Enslaved Daughters: Colonialism, Law, and Women's Rights
In 1884, the case of Rukhmabai, a twenty-five year old Hindu woman whose crusade not to be bound to an unhappy and unconsummated child-marriage, became a cause celebre in colonial India and in Britain. It highlighted the plight of women, the injustices of child marriage, and questioning the authority--indeed the legality--of Indian marriage laws. Chandra takes this case as his raw material and goes on to examine the wider issues of colonial power, gender relations, and the law in the late 19th century.
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Rukhmabai and Her Case
A Disputed Charter
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accepted added admitted amendment appeal argued argument asked authority Bombay British called caste cause circumstances Civil claimed colonial conjugal rights consent considered contract Court custom Dadaji decision decree defence discretion duty effect enforced England English evidence exercise existing fact feelings force gave Gazette girl give given Government ground High Court Hindu law husband Ibid important imprisonment India institution issue judges judgment judicial Justice lady Latham legislation letter live Malabari marriage married matter means months moral native natural never obligation once opinion orthodox party person Pinhey Pinhey's position practice present principles Privy Council proposed question reason reform refused regard relating reply restitution of conjugal Rukhmabai rule Sakharam Sargent seemed social society suggested suit Telang understanding verdict wife woman women wrote