Journals Higher Education



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Published: 04 August 2008

288 Pages

ISBN: 9780195695731

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Bookseller Code (06)


Enslaved Daughters

Colonialism, Law and Women's Rights

Second Edition

Sudhir Chandra

This is the second edition of a remarkable study of a young woman's defiant stand against Hindu orthodoxy and the colonials legal establishment in late nineteenth century India. It revolves around a suit for "restitution of conjugal rights" filed against Rukhmabai, who was married at age eleven and refused to go and live with her husband. Based on extensive archival research, this lucid and engaging account captures the dramatic unfolding of the litigation, as well as the social and political debate set off by it. The narrative skillfully weaves together the details of the case with larger issues of gender and law, colonialism, culture, reform, and modernity. This edition includes a new Afterword in which the author analyzes a libel case into which the rival party dragged Rukhmabai with a view of breaking her will, even before the original suit had been settled.