Why Kali Won’t Rage: A Critique of Indian Feminism by Rita Banerji

1. Two unique factors distinguish Indian feminism from the feminism in the west.  One, it rejects the notion of a deep-rooted, tradition-fed gender hierarchy in India, defined, dominated and exploited by men.  Secondly – it does not ascribe the abysmal state of women in India to longstanding patriarchal oppression, and hence sees no reason to rage against it. While to western feminists, these factors might seem oddly perplexing, there is within Indian feminism a rationalization of these outlooks.

2. Suma Chitnis in Feminism In India, a compilation of “some of the most influential writings on the concept of feminism in India” (Chaudhuri 1), describes how once, while attending an international seminar on gender roles in Canada, she was acutely conscious of the fact that while the western feminists there launched an “angry tirade” against the patriarchies in their countries, she felt no such anger towards the patriarchy in her own country.  She goes on to elaborate on Indian women’s general “disapproval of [the western] feminist anger” and their “confused reaction to the [western] feminist emphasis on patriarchy […] particularly on men as the principal oppressors” (Chitnis 8-10).

Read more here.

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