Boek cover Identities and Histories Politics and Womens Writings in Bengal van Sarmistha Dutta Gupta

Identities and Histories Politics and Women's Writings in Bengal

Women's Writing & Politics in Bengal

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uitgever Bhatkal & Sen
Taal Engels
Bindwijze Hardcover
Aantal paginas 294 pagina's
Illustraties Nee
Uitgever Bhatkal & Sen
Gewicht 464 g
Verpakking breedte 146 mm
Verpakking hoogte 22 mm
Verpakking lengte 214 mm


Sarmistha Dutta Gupta explores the interface between women's writing and politics and studies gender identities in their shifting interrelations with other categories of identity like class and religion. Focusing on what Bengali middle-class women wrote in leading literary and political journals of the 1920s to the 1950s, Probasi , Saogat , Jayashree , 'Mandira , Gharey-Bairey and in the daily newspaper of the Communist Party of India, Swadhinata , the author interrogates the fashioning of different kinds of selfhood of women through papers subscribing to different ideologies. Literary journals like the prestigious Probasi , founded and edited by Ramananda Chatterji from 1901, saw women as equal but different, needing to be protected from the rough practices of politics. They brought their refined femininity to the outside world while remaining contained within enlightened domesticity. Saogat', founded in 1918 by Mohammad Naseeruddin, made writers out of Muslim women within the confines of their homes. Interestingly, as women became more adept writers, they were shifted to a separate domain, Mahila Saogat , and later to the weekly Begum , while Saogat grappled with the momentous political changes in the 1940s. Three journals founded by women, Jayashree , Mandira and Gharey-Bairey , were committed to expanding the political consciousness of women. Leela Roy (Nag), an early nationalist and feminist, founded Jayashree in 1931 to bring like-minded women together against the empire. Later, when she brought the journal to serve the purposes of Subhas Chandra Bose's Forward Bloc, its character underwent a major change. Mandira was founded in 1938 by Kalyani Bliattachaijee and Kamala Mukherjee who had met while incarcerated as political prisoners and later joined the Congress Mahila Sangha. Increasingly dominated by Congress' political compulsions, it sacked its first editor, Kamala Mukherjee, when she became a Communist, and replaced its second, Kamala Dasgupta, to make room for a male appointee in 1948. Begum in 1948, Gharey-Bairey was a bold experiment; the prime founders were leading, Communists Manikuntala Sen and Kanak Mukherjee of the Mahila Atmaraksha Samity, who tried to keep it free of party control. It had considerable success until the divisions within the fracturing party finally brought on its demise. Swadhinata , founded in 1945 by the Communist Party of India, addressed the large majority of Bengali women for the first time. But 'masculine' and 'feminine' spheres of work were sustained and women's writing gradually got confined to women's pages. Exposing hitherto neglected aspects of cultural politics in Bengal through incisive analysis of largely uncharted material, the book makes structural connections between what women produced and the politics of the public as well as the private spheres.

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