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“BREAST-GIVER”: THE POLITICS OF MOTHERHOOD

Abstract

In her book, “Breast Stories,” Mahasweta Devi, as an Indian intellectual known for her
feminist, deconstructionist, and subaltern criticisms in cultural texts, literature and her own
radical writings, tells the stories of the women of India who are caught endlessly
in the cycles of holiness and self-abnegation.

The paper is to focus attention on what it might mean to actually recognize Mahasweta, not
merely to honour her. In this, my premise is that her work is significant not so much for its
putative "humanism" or its empathy for India's deprived millions, as for its narrative
accounting of the complex historical structure of Indian modernity. My analysis-through a
reading of her widely known short story, " Stanadayini"-will attempt to highlight two
aspects of this narrative On the one hand, I shall focus on the story's mapping of the terrain-
home of the rural elite and " pre-capitalist" underclassman which nationalist modernity in
India has to be made (and made to work). On the other hand, I wish to discuss how
Mahasweta uncovers the surrogate role of "woman in difference in mothering this modernity
born of India's passive revolution.

In her story, “The Breast Giver,” from her collection of short stories called, “Breast Stories,”
Mahasweta Devi outlines women’s identity as body, worker and object. In a tale of a Bengali
wet-nurse, Devi shows female protagonist, Jashoda, living in a 1960’s India as she is
compelled to take up ‘professional motherhood’ when her Brahman husband loses both his
feet.

With her only ability held in her ‘always full’ breasts and her desperate economic destitution
— she is swiftly utilized and praised for her expert weaning of wealthy offspring, which she
does for 25 years, before losing her usefulness and consequentially dying from breast cancer.
Lacanian and Freudian psychoanalytic criticisms could be used to support the claim that the
central theme of this story involves a conversation between the spiritual significance of
woman and her place in the imaginary order. The desires of man as they become dominant
in the symbolic order and the law of the father originate in a foreign language, setting and
cultural context given to maintain a clarity and relevance of symbolism.
Introduction

On 28 December 1996, Mahasweta Devi was once again "recognized" by the Indian State:

she was awarded the highest literary honour of the country, the Bharatiya Jnanpith award for

"her outstanding contribution to the enrichment of Indian literature handing over the

prestigious prize to her on March 27, 1997. Nelson Mandela, the new president of the

Republic of South Africa after his long walk to freedom, saluted Mahasweta‘s great

achievements over a lifetime of committed political writing. "She holds a mirror to the

conditions of the world as we enter the new millennium. Mahasweta herself, accepting the

award, wondered if she "deserved" it and expressed the hope that one day a Dalit or a tribal

would be thus recognized.

Few would today doubt that this recognition of Mahasweta Devi's literary achievement was

richly deserved and, perhaps, considering the high regard in which she has been held since

the last decade, overdue. As a creative writer, Mahasweta Devi`s contribution has been of

great significance. She is one of the most widely published authors in Bengali. The social and

literary significance of her books have been recognized all over India and abroad. Her books

have been translated into Hindi, Malayalam, Telugu, Marathi, Gujarati, Oriya, Assamese,

Punjabi, and also into tubal languages like Ho and Santhali. Among foreign languages, she

has been translated into French, Italian, Spanish and Japanese. In all, she has published

almost a hundred works of fiction. Besides these, she also has edited books, translated some

of her stories, earned a reputation as one of the best writers for children in Bengali, and

written textbooks for children who study Bengali as second language.

In the field of literature, however, her unconcealed and relentless commitment to the cause

of tubal peoples has often made Mahasweta the bun of ridicule for some literary punts

who feel that “she is merely a chronicler of social reality." There was also a time when she

was dismissed in Bengal as a “mere writer of historic fictions" but that time is now surely
past. In an interview with Gayatri Chakravarti Spivak, she responded to these critics thus:

“I think a creative water should have social conscience. I have a duty toward

society ...This sense of duty is an obsession, and I must remain accountable to

myself. Today, although some antics find her stories “too contrived, too

calculated to prove a point". There seems to be unanimity in praising at least

the “sincerity of her concept compassion and sympathy join hands with

venous literary devices like the use of myth and sweeping historic

imagination, resulting in an intensity which gives her work a distinctness

unmatched in contemporary fiction’.

