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

Colonial BengalSubscribe to Colonial Bengal

A Micro-history of a Forgotten Disaster

An Imperial Disaster: The Bengal Cyclone of 1876 by Benjamin Kingsbury, New Delhi: Speaking Tiger Books, 2019; pp xviii + 210, ₹ 399.

Gendering Sports in Colonial Bengal

The early 20th century witnessed important shifts in the Bengali Hindu elite’s images of women’s public role. The number of educated women increased even if it was within the limited domain of urban communities. The “games ethics” influenced the women and it was placed in the broader perspective of their emancipation. Different schools and colleges with their motto of holistic education and the contemporary magazines highlighted the importance of women’s health for future motherhood. Their role in the sporting field remained gendered and female agency in this sphere had to negotiate with forms of patriarchy.

The Muscular Monk

Swami Vivekananda's thoughts are a complex and multidimensional interplay of India's ancient and medieval past and his 19th century milieu. He was an ardent advocate of masculinity and sports. This article discusses the infl uential contributions to theories of masculinity which provide a framework within which Vivekananda's physical activities and gendered notions can be situated. His belief that football is not insignificant reveals his concerns for the development of manliness among the so-called effeminate Bengalis. He himself practised a number of colonial sports and expressed profound interest in golf though these sports were not seen as a form of leisure. The lessons of physical culture not only strengthened his body but empowered his mind against inequality and perils. Vivekananda appeals to the Hindu sources for his construction of the body and mind of the spiritual aspirant as a site delimited and shielded.
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