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Contemporary Gender Issues In India: Some Reflections

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Book Code: 1111016994922

Asha Mukherjee, Shahnaz Begum

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ABOUT THE BOOK

The status of women in India has undergone considerable change in last three decades. Though, Indian women in cities are now far more independent and aware of their legal rights, such as right to work, equal treatment, property and maintenance, still amajority of women in India remain unaware of these rights especially in rural set-up and even if they are aware, hardly exercise these opportunities. There are other factors that affect their quality of life such as age of marriage, extent of literacy, role in the family, culture, tradition and so on. In many of the Indian families, women still do not have a voice in most of the decision making. The gender disparity is also a cause for worry due to unbalanced development taking place in India.

The status of women has become a matter of serious concern in India and the traditional role of a woman as mother and nurturer needs to be reviewed; this has been insisted by the feminist in India just as anywhere else. The family for a women matters a lot in India (even today) and so do women for a family. The woman of the family binds everyone, looks after every member of the family, provides care, solves money problems in crisis but what she gets in return? Does she have any right to demand care for herself? Does she have a right to a dignified living within her family? Does she get due respect, love and affection in return from her family members and from the larger society? By and large, it is argued in the book, that it is due to their own and society's deep rooted patriarchal convictions coming from their own traditions and cultures that women do not exercise their rights provided by the law. The attitudinal change is much more needed and if the rights of women are recognized as valid and some obligations towards betterment for women are recognized by the society at large, the change of status of women would be faster.

The eleven papers in this book present the various ways in which a limited part of Indian society has been trying to change the social and cultural norms in a significant way. The articles cover philosophicreligious grounds for gender equality and the sociocultural aspects of women rights as well as the legal aspects. Some papers are also devoted on the literary and audio-visual (film) representation of struggle for women rights in Indian society, women in Indian myth and their modern appropriation of gender equality in the literary arena and issues related to mainstreaming of women police. Some other will deal with legal issues addressing the domestic violence act, the legal war against the mining in Odisha, the issue of triple talaq and other Muslim laws for the gender equality. The chapters in this book are contributed by some of the competent writers on women's issues basically exploring the foundations of culture of violence and oppression and examine the structural supports in the social, political and legal systems that are supposed to provide protection to the victims in reality. Some other explore the foundations through literature and films.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. Asha Mukherjee (Dubey) is Professor in Philosophy (since 2001) and Head, at the Department of Philosophy and Religion, Former Dean, Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences, (2017-19), Founder Director, Women's Studies Centre, (2009-12), Registrar (Acting) Sept.-2019- August. 2020) Visva-Bharati Central University, Santiniketan, West Bengal, India.

She taught philosophy for 39 years at Visva-Bharati (since July, 1981- August 2020). Has PhD from Rajasthan University, Jaipur, India, was a Fulbright Post-Doctoral Fellow during 1984-85 at Indiana University, Bloomington, US and has been Visiting Professor at various national and international universities, delivered lectures in several foreign universities and Indian Universities in various capacities.

Her areas of specialisation are Logic, Analytic Ethics, Applied Ethics, Jaina and Buddhist Philosophy, Academic Study of Religion and Gender Studies. She has edited number of books including Civil Society in Indian Cultures, (Co. Edited), RVP, Washington, 2001, Cognition, Man and the World: Jaina Philosophical Papers (Ed.) Kalinga Pub. Delhi, 2004, and Conditioning and Empowerment of Women, (jointly with Kumkum Bhattacharya) Gyan Pub., Delhi, 2004. Edited as Guest Editor, volume No. 28 of Labrys , Feminisms in India jointly with Tania Navarro Swain, Brazil www.labrys.net.br , 2016 and also Edited as Guest Editor, Volume, 6.1. Academic Study of Religion in Asia,ARGUMENT published from Krakow University, Poland Jointly with Ake Sander, 2016. Dr. Mukherjee has published more than 75 articles in Indian and internationaljournals and anthologies.

Shahnaz Begum has been teaching as an assistant professor in English in Purnidevi Chowdhury Girls' College, Bolpur since 2008. She completed her PhD in 2019.Her M.Phil dissertation was on diaspora in general and Jhumpa Lahiri in particular. She worked on Muslim American women writers for her doctoral thesis. She published extensively in India and abroad. She delivered lectures in Rajshahi University, Bangladesh and Tokyo Univesity of Foreign Studies, Tokyo, Japan. Her areas of interest are Postcolonial Studies, Diaspora and Islamic Feminism.

CONTENTS

Foreword ..........................................................................................................7

Preface ............................................................................................................17

Introduction .................................................................................................... 19

Section - I
Women and Religion

1. Women Rights and Religion in India: Exclusive or Inclusive? ...........................29
Asha Mukherjee

2. Islamic Feminism: A Liberating Force or a Religious Constraint? ................... 43
Shahnaz Begam

3. Abolition of Arbitrary Triple Talaq - A Landmark Judgement on the Rights of Women Legal & Social Dimension ...........................................53
Chandreyi Alam

Section - II
Women in Literature, Film and Theatre

4. Return of the Myth: Gender and the Politics of Rewriting................................81
Himadri Lahiri

5. Women’s Movements in 19th Century and as it reflected in Bengali Women’s Writings ...............................................................................93
Anindita Bandyopadhyay

6. Decoding the Ideal Woman in Rituparno Ghosh’s Unishey April ...................109
Dr. Amitayu Chakraborty

7. Theatre as Forum for Women’s Rights Activism in India: The Case of Tendulkar’s Silence! The Court is in Session (1968) and Jana Natya Manch’s Aurat (1979) ............121
Debayan Deb Barman

Section - III
Women’s Movements

8. Claims for Equal Justice and Universalistic Hopes ...........................................131
Rakesh Chandra

9. Vanguardship of Women in Vedanta Movement – Lanjigarh, Odisha ....................... 143
Urmimala Das

10. Mainstreaming of Women in Kolkata Police .....................................................161
Tumpa Mukherjee

11. Understanding Justice Delivery System from the Perspective of Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence in the Context of Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005 ............................................................................................. 181
Rupa Biswas

List of Contributors ...................................................................... 201

Index ............................................................................................. 203


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