ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles by Jasodhara BagchiSubscribe to Jasodhara Bagchi

Gendering of the Novel

Feminising Political Discourse: Women and the Novel in India 1857-1905 by Jasbir Jain; Rawat Publications, Jaipur and New Delhi, 1997; JOSODHARA BAGCHI Jasbir Jain is a well known name in the field of literary studies in India. Using her base in English Studies, she has unpacked the complex relationship of women with the process of novel writing in its early days in India, that is, between the first war of independence in 1857 and the onset of the swadeshi movement in 1905. The new writing took place in the vernacular languages that signalled the formation of class subjectivities, that were simultaneously hegemonising and hegemonised. The socio-cultural dynamic that this set into motion has been analysed in its multifariousness by critics writing both in English and the vernacular languages. Jasbir Jain

Socialising the Girl Child in Colonial Bengal

On the fragile shoulders of the girl child lay the burden of keeping the patriarchal structure of the caste Hindu family in place. Her upbringing was that of a good well-protected 'bhadramahila' encouraged to play feminine games, read books suitable for girls and discouraged from physical activity and from dewloping a spirit of adventure. An elaborate code of socialisation was thus devised for the girl child to ensure that she fitted into the patrilineal, patrilocal family structure of caste Hindu Bengal.

Representing Nationalism Ideology of Motherhood in Colonial Bengal

Motherhood in Colonial Bengal Jasodhara Bagchi The burgeoning nationalism in colonial Bengal of the last quarter of the nineteenth century caught hold of the image of the mother to represent the nationalist aspiration. The ideology of motherhood was given an enormous importance in the cultural life of Bengal Was the choice of the mother merely an accidental one? Or was there something about the culture of the Bengalis that created the requisite precondition for such a choice?

Renaissance Revived

Literature and Society in Assam: A Study in Assam Renaissance, 1826-1926 by Tilottama Misra; Amsons Publications, Guwahati, 1987; pp 270,
THE book under review deserves our thanks for initiating us into the intricacies of the emergence of modern Assam, when a 'new' literature was born as in many other parts of India under the colonial intervention of the British. Since Assamese nationalism was a subject that was hotly debated in the political arena not so long ago, it is most gratifying to have an academic monograph which opens up the subject of Assamese society in the nineteenth century.

Positivism and Nationalism-Womanhood and Crisis in Nationalist Fiction-Bankimchandra s Anandmath

Of all the models of social regeneration that arrived from the West in the second half of the nineteenth century, Comte's Positivism appealed most to the Janus-tike intelligentsia of Bengal. It enabled them to look back on the order of the Golden Age of Hindus and at the same time look forward to the progress generated by British rule. Bankimchandra's later novels such as "Anandmath", far from dismissing the modernising influence of Positivism, in fact, represents a crisis in his nationalist consciousness. These novels create a parable of the nationalist confrontation and womanhood becomes the emblem of both the threatened and ravaged order as well as of the resistance to such ravages. Comte's glorification of woman undergoes a sea-change and Bankim's neo- positivist heroine of Anandmath is a fighter to the last who refuses to go back to the 'enclosed space' of domesticity.

Storm over English in West Bengal-A Comment

Storm over English in West Bengal A Comment Jasodhara Bagchi BHABATOSH DATTA's thoughtful article on the language controversy in West Bengal (EPW, April 4) has cleared a number of cobwebs and raised certain important points which are worth emphasising and remembering whenever a society gets embroiled in such controversies. The most important of these is the grave warning Bhabatosh Datta sounds against wanton experimentation with the education of children. Children .should not just be treated as pawns in the game of adults. Since Independence they have often been handled as shuttlecocks, so that thirty-four years after Independence, education in the country has generated a noxious combination of cynicism and competitiveness among the adolescents going up for higher education.

Killed with Kindness

Indian Women (ed) Devaki Jain, Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India; January 1975, pp xxvii
Towards Equality, Report of the Committee on the Status of Women in India; Government of India, Ministry of Education and Social Welfare,

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