Contentious Traditions: The Debate on Sati in Colonial India. Author(s): Lata Mani. Source: Cultural Critique, No. 7, The Nature and Context. Contentious Traditions: The Debate on Sati in Colonial India. By LATA MANI. Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, Pp. xiv + $ (paper ). Contentious Traditions: The Debate on Sati in Colonial India, by Lata Mani,. Berkeley, University of California Press, Pp. xiv + This important book – a.
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Reviews “An important and disturbing book.
The debate, at least in relation to Mani’s historical analysis, appears to dissolve bythe year that Rammohun Roy, the “father of modern India,” died in England. Book titles OR Journal titles. The most prominent of the four, the Circular ofdistinguished “legal” from “illegal” sati based on specific and contradictory interpretations of Hindu scripture.
Describe the connection issue. This was also the period of the Bengal “Renaissance,” associated with Roy’s social reform movement, depicted in Indian nationalist historiography as a modern bhadralok social force that eventually influenced the composition of later anti-colonial nationalist discourse.
For Mani, marks a distinct shift in the structure and mission of the EIC from a trading company to that of a colonial, a revenue collecting state, the result of a “complex mediation structured by relations of domination and subordination” p. Unsettling and illuminating, this is feminist scholarship at its best. Mani presents the multiple forces, the discursive strategies implemented by both reformers and conservatives, in indigenous male discourse on sati.
The debate on sati circulating in Bengal and Britain between andincluded East India Company EIC officials, Hindu pundit s scholarsBengali bhadralok “respectable” class, urban-based and upper-castemunshi s teachers[End Page ] Christian missionaries, and members of Parliament, among others, but excluded entirely the voices of Indian women.
Built on the Johns Hopkins University Campus. EIC officials sought to discover Hindu scriptures, as opposed to customs, that they assumed were the basis for Hindu laws. These three “publics” represent the discursive elements in the formation of colonial discourse on sati.
Between the first recorded colonial discussion of sati in and its abolition inthe EIC promulgated four circulars on the practice. Books Digital Products Journals.
Iin Debate on Sati in Colonial India. In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide. Disciplines Anthropology Cultural Anthropology Asian. Though the prohibition of widow burning in was heralded as a key step forward for women’s emancipation in modern India, Lata Mani argues that the women who were burned were marginal to the debate and that the controversy was over definitions of Hindu tradition, the place of ritual in religious worship, the civilizing missions of colonialism and evangelism, and contentioys proper role of the colonial state.
Journal of World History. Mani radically revises colonialist as well folonial nationalist historiography on the social reform of women’s status in the colonial period and clarifies the complex and contradictory character of missionary writings on India. Contentious Traditions analyzes the debate on satior widow burning, in colonial India.
University of California Press, c University of California Press, The history of widow burning is one of paradox. While the chief players in the debate argued over the religious basis of sati and the yhe points of scriptural interpretation, the testimonials of women at the funeral pyres consistently addressed the material hardships and societal expectations attached to widowhood.
Project MUSE – Contentious Traditions: The Debate on Sati in Colonial India (review)
Forged from a partnership between a university press and a library, Contentioua MUSE is a trusted part of the academic and scholarly community swti serves. And although historiography has traditionally emphasized the colonial horror of satia fascinated ambivalence toward the practice suffused official discussions.
The EIC employed indigenous interpreters, at least until EIC officials learned Sanskrit and Persian, to locate and provide analysis of Hindu texts in the codification of colonial law.
The Company saw customary practices as “degraded,” “superstitious,” and ensuring the “corrupt” power of Brahmin priests. Bampton’s eyewitness account of sati performed by an “infatuated woman” recorded insome five years before the British colonial regime outlawed this “dreadful rite” inrepresents a common missionary discourse found in traeitions accounts:.
In this debate between and among EIC [End Page ] officials and indigenous male elite, “women are neither subjects nor If you would like to authenticate using a different subscribed institution that supports Shibboleth authentication or have your tye login and password to Project MUSE, click ‘Authenticate’.
The debate normalized the violence of sati and supported the misconception that it was a voluntary act of wifely devotion.
Contentious traditions : the debate on Sati in colonial India in SearchWorks catalog
Publication date ISBN hbk. Though the prohibition of widow burning in was heralded as a key step forward for women’s emancipation in modern India, Lata Mani argues that the women who were burned were marginal to the debate and that the controversy was over definitions of Hindu tradition, the place of ritual in religious worship, the civilizing missions of colonialism and evangelism, and the proper role of the colonial state.
Contending discourses of pro- and anti-sati forces were forged in relation to official discourse. Chapter 1 examines the production of colonial knowledge on the subject.
The history of widow burning is one of paradox. Mani brilliantly illustrates how situated feminism and discourse analysis compel a rewriting of history, thus destabilizing the traditjons we are accustomed to look at women and men, at ‘tradition’, custom, and ln. Lata Mani has reopened the archives on widow burning in colonial India.
Sati, or “suttee” as it was spelled by Westerners, refers most commonly to a widow who immolates herself on her husband’s funeral pyre, as well as to the practice itself.