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Debating PatriarchyThe Hindu Code Bill Controversy in India (1941–1956)$
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Chitra Sinha

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780198078944

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198078944.001.0001

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Law and the Public Gaze

Law and the Public Gaze

The Hindu Code Bill in the Public Sphere

(p.75) 4 Law and the Public Gaze
Debating Patriarchy

Chitra Sinha

Oxford University Press

An analysis of the debate on gender rights that encompassed the Hindu Code Bill in the 1940s and 1950s in the public sphere is presented in the fourth chapter. The conflict of a liberal feminist consciousness and a traditional patriarchal ideology is analysed through an assessment of the available discourse relating to various issues raised over the Hindu Code Bill in the 1940s and 1950s. A key focus point of the chapter is the interaction of the public sphere with the official sphere, when the Hindu Law Committee met the public representatives in Bombay, Poona, and in several other cities of India in 1944 and 1945. The chapter also scans media reflections and reactions to understand the nature of the debate in the public sphere. It addresses the efforts of women’s organisations, social reform organisations, as well as conservative religious groups and opinion leaders.

Keywords:   Public gaze, Bombay press, Oral Evidence, Written Evidence, Bar Associations, Religious leaders, Purdanishins of Calcutta, Dharma Nirnaya Mandal, Dwarkanath Mitter

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