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The Fall of GodsMemory, Kinship, and Middle Classes in South India$
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Ester Gallo

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199469307

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199469307.001.0001

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Some Moments in History

Some Moments in History

(p.30) 1 Some Moments in History
The Fall of Gods

Ester Gallo

Oxford University Press

Chapter one sets the historical context in which both nationalist and middle-class reformist movements developed in colonial Kerala and India across caste, class, gender, and religious diversity. It focuses on the reformist movements known as the Yoga Kshema Sabha (henceforth YKS) and Nambudiri Yuva Jana Sangham (YJS) which developed at the beginning of the twentieth century to voice the class ambitions of young Nambudiri Brahmins. The YKS and YJS ethos will be discussed in relation to the colonial de-legitimation of indigenous kinship and to the broader history of gender reform that has marked the middle classes in Kerala. An analysis of YKS documents will highlight how the debate on kinship expressed the aim of drawing a ‘divine elite’ into the arena of inter-community competition and the place of reformed domesticity in this process.

Keywords:   colonial domesticity, gender, caste, middle-class reformisms, Yoga Kshema Sabha, Yuva Jana Sangham

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