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

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Rukhmabai Debate Over Woman s Right to Her Person

Justice Pinhey's verdict rescinding Dadaji Bhikaji's claim to restitution of conjugal rights over his wife, Rukhmabai, snowballed in the late 19th century into a verbal duel between the Anglo-Indian press and the native press. While the Anglo- Indian press was exultant at the proven moral superiority of the British legal system, the native press was alarmed at the threat of socio-cultural subversion of Hindu family and society the judgment posed. Only in the writings ofMalabari and a few other reformers do we find a justification of the verdict based on native discourse of conjugal norms.

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