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History of Women's Rights: A Non-Historicist Reading

This essay revisits the history of the rhetoric of women's agency and rights in colonial and postcolonial India in which debates around liberalism were often played out by mobilising the language of self-sacrifice to oppose the language of self-interest. The focus is on the debates around the Hindu Code Bill, 1955-56 which gave Hindu women the right to inherit paternal property and to institute divorce proceedings.

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