Archetypal Motherhood and the National Agenda: The Case of the Indian Muslim Women

Space and Culture, India

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Title Archetypal Motherhood and the National Agenda: The Case of the Indian Muslim Women
Creator Rahmath, Ayshath Shamah
Mydin, Raihanah Mohd
Hashim, Ruzy Suliza
Subject Mother India
Muslim women
Indian Nationalism
Constitutional Othering
National and religious identities
Social Sciences
gender studies
Description The grand narratives of Mother India posit women’s emancipation as the central concern, insisting on her public participation in the educational and economic sectors. The relegation of the archetypal motherhood to the national periphery is strictly rooted in the Hindu traditional culture. The schisms of caste, class, and religion in contemporary society are normalised whilst the gendered undercurrents of domestic violence, chauvinism and religious sensibilities are ignored. Such polished idealisms are, in fact, far from the living reality of most women and girls across all spheres in the country. By reviewing notable texts from past and present, this research problematises the position of Muslim women in India, specifically during the nationalistic discourse and post-independent era. The national freedom struggle movement assured a democratic constitution, which primed Mother India as the figurative Indian woman encrypting ideologies from socio-religious discourses. The grand narratives often become instrumental in politicising the vested interest of the hegemonic class. The struggles of Muslim women were foregrounded not only in the gendered disparity of the religious domain but also in the socio-cultural disparities which excluded them from the domain of Indian womanhood. Mainstream history, literature and even women development organisations deliberately typified Muslim women along with the religious discourse. Briefly, in this paper, we infer that Muslim women were rendered invisible in the limelight of the archetypal Mother India, denying their social, political, cultural and literary participation. They were thus subjected to constitutional othering by the mainstream socio-political entities (who subjected them) at the onset of nationalism, which continues to exist in post-colonial discourses where women are expected to constantly negotiate their religious identity over their national identity.
Publisher Alliance for Community Capacity Building
Date 2020-03-29
Type info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Format application/pdf
Source Space and Culture, India; Vol 7 No 4 (2020): Space and Culture, India; 12-31
Language eng
Rights Copyright (c) 2020 Ayshath Shamah Rahmath, Raihanah Mohd Mydin, Ruzy Suliza Hashim

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