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Analysing the Passivity and Feminist Consciousness of Colonial Bengal’s Muslim women

Author Affiliations

  • 1Department of English, B.H.U., Varanasi, INDIA
  • 2 Rani Durgawati University, Jabalpur MP, INDIA

Int. Res. J. Social Sci., Volume 4, Issue (10), Pages 47-50, October,14 (2015)


The gender concerns in India are intrinsically attached to the communal variations keeping in view the heterogeneous socio-religious fabric of the country. However the majority of attention seemed to be garnered by Hindu majority to the exclusion of other sections of female population, for instance Muslim women, a minority within a minority for on account of their of gender and faith and have been struggling for a rightful place ever since the inception of feminist movement in British India. The image of Aryan woman, apparently a Hindu reconstruction developed during the colonial period was oblivious of other categories of Indian women including Muslim women who presently constitute sixty five million to population and whose minority concerns crops up incidentally in cases like 1985s Shah Bano case or the recent Rahim Bis case in Bombay High Court indicating the void in scholarly pursuits in this area. In this backdrop, the present paper attempts an analysis of the condition of Muslim women of colonial Bengal who residing in a time and space shared by more illustrious bhadramahila, the modernised Hindu/ Brahmo women found little notice in the feminist historiography. Contrary to their deemed passivity and backwardness, these Muslim women did react to changing times and expressed their feminist consciousness, of course on their own terms specific to their unique social contexts and a study on it is but a step towards a more inclusive approach to gender studies.


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