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Rhetoric, Reason and Representation: Four Narratives in the Hindu Code Bill Discourse
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Centre for Gender Research.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The present study focusses on the multiplicity of narratives in a critical phase of Indian legal reform, the reform of family laws in the 1940s and 1950s, known as the Hindu Code Bill controversy. The diversity of interests in society gave rise to a multiplicity of narratives within the Hindu Code Bill discourse in the public, political  and legislative spheres.  It also reflected the power structure in society and  its translation into political representation. The paper discusses four prominent  narratives in the Hindu Code Bill discourse in section 2, where, using critical discourse analysis as a theoretical tool, it  analyses the linkages between social ideology behind narratives and the process of law formation. In doing so, the paper examines the  interrelation between the rhetoric presented , the variety of reasoning approaches adopted and the representation  of such society in the political sphere , the site of  legal enactment.    In the concluding section, the paper attempts to present  an assessment of the relationship between rhetoric, reason and reality by looking at the history of the Hindu Code Bill discourse and suggests that the historian’s craft in legal history lies in assimilation of  multiple narratives and in interpreting its relation with  the representation and manifestation of power within the legislative decision making process.

Keyword [en]
legal Narrative, Hindu Code Bill, Hindu law, Family Law, India, Legal History, Law Formation
National Category
Gender Studies
Research subject
Legal History and Sociology of Law
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-267745OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-267745DiVA: diva2:874167
Available from: 2015-11-26 Created: 2015-11-26 Last updated: 2016-04-11Bibliographically approved

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Sinha, Chitra
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Centre for Gender Research
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