Jaidev, pointing to the intensity of Mahasweta’s unique kind of realism, characterizes her

work as impious to illusions:

Mahasweta Devi's fiction is dangerously real. Although it abounds with

bizzarerie of all kinds, there is very little fictive or inventive about it. It is a

product of careful, though always involved research and often comes

accompanied by documentary insets I t puts everything ur mythology, our

obsession with gods and godmen, om history, our morali , if fact our cherished

This trial, says Jaidev, forces the reader to” rethink India as a whole, not just a tribe or a

subaltern sec hon In addition, because Mahasweta always takes care to depict the “wholly

non-fictional, always verifiable, comprehensive context around events and characters," she is

able to reveal their “bizarre national implications" (p. 6). There is thus little doubt that her

work compels national recognition and richly deserved the country's highest literary award.

There was, however, a palpable sense of unease, amongst at least some of those who valued

her writing, about what exactly was being recognized by the exalted investiture of the
Jnanpith by the Indian State. Was there in this ceremonial act the hint of a proprietorial

recognition? Were Mahasweta and her writings being granted recognition as the proud

possessions of Indian Literature through this authoritative act of canonization? The statist

investiture of this honour seemed to bring Mahasweta into a constellation with “humanist"

luminaries of a different hue and orbit. There were thus considerable doubts whether this kind

of recognition was an appropriate act: pun intended.

Breast Giving As A Profession of Jashoda

“Breast-Giver" (" Stanadayini") was first published in the collection of stories entitled

Stanadayini in 1980, and has been one of Mahasweta's most widely discussed stories.' This

tale is set in post-independence, post-partition West Bengal, in a bustling, crowded pilgrim

village. The central character Jashoda and her crippled husband Kangalicharan Patitundo eke

out a living through her job in the prosperous Haldar household as a wet nurse or a

“professional mother." Initially, Kangali was employed at a sweetshop, as a cook and fed

“food cooked by a good Brahmin...to the pilgrims who came to visit the Lionseated's temple"

(p. 223).

The disastrous turn in their lives occurred when Kangali, returning home one afternoon

pleasurably fantasizing over Jashoda's magnificent breasts, was run over by the

Studebaker driven by the landlord Haldar's youngest son, and crippled for life. Haldar

babu, whose " nab-protected heart, located under a forty-two inch Gopal brand vest,

does not itch with the rash of kindness" (p. 224) in the best of times, is distressed at the

thought that his son has ruined a Brahmin's life. He gets Kangali a pair of crutches but

dies of a heart attack before fulfilling his promise to open a sweetshop for him in the porch

of his house. So Jashoda goes to the Haldar landlady with her youngest daughter

Radharani " clasped to her bosom," and asks for " the cook's job in the vegetarian
kitchen", (p. 226). The landlady, glad to see Jashoda's lactating breasts, asks her to suckle

one of her grandsons whose mother is ill. Since there is an endless proliferation of infants

at the Haldar household, this soon becomes Jashoda's full-time job and the only means

of livelihood for her family. It is also a permanent "way out" for those who " haven't a

quarter of this milk in their nipples" (p. 227 the daughters-in-law of the Haldar household,

who could now keep their figures for their husbands, "wear blouses and bras of European

cut," (p.229). Watch all-night picture shows, and try to retain (despite regular, almanac-

blessed impregnation) the appeal required to quench their husbands' desires. Jashoda, in

whom the landlady, " looking in charmed envy at [her] mammary project tons (p. 227) sees "

the legendary cow of fulfillment" (p. 227) is employed as the wet nurse for the Haldar; and to

keep her in prime condition for optimum lactation, the landlady orders a reversal of the

sexual division of labour on Jashoda and Kangali. Kangali is told to cook at home, for

Jashoda has the babies to care for " two of her own, three here, how can she cook at day's end

after suckling five?" (p. 228). Her job requires her to have good food and constant sexual

servicing so that she can keep producing milk. In return for the “surplus" milk that she gives

to the Haldars, Jashoda gets her daily meals, clothes on feast days and some monthly pay.

Thus, due to " constant pregnancies, giving birth, giving milk like a cow," (p. 229) Jashoda

becomes " the Mother of the World." Even Nabin, the pilgrim-guide who once used to lust

after her “heavy-breasted, languid-hipped body," (p. 225) starts calling her "Mother! Mother!

Dear Mother!" She is accorded the revered position of the chief fruitful woman" and invited

to all weddings, naming ceremonies, and sacred threading’s. Despite her actual role of a

servant, her status or ideological positioning as a Brahmin milk mother soon gives Jashoda

the courage even to berate the women whose children she feeds for a living " ...Showoffs!

