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What are the major Hindu ideas and traditions of India that have shaped dominant conceptions of womanhood, domesticity, wifeliness, and mothering, and of India as a "Hindu" nation? Tanika Sarkar analyzes literary and social traditions, the elite voices and popular culture that helped create the lived reality of north India today. She explores the proto-nationalist novels of Bankimchandra Chattopadhyaya as well as scandal literature, rumors, women's memoirs, and the popular press of colonial times for the "subaltern" ideas that have shaped contemporary India. Sarkar also examines the way earlier Indian religious traditions of saintliness, sacrifice, heroism, and warfare are being subverted or transformed by militant and fundamentalist forms of Hinduism.
About the Author
Tanika Sarkar is Professor at the Centre for Historical Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University. She is editor (with Sumit Sarkar) of Women and Social Reform in Modern India (IUP, 2008) and editor (with Urvashi Butalia) of Women and Right-Wing Movements.