Rewriting History

The Life and Times of Pandita Ramabai

Uma Chakravarti

Rewriting History

Uma Chakravarti

Distributed for Zubaan Books

424 pages | 5 x 8 | © 1998, 2013
Paper $35.00 ISBN: 9789381017944 Published February 2014 World sales rights except India
Pandita Ramabai was one of India’s earliest feminists. Honored with the title of Saraswati in Calcutta in 1879, she soon alienated the men who had initially supported her. A high-caste Hindu widow, Ramabai converted to Christianity, an act that was seen as not only a betrayal of her religion but of her very nation.

A classic study, Rewriting History does more than introduce one of the foremost thinkers of nineteenth-century India; it rescues Ramabai from the marginalization of her contemporaries. Arguing that this controversial figure has been actively suppressed in the writing of India’s pre-independence history, Uma Chakravarti liberates Ramabai with an acute and nuanced critique of the power relations and hierarchies within a colonized society. Thoroughly researched and meticulously detailed, Rewriting History is essential reading for those interested in gender, class, and caste in nineteenth century India.


Caste, Gender and the State in Eighteenth Century Maharashtra

Caste Contestation, Class Formation, Nationalism and Gender

Law, Colonial State and Gender

Men, Women and the Embattled Family

On Widowhood: the Critique of Cultural Practices in Women’s Writing

Structure and Agency: A Life and a Time



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