Women’s Struggle in Rajasthan
Women’s heroic struggles for social change. education and political freedom in the region of Rajasthan (erstwhile Rajputana) form the prime focus of the study. The autobiographical accounts of these legendary women reveal the journeys from their sheltered and restrictive lives to their transformation as confident, assertive individuals. Womens Struggle in Rajasthan
The volume also reflects how they sought to challenge the conventional and gendered notion of space by crossing one barrier after another to emerge as significant actors in the hitherto ‘masculine domains’ of spiritualism, politics and education.
While there are subtle and substantive variations in the experiences of these activists, struggle forms the essence of their lives. Inspite of their invaluable role in the numerous struggles, these feisty and spirited women have sadly remained unsung in history as also in public memory.
Crossing Barriers Claiming Spaces
It is with great pleasure that we bring these happy and inspiring narratives that trace the jubilant journey of Viranganas (heroines) from the Purdah (confinement) to the Parcham (flag of victory). Their life stories have waited long enough to be known- this Volume is a celebration of these remarkable lives.
Our interest in women’s history of Rajasthan was aroused during our association with the anti-sati agitation in the state in the aftermath of the Roop Kanwar sati incident in Deorala in 1987. The agitation against the inhuman practice naturally stimulated a curiosity to trace the history of women’s activism in different states of erstwhile Rajputana.
The quest led us to the perturbing discovery that despite women’s significant role in the spheres of spiritualism, politics, social reform and education there is inadequate coverage of their contribution in the public domain.
It was indeed surprising that struggles of these feisty and spirited women have remained unsung in history as well as in public memory. Information about their lives is scarce, scattered and sketchy.
They find cursory mention in the biographies of their husbands or in the brief (barely single or half page) biographical sketches of freedom fighters. The women who were involved in institution-building often find space in the commemoration volumes or reports of the institutions.
However, these prosaic and superficial accounts do not capture the poignant details of their harsh struggles and the passion that defined their endeavors in different spheres.