Daughters of Mother India in Search of a Nation: Women's Narratives about the Nation

The image of "Mother India" has often been used to represent the nation, but within this image the relationship of women to the nation does not find a place. The question of where a woman belongs is one that has many answers but these are hardly ever related to nationhood. This article looks at how nation and nationhood have been defined in women's writings in India. It attempts to explore this through two main themes: first, narratives of partition, specifically those written by women across the border and second, the dominant perceptions reflected in women's writings. At the same time, it questions the received wisdom as to whether women's writing constitutes a separate category and if women do indeed experience, perceive and relate differently than men to the world they live in.

Jasbir Jain
Economic and Political Weekly