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

Articles by Dulali NagSubscribe to Dulali Nag

Love in the Time of Nationalism-Bengali Popular Films from 1950s

As women's education became an indisputable part of the liberal modernist agenda of nationalism, in 20th century Bengal, nationalist patriarchy faced a dilemma in placing her within its own confines, for the agenda of modernism and that of nationalism, were at odds with each other when it came to the 'educated women'. The nationalist agenda was of developing the nation through the gradual strengthening, on the cultural front, of a national middle class educated in the rational-scientific sense, affiliated with modern institutions, while retaining a consciousness of an authentic cultural identity. Cultural authenticity was sought to be protected by the ideology of the family and the feminine spirit therein, while the project of development and modernity was to be carried out in the public sphere, generally imagined to be controlled by the spirit of masculinity. Since education was the prerequisite for participation in the public sphere. the educated woman came to occupy a culturally ambiguous position of embodying-both masculinity and femininity in her dual capacity as a participant in a public sphere and as a repository of cultural authenticity.
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