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

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Brave New World

Cosmopolitan Nationalism and Indian Women’s Movement in the Early 20th Century

Citizens of Everywhere: Indian Women, Nationalism and Cosmopolitanism 1920–1952 by Rosalind Parr, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2021; pp 198, price not mentioned (hardback).

Rosalind Parr’s Citizens of Everywhere: Indian Women, Nationalism and Cosmopolitanism 1920–1952 casts a fresh eye on India’s independence movement in the 20th century by linking the part played by its women to larger global progressive ideologies that characterised the time. The 20th century, especially after World War I, was full of hope—change was possible and it was coming. More empires would be dismantled, the ideologies that underpinned colonialism were being contested, there was talk of human rights and self-determination, women and workers and peasants were on the move, and universal adult franchise was around the corner. Travel and communication had opened up, ideas were flying across the world and people were writing letters, sharing books, meeting each other at international conferences.

All of this had an impact on what Indians fighting for freedom were saying and how they were saying it. But Parr makes the point that the very specific visions and demands of Indian women’s organisations, between the 1920s and 1940s, inflected international discourse about rights, the meaning of freedom and the “woman question.”

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Updated On : 21st Nov, 2022
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