‘It' is quiteiimpossible to read it, in particular the medical'evidence, 'with any approach to equanimity’ (quoted in-Rathbone 1934: '26)}: In its summary report of the nine provincial hearings, the -- Age of.-:Consent " Committee-stressed--‘humanitarian and medical considerations regarding the physiological fitness of girls-to endure the strain-cf" consummation’. It . also emphasised- the eugenics argument-that: early motherhood enfeebled - the race by producing underweight children who were vulnerable-to disease. Arise in the legal Age: of--Marriage“was necessary-,-- the report argued, -.b.ecause:-=: - .- a. . I .Earlymaternityl.a..._contributes.-very: largely to maternal and infantile sh. mortality,_.inlmany- cases wrecks-the physical systemcof theagirl- and . generally-leads. to degeneracy inth‘e physique offthe race(Government Tani-India 1929b: 102).- .- r 202I‘JUDY WHI'I'EHEAD = - - -. ~ -I;:.O'ne.-\of--the -major features-of the: medical discourse present. in. the evidence i=and';-in=_.-the1 repOrt; is: thexobjectification'T of the woman’s: body. :Worhen’s subjective responses toearly-‘rnan‘iage and maternity were..e'rase_d, :tobe replaced by cases of puerperal fever, dementia,-phthisis, stillbirths, premature births’, vanaemia, tuberculosis ,'= osteomalacia, --.hysteria',~ and 'ihaemor-rhage.'1Yet:;the‘sauthority of thesephysiological and--psych010gical ‘ terms to :objectify human-suffering as natural and universalistic faCts,'was’a powerful-weapon: inrlegal institutions which privileged scientific-farms Of objectification as the verifiable mode of relation to subjective-experience (Smith 1990:68); . .. . , a : ; . =1Some examples: of the medical-teStimony will illustrate both. their." obj ec- tification .of. the female body and their ability-to translate - human ‘: distress - into ax‘factigwhich‘ stood in for ,-:yet constituted,- the state’s-‘real’ proof of:._the damaging: experiential'..effects . of early: marriage L- Dr. ILlazarus, Superinten- ?- dent. ‘of..-the.:Government‘.VictOria"Caste: and Gosha- Hospital, Madras, reported that there. :were a; number of. cases-1 of pelvic :Icontractio'n, fistula, and sterility as a result of early maternity. 'Dr. =Dube,~the_ Health Officer of -fLuckno.w-,= reported that the-mortality of'girls between'10 and 20 was twice that of-boys, aphenomenon‘ he attributed both-to early maternity an'd'to female seclusion ;after the. ninth‘or tenth years (Government of--India 192%: Vol. 9,-éip.-93)."Dr; :Alice Ernst, MD; at the Ackerman—Hoyt Memorial Hospital,Jhansi, deposed that- she' had treated many cases of pelvic-inflam- mation due: to early. .cohabitati0n2.(ibid;: -75).'- 'Dr-.? Edith thosh-of-Calcutta recounted .-the :case: of -a .2'1-year~old Woman ' who died 'of' inanition Several Imonths aftergiving birthgto her..se"venth child (ibid.: Vol. 6, p'.- 38).“Drfi A.C. -~Scott-,=,.Chief Medical'Officer of the "Women’s" Medical 2 Service'sin --Delhi reportedthat:there-were; several cases ofvery young girls married to men twice their-.age;.and. sufferingfrom severeihaeinorrhaging', 'who'had . been-brought into-hospital; Dr.- LPandya, Assistant iHealthLOfficer .of Lucknow, gave .figures' showing that death rates from phthisisr were nearly four-sitiines'asr-high for women as for: men, which-he'rattributed to early :mar'ria'ges, :frequent-:-,:'child7bearing; = and - Seclusion; =Dr5’ J adavaji- Hansraj Elmenti'oned a=;case- i'n Cutchsin- which-a young. wife-of 13 died of profuse t-Ihaemorrhaging'after- .r being E raped: :by hen-older. ; husband £(ibid.‘:-: Vol 3, :p. 352).:Dr; Mrs-:Sukthanker; Honorary Physician for'innen' and‘children =at- theaCamaand AblesseHospit'al; found; that child-bearing-un'derrl'l- often led-to. consumption, anaemiagneurasthenia, loweredgvitality,"hySteria, and various other-serious diseases followin'g‘pre'mature strain. She also'doew :mented two out of eight children of’mothersunder 15 which were-still- ;birt_hs,.while the rest were prematureand underweight. Such children, she .