true for a previous generation.
There were also significant changes in what women could do. But the shift
was neither abrupt nor permanent and many women, who briefly attended a
school or emerged from purdah to attend a “mixed” function, returned to the
household where they continued to live in the traditional fashion.
Increased Opportunities for Self-expression Women also experienced
increased opportunities for the expression of their individuality. Although
women in earlier times were certainly not an undifferentiated group, we do
not have sufficient records to go beyond generalisations about their lives.
Formal education and particularly the development of publications intended
for and written by women gave women a voice. It is impossible to enumerate,
let alone locate, all the literature from this period, but we know that in
Bengal, women produced almost 400 literary works, ranging from poetry to
novels and autobiographies, and twenty-one journals. Through their writings,
they were able to communicate with each other and develop new social
Need for an Explanation of India’s Subjugation The goal of the male
reformers was progress. Without social reform to substantially improve
women’s status, regeneration seemed doomed to failure. Humiliated by their
colonial status, Indians of the late nineteenth century were obsessed with the
issues of strength and power. They needed an explanation for the weakness
that had led to their defeat and an answer to the question of how to build up
their strength. If they accepted the nineteenth-century European theory that
the status of women was integral to the level and strength of civilization and
the European conclusion that Indian customs were degrading to women’s
status, they gained an explanation for their defeat and a prescription for
Regeneration of Mother India In Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyaya’s
patriotic novel Anandamath (1882), nationalists were born when they came
face to face with a battered and neglected image of the Mother Goddess.
Dedicating their lives to the regeneration of the Mother, they took up the
slogan, “Bande Mataram” (Hail to the Motherland).
Triple Vow of Modern Indian              In the hands of the great reformer