South Asia Research Institute Annual Public Lecture: Mother India (Bharat Mata) and her Unruly Daughters

Presented by ANU College of Asia & the Pacific

Bharat Mata ki beti (daughters of Mother India) is a contradiction in terms, for the Motherland produces only sons - Hindu savarna (upper caste) sons to protect their mother's ever fragile honour. Who are the daughters, especially the unruly daughters? In this lecture I will explore potential and actual resistances to the Hindu nationalist project
(Hindutva), that arise from within the folds of the heterogeneous practices that have come to be called Hinduism.

Nivedita Menon is Professor at Centre for Comparative Politics and Political Theory, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi and the author of Seeing like a Feminist (2012). Apart from research papers in Indian and international journals, her previous books are Recovering Subversion: Feminist Politics Beyond the Law (2004); and a book co-written with Aditya Nigam Power and Contestation: India after 1989 (2007). She also has two edited volumes Gender and Politics in India (1999) and Sexualities (2007); and a book co-edited with Aditya Nigam and Sanjay Palshikar Critical Studies in Politics. Exploring Sites, Selves, Power (2013). She is a regular commentator on contemporary issues on the collective blog (of which she is one of the founders), and active in democratic politics in India. She also has translated fiction and non-fiction from Hindi and Malayalam into English, and from Malayalam into Hindi, and received the AK Ramanujan Award for translation instituted by Katha.