Hindu Wife, Hindu Nation  -  Community Religion, and Cultural Nationalism

Hindu Wife, Hindu Nation - Community Religion, and Cultural Nationalism

Product ID: 30383

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Author: Tanika Sarkar
Publisher: Permanent Black
Year: 2013
Language: English
Pages: 290
ISBN/UPC (if available): 817824067X


What are some of the major Hindu ideas and traditions that have shaped the dominant conceptions of ‘Womanhood’, ‘Domesticity’, ‘Wifeliness’, ‘Mothering’ and India as a ‘Hindu’ nation? This book examines literary and social traditions, elite voice and popular culture – the rhetoric and the ground realities which have created the lived reality of north Indian today.

Included here is a critique of Bankimchandra’s Anandamath and its nationalist definition of Hindu nationhood; an examination of Scandals, rumours, and the popular press in colonial times; an analysis of how traditions of saintliness’, ‘sacrifice’, ‘Heroism’, and ‘warfare’ are being subverted by Militant Hinduism.

This book is a brilliant historicization and scathing critique of many of the dominant concepts by which Indians generally, and north Indian Hindus more specifically, think and live today.


“A “must” for all concerned with any aspect of gender, nationalism, colonialism or social history … A landmark indeed.”
--- Charu Gupta in Biblio.

“…the quality of the intellectual endeavour is impressive. The death that she brings to her analysis and the heterogeneity of cultural texts that she covers is the key to the success of Hindu Wife, Hindu Nation.”
--- Debjani Banerjee in The Telegraph

“Each [chapter] is fascinating and instructive in its own right.”
--- Patricia Uberoi in The Hindu



1. Hindu Wife, Hindu Nation – Domesticity and Nationalism in Nineteenth-Century Bengal
2. Talking About Scandals – Religion, Law and Love in Late Nineteenth-Century Bengal
3. A Book of Her Own, A Life of Her Own – The Autobiography of a Nineteenth-Century Woman
4. Bankimchandra and the Impossibility of a Political Agenda
5. Imagining Hindu Rashtra – The Hindu and the Muslim in Bankimchandra’s Writings
6. Conjugality and Hindu Nationalism – Resisting Colonial Reason and the Death of a Child-Wife
7. A Pre-History of Rights? The Age of Consent Debates in Colonial Bengal
8. Nationalist Iconography – The Image of Woman in Nineteenth-Century Bengali Literature
9. Aspects of Contemporary Hindutva Theology – The Voice of Sadhvi Rithambhara