Look at me! I have been a year breeder! So is my body failing or is my milk drying? Makes

your skin crawl? I hear they are drying their milk with injishuns [injections]. Never heard of
such things (p. 229).

Then into the Haldar house blew a “new wind," presumably from the city, and there younger

granddaughters-in-law decided not to bear children endlessly; they called “a halt at twelve-

thirteen-fourteen" (p. 230) and were able to “explain to their husbands and make

arrangements at the hospital" (p. 230). Some of them even defiantly “took off to their

husbands' places of work" (p. 230). The eldest daughter-in-law finally calls Jashoda and

announces that her services as a “professional mother" are no longer required. She would

henceforth have to work as a cook and stay alongside the other servants or leave. Her

husband Kangali had got a job in the temple with Nabin's help and taken Nabin's young niece

as his mistress. He therefore does not approve of her idea of doing some work at the temple

itself Thus Jashoda has no choice but to accept the degraded menial work at the Haldar

household where until recently she had been respectfully employed as a milk mother. During

this period of degradation, Jashoda also starts keeping physically ill due to a growing tumor

in her left breast. She initially refuses to let the doctor examine her, and then it is too late. For

the current Haldar chief and his wife, the idea of a Brahmin woman dying in their house was

terrifying. They order Kangali and his sons to take Jashoda away. The breasts, which she had

so carefully scrubbed " with soap and oil, for the master's sons had put the nipples in their

mouth,” were now like an open putrefying wound. She lies in her room at the property

owner’s house with a sense of complete betrayal.

With her eyes shut, with the idea that Kangali was still in the room, she

said spiritlessly, " If you suckle you're mother, all lies! Nepal and Gopal

don't look at me, and the Master's boys don't spare a peek to ask how I'm

doing " The sores on her breast kept mocking her with a hundred mouths,

a hundred eyes (p. 236).


One day, to see her critical condition, Nabin makes a lot of fuss due to which she is admired

to a hospital. Kangali and the other visitors soon stop corning even to see her. Her husband

could put her out of his mind with the precision of a surgeon, “almost painlessly." Her own

sons too felt alienated and revolted at the sight of her ravaged decaying body.

Their mother had become a distant person for a long time. Mother meant hair in a topknot,

blindingly white clothes, and a strong personality. The person lying in the hospital is someone

else, not Mother (p. 239). However, Jashoda herself sees the whole world as her milk sons:

there hardly seemed to be anyone in her world whom she had not home or suckled Delirious,

racked with pain, Jashoda died all alone. There was no one to be informed, for the “Haldars

disconnected their phone at night" (p. 240). At the end of a life-spent suckling the world,

Jashoda the World-Mother became a mere Hindu Female at the mortuary, before an

untouchable cremated her.

Reproducing Citizens

Jashoda`s role as mother in " Stanadayini," traversing between the historical and the

allegorical, allows us to unpack a complicated bundle of questions about the institution of

motherhood. Before, proceeding to the major point of analysis in this paper and the

thematization of the world of the rural elite and the “pre-capitalist" underclass in the story. I

wish to lay out the preliminary ground of my argument by pulling together and developing,

for the Indian context, some of the major feminist hypotheses about the political nature of

motherhood and of the family as an "Ideological State Apparatus".

In most societies, mothers are generally burdened (or entrusted) with the near exclusive

responsible for bringing up children. And they end up spending more time with the children
than anybody else, engaged in the other meaning of the word" mothering." This

responsible is an important social and political task. It is the task of ensuring that children

grow into responsible and mature members of society-which requires, above all else, that

mothers instill in their children the dominant ideological notions of what it is to be a mature

and responsible adult.' Stephanie Coontz comments on how, during the mid-nineteenth-

century, domestic women came to serve the capitalist state even while she tried to protect her

children from its coarseness:

To women fell the task of molding a new personal that could muster the

self-discipline necessary for accumulating capital or developing the

reputation required for a responsible job while simultaneously shaking off

older restraints against individual ambition. Mothers had to teach their

sons the class-specific values that would be challenged by some of their

associates in the outside world; lest the sons forget, mothers had to teach

their daughters how to remind men of those values.

