Women’s History in India: An Historiographical Survey

  • Aparna Basu


It is well. known by now that women receive little or no attention in traditional historical writing. One reason for this is that traditional history has tended to focus on areas of human activity in which men were dominant — politics, wars, diplomacy — areas in which women had little or no role. As I begin to reflect on women’s history in India, my mind goes back to my school textbooks. Etched in my memory are the beautiful Mumtaz Mahal who moved Shah Jehan to build the Taj Mahal for her, Noor Jehan who was much abler than her husband, Jehangir, and was the real power behind the throne, or the brave Rani Laxmibai of Jhansi who fought to retain her husband’s kingdom. The only women who found a place in traditional history text books were either women who successfully performed male roles or whom great men loved.


Indian Woman Muslim Woman Child Marriage Hindu Woman Tribal Woman 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Karen Offen, Ruth Roach Pierson, Jane Rendall 1991

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  • Aparna Basu

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