The gendered nation
DOI link for The gendered nation
The gendered nation book
The article seeks to understand the culturally specific ways in which nationalism and gender implicate each other in India – that is to say the process of nationalist imagination based on religious symbolism in Indian tradition and the impact of this process on Indian women’s life – through a theoretical underpinning of the subject of the gendered nation in more general terms. While doing so, it finds a big gap and even considerable tension between women in nationalism and women’s nationalism, which has permeated different brands of nationalism in the country throughout its colonial and postcolonial history. The last section of the article raises an ideological question – whether women keen on advancing their cause should align themselves with nationalism. It addresses the question by engaging with the relevant debates between three positions within feminism – 1) the position usually associated with Western feminism that advocates a spirit of internationalism, 2) the position upholding national cultures, which are concerns of Third World feminists in the main, and 3) the position seeking to improve women’s lot on a sectional basis.