Women thus participate in the ideological reproduction of the state collectivity and are

therefore seen as reproducers of " culture." This heavy burden is a major reason for what

Betty Friedan called " a problem that bas no name" 14 For although motherhood is

romanticized or idealized as the greatest physical'5 and emotional achievement in women's

lives, when women actually become mothers, they discover that the everyday chores of

maternity are socially devalued and consl`grled to separate households. In India the family

bas been a particularly important site for the " preservation" and reproduction of national

culture Partha Chatterjee has argued that this is the result of the complex strategy involved in

the " nationalist resolution of the womens question`.-the construction of an

outer/materialisVmale sphere and an inner/spiritual/cultural/female sphere-as a means of


resisting colonialism's dominationover all aspects of Indian life.1(' Chatterjee himself does

not, however, present more than a sanitized picture of what this division has involved for

women The family and women in India have not just been the embodiments of a " spiritual"

national culture. Nirrnala BannerJcc has asserted that any theory of the state must comprise

an " understanding of the role of women vis-a-vis the family and the views of the state

regarding the family." Most political scientists tend to neglect the relations of subordination

implicit in the sexual division of Labour. Because the term is perhaps wrongly derived from

what economists ordinarily characterize as the “division of labour. The confinement of

women exclusively to their reproductive function, and the attendant emphasis on their"

natural" responsible of nurturance, have not only made Indian women vulnerable to

patriarchal control/rewards within the household but also excluded them from any kind of

decision making or any participatory role in public life.18 If most feminists have hitherto

emphasized the " benefits`. Accruing to husbands or capitalists through the exploitation of

women in the sexual/familial division of labour, Nirmala Banerjee points out that the

postcolonial Indian state has been very interested in the perpetuation of the family as the

provider of all social insurance that we have in the country - old age care, childcare, or

feeding the unemployed and the weak. This the family can do because women are socialized

to take up this entire extra burden, whenever the need arises. Since woman accept this

burden, the state can use up 40 percent of the national product and yet give no such social

welfare services. Moreover, continues Bannerjee, it is not just that the woman's labour is

totally appropriated by the family; the Indian state also " allows the family to decide whether

a woman can avail of the facilities that state might provide, like health, family planning

education, and nutation" (p. 81). Clearly, it is not the biological function of motherhood, that

makes women subordinate but the social construction of its meaning. For instance, in most

Indian communities, motherhood is supposed to be a " privileged" status-not in the sense of


special rights but as an attribute without which a woman is useless; and although in several

communities in India there are special rituals and narrative projections to mark motherhood

as an exalted position, Maitreyi Krishnaraj observes that the status accorded is conditional on

the woman's accepting matemi as self-denial. Regardless of whether women become mothers,

motherhood is central to the ways in which social ideologies define them and their "

specular" perceptions of themselves The meanings, practices and ideologies around

motherhood are salient not only for mothers but also for childless women and those with

fertile problems. The negative image of childlessness is based on number of unflattering

assumptions about childless women, including their psychological adequacy to engage in

close intimate relationships) All of which goes to prove that the actual conditions of

pregnancy, childbirth and mothering are deprecatory for women.

Thus, following Adrienne Rich, if we were to distinguish between the two superimposed

meanings of “motherhood," -one. The “potential relationship.' of any woman to her power of

reproduction and to the children the other, an institution aimed at ensuring that this potential,

and all women, shall remain under male control21-we begin to comprehend the family's role

as a civil institution for the reproduction of patriarchal state ideologies

Jashoda as " Domestic " Worker

Two aspects relating to the patriarchal socio-economic exploitation of Jashoda's labour

need to be especially noted. Firstly, the social economy of biological motherhood: if the milk

that Jashoda produces for her " own" children is described in Marxist terms as having " use

value," then the milk that she labours to produce for the Haldar children represents the

generation of surplus value, which is fully consumed by her employers It is thus a

commodity produced within the ideological institution of motherhood, within which the

physical, emotional and societal work of nurturance done by Jashoda are " destined"
not to be recognized or to guarantee her any material returns. Although the work imposed

on a mother, and fulfilled by her, for the children may be considered as an investment for the

future, the structuring of patriarchy places mothers later neglected bythe children in an

especially vulnerable position, with no court of appeal, for the children " belong"-are the

property of-the father. What are the contractual terms and conditions for the exchange

value of milk? The second aspect relates to the ideological positioning of woman as a

goddess-mother: in this story, Jashoda is the object of two kinds of contradictory

gazettes " from below" directed to an object of reverence fixated on a pedestal; the other

" from above"directed at an interiorized gendered being Mediating the relations between

social gtDUD represented by the HaJdars and the rural underclass like Jashoda, in a

seemingly indirect but crucial manner, are the institutions of national modernity.