-_I.1.0t§d;¥ often succumb-ed: to;vari0uS‘ diseases ldurin g childhood :as: aresu'lt of E'insuffieient;' resiSt_ance.;and vitality-rabid. : -p':. 153) Dr:— Ali‘ce Balfour,a..who .5hadgconduéted;afs'urigey, ofaZSO; mothers fancier-’20.;preSentingthemselves at infantzfillfeffareCentresin Bombay, foundthat‘ 43 percent-were Tunder the ' Modernising the motherhoad archetype [.203 average, birth weight of. 6,111 for mothersunderléuwhileimly .33 per cent were midst;-16,lbiprt-mothersw Orenlfi (ibis-:2 16).;Ihuss ,Shqsoncluded, early [Hcherhood led to_rthe..gr'adual physicalidcgsncratiqn tbs Indian fracas. . .3 - -Anothcr.-imag¢.that. recurs throughout, FhE-nglniité? Réppit antizEudsnoe ' :is' the ‘ separation» both institutionally and" metaphorically; batman the respectable :woman' in the figure ofthe early-mother,- arid-theunrespectable woman in; the images. of the'youngyurban prostitutesIhe_;_1:.egislative. Council wished to . avoid this issue 'of, early marriage and-instructed the {Committee to investigate aspects'of the age ofeonSent- issue‘astheyaffectedchealth and prestitution'. Yet most respondents felt that early marriage was a;:m_0r.e important: social problem. and-rectimmendedits prohibitions-asproposed .bythe Sarda Act, Most of: those giving-medical.evidence,;;such..as-pub1ic healthofficers and-doctors, referredonly,tozthe:physiological'consequences.of early marriage and_:_ear1y. maternity/{hose few; who gave; evidence; Qfethe effectsofna, low, age of consent gon‘unrnarried;gir1$,,-§hQW$Ver, weresocial workers, :chilclrenfs aid. society workers; members ofgfivigilanee,isocieties, and members of the-Elegalprofession»,InwBombay,‘.‘forgeitample, {the only witnesses; addressing :the. issue.- pig-age :of consent"outsidesmarriage- Mime Mr. Rifle Masam', .:¥iCC.-P1'ésident .of Ille‘Bpmbayr -Vigi,1.an,,cé-;Society; - Miss Katherine Davis,-;_Secretary of--,thea--,ChildrenfsiAidissociety, and .::H_aji,_B_arrister, All discussed the possibilityfd“furthersraisingr;tugage .of ponsent interms got its potential,.for...;repreSsingprostitution; Apparently, early motherhdodwas.rnot_..consideredan,isséuesfonsunmaflifidxgirls-E-Kamala- devi' ,Chattopadhyay', "Secretary of the; AIWEZ 5 in $192 ‘otedg iii sub- ‘ mission .to:..the Committeejthat .‘outsides legal-gcir'cle nd. ag-ffiw,;public- a-SpiritedeOPIB, n0'-.one'_Ser.iously.;.hothers. aboutgthe issue-11%.: seduction of unmarried girls]’ (Government of India 1929a: Vols-4,311.;27o),3_:1n__the ' ,. summary. report, 'marriageablez andgnonfimarriageablelgig-Sesguqfi garlygpon- ,. summation were also treated separately ,.3 .with) the; gnonirmarriageablea cases receivin ,very little --a_t__tent_ion._ As :‘factsf: acceptable for. considerat_ion_..by.the state; ,the_.._experienc_es; of young, ,urban- prostitutes; were; tons: placedins the ; more purely. disciplinary institutions :and discourses of-:_criminality;-_; " _, ji _‘ i 5 This, split between - the. unrespectables, :figurefof .'-the '5 prostitute ,,and,: the -re_s_pectab1e__national mother-figure was also reflected in the discourse _. associated with ' ages. of consent and : reform - 'ofpp'rostitution- gin: Sm} dharma - and in AIW(_3~Reports;E 2T=lie2All-Indiar’WOmews‘E conference,5ifollowmgs an appsal‘"39y_'Margaret‘TCdfisin'SLtwat 9.27, ' female facilitation Since'itaising'the".th idfic: .sffeié'tivc‘ifcr 'fiiiarfiassablé635:3;-sditérialsf-in"' 6, . y . estatsmathe age ofscmarfiagsistri dharma-s Octoh 1533 'socia1_{evil_ spreading ...
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This note was uploaded on 10/26/2009 for the course ANT 126B taught by Professor Jenniferaengst during the Summer '09 term at UC Davis.

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Uberoi1 - viii 1' PREFACE address the question of male...

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