Feminism in modern India : the experience of the Nehru women (1900-1930)
Title: Feminism in modern India : the experience of the Nehru women (1900-1930)
Author: BORGHI, Elena
Citation: Florence : European University Institute, 2015
Series/Number: EUI PhD theses; Department of History and Civilization
The dissertation focuses on a group of women married into the Nehru family who, from the very first years of the 1900s, engaged in public social and political work for the cause of their sex, becoming important figures within the North Indian female movement. History has not granted much room to the feminist work they undertook in these decades, preferring to concentrate on their engagement in Gandhian nationalist mobilisations, from the late 1920s. This research instead concentrates on the previous years. It investigates, on the one hand, the means Nehru women utilised to enter the public sphere (writing, publishing a Hindi women's journal, starting local female organisations, joining all-India ones), and the networks within which they situated themselves, on the national and international level. On the other hand, this work analyses the complex relations between the feminist and nationalist movements at whose intersection the Nehru women found themselves. The vicissitudes of the Nehru family and of its female members in particular work as a lens through which a different light is shed on the political and social realms of early-twentieth century India. As the story unfolds, it becomes clear that its protagonists were all but the passive recipients of others' choices and priorities: their stances resulting from time to time in resistance, negotiation, acquiescence, or critique were actually dictated by strategic considerations of political or social expediency, and bespoke an emerging feminist agency.
LC Subject Heading: Nehru family; Feminism -- India -- History; Women -- Political activity -- India; Women -- India -- Social conditions -- 20th century
Defence date: 16 October 2015; Examining Board: Professor Dirk Moses, European University Institute (Supervisor); Professor Laura Lee Downs, European University Institute (Second reader); Professor Padma Anagol, Cardiff University (External Advisor); Professor Margrit Pernau, Max Planck Institute for Human Development.
Type of Access: embargoedAccess