Mahasweta underlines this fact not just by exposing, throughout her story, the analytic

limitations or bad faith inherent in the grid of English-language bureaucratese which is

supposed to motor change in the village, but also through the violent similes that

describe the process of social engineen`ng involved in this historical change. For instance,

right at the beginning of the story:

Jashoda doesn't remember at all when there was no child in her

womb w h en Kangali's body didn't drill her body like u geologist tn u

darkness \it only by an oil-lamp (p. 222). (Emphasis added)

When Jashoda is ill at the end, it is only through the " efforts and

recommendations" of the Haldar chief that she gets a bed and some belated treatment in

the (presumably) government hospital. The noble-minded doctor at the hospital.

evidently a committed, urban-educated citizen who believes in the salutary prescriptions


of modernity for the ills of the nation, is appalled at the " ignorance.. and " neglect" which

he diagnoses as the sole reasons for Jashoda's cancer. He cannot comprehend why

Jashoda had to breast-feed fifty children in all. He is also angry with her and Kangali,

and in fact with all women who refuse to take the " signs of breast cancer seriously

enough" (p. 239). The reason for the doctor's anger and frustration is related to what he

perceives as a failure of the scientific and national mission of welfare to which he is

dedicated

Cancer constantly defeats patient and doctor. One patient's cancer means

the patient's death and the defeat of science, and of course the doctor.

One can medicate against the secondary symptom, if eating stops one can

drip glucose and feed the body, if the lungs become incapable of breathing

there is oxygen-but the advance of cancer, its expansion, spread, and

killing, remain unchecked. The word cancer is a general signifier, by

which in the different parts of the body is meant different malignant

growths (p. 239).


104

Jashoda's " cancer" also, of course, is also another of the concept-metaphors in the

story, emphasizing the unbalanced distribution of exploitation and poverty to the rural

poor. As Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak points out:

Mahasweta's text might show us in many ways how the narratives of

nationalism have been and remain irrelevant to the life of the subordinate.

The elite culture of nationalism participated and participates with the

colonizer in various ways. In Mahasweta's story we see the detritus of

that participation In a certain sense, we witness there the ruins of the

ideas of parliamentary democracy and of the nation when bequeathed to


the elite of a colonized people outside the supposedly `natural' soil of the

production of those ideas.31

The doctor in “Stanadayini," like the BDO in " Shishu" or Upin in " Choli ke Peeche,"

represents an important type of character critiqued in several of Mahasweta Devi's

stories: a " selfless" and " enlightened" agent of a humanist-bureaucratic welfarism, which is

one of the central planks of a brutally exploitative " national interest" He is a

committed citizen who, in the intellectual/ideological arrogance that underwrites his

benevolence, will not question the terms of the self-constitution of the nation. He is

therefore unable to understand why Jashoda him tooas her " milk-son." When the doctor

comes, she mutters with hurt feelings, .you grew so big on my milk, and now you're hurting

me so?" The doctor says, " She sees her milk-sons all over the world" (p. 240).

He can only lamely attribute it to a dying patient's delusions, deserving sympathy perhaps but

little else. On the other hand as Mahasweta Devi herself sees it, Jashoda's story is the parable

of free India. Thus, if Jashoda is seen as Mother India, she has been responsible for "

mothering" all those who have prospered by using her " natural resources," exploiting the

institution of self-effacing motherhood. She has been a mother-on-hire, a Breast-Giver, in the

sense that her breast is a concept-metaphor for the nurturance of her Other as citizen. As

Spivak annotates it, the breast is " a powerful part object, permitting the violent corning-into-

being of the human, on the uncertain cusp of nature and culture". And in this story a survival

object transformed into a commodity, making visible the indeterminacy between female piety

and gender violence, between house and temple, between domination and exploitation."

