ISSN No: 2583-4347
The January 2023 issue of Samyukta: A Journal of Gender and Culture attempts to read the protracted relationship between the nation and gender in the Indian subcontinent, in the time period stretching from the 19th century to the recent past. The key assumption here is that nationalist discourse anywhere in the world is gendered; particularly so in the Indian subcontinent. We have examined how the differential power relations between the sexes were played out in this vast region, from the 1850’s when the collective life of the populace was/is under both threat and rapprochement.
We have in this number original papers which present a revisiting of the brutal massacre at Jallianwala Bagh or a reading of the state intervention and militarism that erased thousands from the face of the earth in Sri Lanka or even a critical commentary on the energetic resistance staged by women against the naked power of the state in Shaheen Bagh in recent times. The idea of the nation looms large behind all these confrontations. A close reading of such instances show us that the women participants were not ‘feminists’ fighting for equal rights with men, but active players in movements defining citizenship or claiming the rights of both men and women, who inhabit a particular stretch of land.
Narratives like these take us to the front line of the struggles for freedom, in the broadest sense of the term. We strongly feel the need to revisit his-story from this perspective, in the light of feminist historiography. We have included papers that look beyond the rhetoric of inclusion and exclusion. We have not insisted on any theoretical analysis, as we preferred to leave it to the scholar to decide how s/he would prefer to structure the paper.
G. S. Jayasree
Samyukta: A Journal of Gender and Culture