Contrary to appearances, this essay is not about Trinidad or the West Indies; it is primarily an attempt to alter the lens through which we have been accustomed to viewing or framing the emergence of that discursive subject, the modern Indian woman. In analyzing the formation of woman in India, we often use, almost as though by default, the implicit comparisons with Western or metropolitan situations. I want to ask whether our frameworks might look different when the points of reference include other nonmetropolitan contexts. Also, what happens to our terms of comparison when the history of the context being compared with ours is entangled with our own, in ways that have been made invisible in the postcolonial present?
Bibliographical noteAn earlier version of this article published in Small Axe: A Caribbean Journal of Criticism, (2) (1997), 1-18.
This article also published in M. E. John and J. Nair (Eds.) (1998), A question of silence?: The sexual economies of modern India (pp. 111-138). New Delhi: Kali for Women.
This article also published in D. P. Gaonkar (Ed.) (2001), Alternative modernities (pp. 248-271). Durham: Duke University Press.