Women of India : Traditions and Modernity Women of India : Traditions and Modernity

Eugenia Yurlova

Women of India : Traditions and Modernity

Еditor: Tatiana Shaumyan

Institut vostokovedeniya RAN

Moskva, 2014, 520 pages

ISBN: 978-5-89282-568-9

The book is composed of two parts. The first one deals with the problems and achievements of the Indian women in the historical context – from the ancient times until present day. The problems of equality of the Indian women have been intensely discussed in colonial and independent India. During the 65 years of independent development of the country, women achieved noticeable results in social, political and cultural life. Democratization of the Indian society, the growth of literacy and education of women, their participation in elections helped their advance to leading positions in social and political life. However, the majority of women is still in the grip of old conservative traditions. Their further progress to new stages of liberation meets with a stiff resistance of retrograde forces which represent the patriarchal society, where religion and caste play a major role. Women’s empowerment and attempts to implement equal rights with men or have a “love marriage” often result in confrontation with age-old traditions of subjugation and dependence. These conflicts, previously assessed as minor ones and related only to the realm of family lives, nowadays have become important issues of wide public discussion. They represent one of characteristic features of gender relations in contemporary India. The second part consists of ten essays on outstanding Indian women – social reformers, public, cultural and political leaders.