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Performing Women/Performing WomanhoodTheatre, Politics, and Dissent in North India$
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Nandi Bhatia

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780198066934

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198066934.001.0001

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Argumentative Women in Domestic Spaces

Argumentative Women in Domestic Spaces

The Plays of Rasheed Jahan and Ismat Chughtai

(p.34) 2 Argumentative Women in Domestic Spaces
Performing Women/Performing Womanhood

Nandi Bhatia

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines plays that depict women in domestic and private spaces, which were constructed as ‘sacred’ and ‘spiritual’ spaces that nationalism carved out for women. Inspired by the Progressive Writers' Association's questioning of colonial and reformist ideologies, Rasheed Jahan and Ismat Chughtai relocated Muslim women's relationship to social reform, education, health, nationalist, and colonial politics within the private and secluded spaces of the home to provide readers with glimpses and snapshots of these through the lens of gender relations. Addressing the work of these playwrights when theatre and theatre discourse in India is saturated with assumptions about the normativity of Hindu women is also significant in pointing out the pluralistic tradition of women's theatre in north India and their contributions to the Progressive Writers' movement, All India Radio, and the genre of the one-act play.

Keywords:   plays, private spaces, gender relations, playwrights, Hindu women, women's theatre, Progressive Writers' Association, All India Radio, Rasheed Jahan, Ismat Chughtai

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