“It is not my intention to distress your dear heart of to cause a rift in our love by raking old memories……In our society for centuries there has been no legal restraint between husband and wife, and if it exists, it works against women! Such being the case, I had no recourse but to allow you to hit me with chairs and bear it with equanimity. A Hindu wife has no right to utter a word or to advise her husband. On the contrary, she has a right to allow her husband to do whatever he wishes, and to keep quiet. Every Hindu can, with advantage learn patience from his wife”. 1
These lines from a letter written by one of India’s first woman doctors and feminist foremother Anandibai Joshee to her husband Gopalrao Joshee, reveals the tenuous relationship between the patriarchal order of society, laws and women. Writing as far back as 1884 Anandibai raises two very significant points about gender violence.
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