Author: Uma Chakravarti
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8186706402
This volume documents the focus on the widow, regarded as the dark half of womankind in tradition, the structural counterpart of the sumangali or the auspicious married women, and to provide an archive on widowhood.
This volume documents the focus on the widow, regarded as the dark half of womankind in tradition, the structural counterpart of the sumangali or the auspicious married women, and to provide an archive on widowhood. The archive comprises prescriptions, injunctions, laws and other accounts dating back to the 5th century BC from Sanskrit texts as well as extracts from official documents, pamphlets and essays in many languages, published in the 19th and 20th centuries.
The material is arranged in three parts: documents, personal narratives and creative writing in an attempt to capture the complexities of the experience of widowhood, its diversity and range across India.
With the emergence of the women's movement in the last quarter of the 20th century, the terms of analysis have changed and feminist inspired scholarship has raised new questions. In the anthology the widow comes across not just as a passive 'pitiable' object, oppressed, victimized and patronized but as an active resisting survivor - it is this last image that stays with the reader.
UMA CHAKRAVARTI has taught History for many years at Miranda House, Delhi University. Among her published works are Rewriting History: The Life and Times of Pandita Ramabai; Social Dimensions of Early Buddhism; The Delhi Riots: Thre3e Days in the Life of a Nation and From Myths to Markets: Essays on Gender.
PREETI GILL is an editor with Kali for Women and has researched and scripted three documentaries on India's North East.