The Early Years
The chapter focuses on the role of discourse and communicative action in the advancement of gender rights over several centuries, the second chapter concentrates on social, political, and legal factors that led to substantive reform efforts in the Hindu law during the twentieth century. It explores the lack of debate on women’s rights in pre-colonial India dominated by religious discourse and the transformation during the colonial era brought about by the emergence of alternate discourses including orientalist perspective, the views of social reformers, and the rise of feminist consciousness. The chapter also dwells upon the crystallization of Brahmanic patriarchy and the challenge provided by the early debates beginning in the 18th century till the codification of Hindu law in the 1950s.
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