Women and the Hindi Public Sphere

Francesca Orsini

in The Hindi Public Sphere 1920–1940

Published in print April 2009 | ISBN: 9780198062202
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081431 | DOI:
Women and the Hindi Public Sphere

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In India, women's voices began to appear in the Hindi press and in Hindi literature only in the 1920s. Before that, women's access to the public sphere was full of tensions, and women active in the public sphere — whether through education, print, or activism — were able to do so only within extremely narrow confines and had to negotiate with both traditional and reformist concepts of Indian womanhood. These women were influenced in part by current symbols and notions of Indian femininity, including propriety, sevā, and maryādā. At the same time, they transformed these symbols in the new spaces to which they had access, whether in journals, literature, teaching, or political activism. Moreover, the chapter looks at the public spaces that women were able to access and the strategies and idioms they used so that they could gain a public voice.

Keywords: India; Hindi press; Hindi literature; public sphere; womanhood; education; journals; political activism; public spaces

Chapter.  28093 words.  Illustrated.

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