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Gender, Nationalism and the Colonial Jail: a study of women activists in Uttar Pradesh
London School of Economics , United Kingdom.
1998 (English)In: Women's History Review, ISSN 0961-2025, E-ISSN 1747-583X, Vol. 7, no 4, 583-615 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

An important aspect of Indian women's political participation in the nationalist struggle against colonial rule was their imprisonment and confinement within the walls of the prison. To counter the difficulty and monotony of their prison existence, women developed strong solidarity networks which not only helped them to adjust to the temporary upheaval in their lives but also resulted in their becoming strong and determined individuals with a nationalist consciousness. These women resisted colonial rule through imprisonment and activities in the jail (such as writing poetry) just as they did through nationalist activities within the domestic sphere (such as spinning and weaving). The jail became a site where identities were continuously shaped and restructured. Feelings of pride, resentment, honour and humiliation were all experienced by women prisoners and were continuously sharpened. Women's entry into male dominated spaces dispelled the British stereotypes about Indian women as subordinate, weak and docile. Women were also aware that by endangering their womanhood on the streets and putting their bodies under risk of attack, they proved that they could share common experiences with their fellow men in the public sphere.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, 1998. Vol. 7, no 4, 583-615 p.
Keyword [en]
Colonialism, Women, Colonial Jail, Agency
National Category
Political Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-231609DOI: 10.1080/09612029800200182OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-231609DiVA: diva2:745125
Available from: 2014-09-09 Created: 2014-09-09 Last updated: 2015-03-11Bibliographically approved

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Thapar-Björkert, Suruchi
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