Mother India: Selections from the Controversial 1927 Text, Edited and with an Introduction by Mrinalini Sinha

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Overview


Mother India, a polemical attack against Indian self-rule written by U.S. historian Katherine Mayo, was met with a storm of controversy when it was published in 1927. The controversy generated still reverberates and thus is still worth revisiting, some fifty years after Indian independence. In responding to Mayo's argument laid out in Mother India, the leaders of the national movement and the independent women's movement in India laid the foundations of an alliance that gave modern Indian nationalism its distinctive character.

Mrinalini's Sinha's edition provides selections of this controversial book and commentary on the Mother India phenomenon. It also reprints a range of responses from Mayo's contemporaries. Sinha's edition works to locate the book and the controversy it incited in the context of U.S. domestic, British Imperial, and Indian nationalist politics. Unlike previous editions, Sinha's examines the history of cultural feminisms and the relations between women's movements in the United States, Britain, and India; the examination of these different movements reveals intriguing insights into the nature of the varied reactions to Mayo's book. The edition includes several formerly obscure contemporary responses to Mother India from representatives of the women's movement and of the anti-caste movement in India.

Intended as a tool for students and teachers alike, this book will be an important text in the field of women's studies, cultural studies, political science, history, and religion, among others.

Mrinalini Sinha is Associate Professor of History, Southern Illinois University. She is the author of Colonial Masculinity: The 'Manly Englishman' and the 'Effeminate Bengali' in the Late Nineteenth Century.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780472097159
  • Publisher: University of Michigan Press
  • Publication date: 3/31/2000
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 5.83 (w) x 8.79 (h) x 1.16 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction
Mother India
Foreword
Introduction: The Bus to Mandalay
I The Argument
II "Slave Mentality"
III Marbles and Tops
IV Early to Marry and Early to Die
V Spades are Spades
Interlude: The Grand Trunk Road
VI The Earthly God
VII Wages of Sin
VIII Mother India
IX Behind the Veil
X Woman the Spinster
Interlude: The Brahman
XI Less than Men
XII Behold, a Light!
XIII Give Me Office or Give Me Death
XIV We Both Meant Well
XV "Why Is Light Denied?"
XVI A Counsel of Perfection
Interlude: Mr. Gandhi
XVII The Sin of the Salvation Army
XVIII The Sacred Cow
XIX The Quality of Mercy
XX In the House of Her Friends
XXI Home of Stark Want
XXII The Reforms
XXIII The Princes of India
Interlude: Into the North
XXIV Firebrands to Straw
XXV Sons of the Prophet
XXVI The Holy City
XXVII The World-Menace
XXVIII "Quacks Whom We Know"
XXIX Psychological Glimpses through the Economic Lens
XXX Conclusion
App. I Medical Evidence
App. II Enfranchisement of Women
Select Contemporary Responses to Mother India
1 Miss Mayo Answered - Muthulakshmi Reddi
2 Correspondence - Women's Indian Association
3 Extracts from MOTHER INDIA KA JAWAB
4 Extracts from MEYO KUTRU MOYYA POYYA
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