Critical Themes in Indian Sociology brings together the writings of a number of scholars—both well established and younger, in India and in different parts of the world—on various themes that express the richness and diversity that defines sociological scholarship on India. The book reflects changes in scholarship over time and charts out new subjects and methods for the study of social life in India. Commemorating the 50 plus years since Contributions to Indian Sociology was first published, this book is a tribute to a journal that has sustained an internationally acclaimed and rigorous sociological engagement with India. Comprising a wide range of themes such as village, city, class, caste, politics, gender, sexuality, media, food and education, this book presents a concise, yet in-depth sense of a sociological view of India today.
Chapter 20: Gender and Law
Gender and Law
An incantation of all-too-familiar women's names tells the history of gender and law in India: Rukhmabai, Mathura, Shah Bano, Bhanwari Devi, Soni Sori, Jyoti Singh. The litany reminds us that public memory around gender and law is strung along such crises, and feminist interventions in law and policy mobilised around such episodes of torture, death and dismemberment. (We could, unfortunately, produce many such lists. But doing so would nonetheless leave out anonymous victims of crimes of gender-based violence, and the quotidian nature of many legal encounters which do not draw public scrutiny.) These cases are instructive not only because they generated public debate and roused social movements but because they also bear the scars ...