Throughout her life she had perceived all those she served with the eyes of a milk-mother, but

at the end of it all comes the devastating realization that there is going to be no exchange,

from any of her " children,.' for having transacted the role of mothering the nation's citizens.
Are these her own people? The people whom she suckled because she carried them, or those

she suckled for a living. Jashoda thought, after all, she had suckled the world, could she then

die alone. The doctor, who sees her every day, the person who will cover her face with a

sheet, will put her on a can, will lower her at a burning ghat the untouchable who will put her

in the furnace, are all her milk-sons. One must become Jashoda if one suckles the world. One

has to die friendless, with no one left to put a bit of water in the mouth. Yet someone was

supposed to be there at the end. Who was it? It was who? Who was it? (p. 240).

t
My final point relates to the differential positioning of women in relation to the emergen

civil society. Compared to Jashoda, it would appear from the discussion in the preceding

chapters that the daughters-in-law of Haldarbabu enjoy far greater freedom and personal

autonomy: after all, with Jashoda's services at home, they are " free" to dress as they please

after the latest fashion and to watch late night movies with their husbands These, however,

are granted to them for a rather heavy pace. Their choice over their body's reproductive

function continues to be as non-existent as before, but with their tortuous " duty" to endlessly

procreate their husbands' progeny now finding new justification: " The husbands are happy

because the wives' knees no longer knock when they riffle the almanac t he wives no longer

have an excuse to say ‘no" ` (p. 229), These am(cur mamas can do little except signalling

covert resistance through falling ill and complaining of pain, at which the Jashoda chides

them, " Where after all is the pain? Didn't Mistress-Mother breed thirteen? Does it hurt a tree

to bear fruit? (p. 228). In many ways, therefore, their situation is not too much better than

Jashoda's, who never had enough time to ponder over whether she could “bear motherhood"

or not. There is little in the story to indicate that Jashoda has any means to “enjoy" her

sexuality33' although Kangali is frequently described as pleasurably fantasizing over her


breasts, she merely thinks of him as her “husband and guru." In fact, she is described as being

" fully an Indian woman, [with an] unreasonable, unreasoning and unintelligent devotion to

her husband and love for her children" (p. 225). The only way she can respond to her

husband's aggressive sexual demands is through “an unnatural renunciation and

forgiveness," by requesting him to be gentle with her breasts which have an important

economic function to fulfill. For all women in the narrative, motherhood is an inevitable

way of life in their " world of countless beings" They remain trapped within their

families34 and the institution of motherhood, from which men profit They are kept away

from the new wind for a long time after their husbands have inhaled its intoxicating

draughts of liberation Mahasweta comments sarcastically about a worthy old defender of the

women's roles:

NOTES.
1. “The Author in Conversation," Imaginary Maps, Trans. Gayatri Chakravorty
Spivak, and Calcutta: Thoma, 1993. P. ix.

2. " The Author in Conversation," Imaginary Maps. P. ix.

3. Enakshi Chatterji, " In Splendid Isolation" Indian Review of Books, 16 June 1997 -
15
4. Jaidev, “This Fiction is Dangerous to Illusions" Indian Review (of Hooks, 16
June-15 July 1997. p. 5.

5. Mahasweta Devi's ‘Douloti the Bountifu" Cultural Critique, (Winter 1992).


pp.105- IO This story has also been translated under the name " The Wet Nurse" by
Ella Dutta in

6. Truth Tales. New Delhi: Kali for Women, 1986. pp. 1-50. However, in Bengali the
word for a wet nurse is “Stanadayini." Hence Spivak's literal rendering as "
Breast-Giver" strikes me as more accurate.

7. I shall be quoting from the version published in Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak's In Other
Worlds: Essays in Cultural Politics, London and New York: Methuen, 1987. pp. 222-
40.

8. maintain it." Mothering: Essays in Feminist Theory, Totowa: Rowman &


A1lanheld, 1984. p. 2.

9. Stephanie Coontz, The Social Origins ofPrivate Life: A History ofAmerican


Families 1600-1900, New York and London: Verso, 1988. p. 214.

10. Partha Chatterjee, " The Nationalist Resolution of the Women`s Question,"
in Recasting Women: Essays in Colonial History, New Delhi: Kali for Women,
1989. pp.

11. Nirmala Bannerjee, " Sexual Division of Labour", Indian Woman: Myth and Heall
Ed. Jashodhara Bagchi, Hyderabad: Sangam Books, 1995.

12. See the essays by Jashodhara Bauchi and Maitreyi Krishnaraj in Indian Woman. ‘
Myth and Reality

13. Nirmala Bannerjee, Indian Women: Myth and I?eaIl`ty, p. 8 1 .

14. Krishnaraj, " Motherhood: Power and Powerlessness" in Indian Women. Myth
and Reality.

15. Antonio Gramsci, Selections from the Prison Notebooks, London: Lawrence
and Wishart, 1971.

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