ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Anna LindbergSubscribe to Anna Lindberg

Child Marriage in Late Travancore

An examination of the child marriage system in Travancore - a princely state in Kerala before Independence - in the 1930s and 1940s finds that advocacy of child marriage has not been limited to communities considered traditional. There were gendered, community-based, official, unofficial, and popular ideas about children in the context of marriage and out of the competing official discourses on gender and modernity in Travancore, the one related to Christianity eventually became dominant. It presents the layers of discourses related to gender and child marriage: an official one in census reports, another in mid-level legal discussions, and a third more popular view. It discusses official presentations about gender relations as found in census reports in which concepts of modernity and civilisation are crucial and also an account of debates in the Travancore Legislative Council about child marriage in the 1930s. It also reviews a large number of cases involving dialogues between citizens and civil servants.
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