Scott, Gemma (2018) Emerging from the Emergency: women in Indira Gandhi’s India, 1975-1977. Doctoral thesis, Keele University.

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India’s State of Emergency (1975-1977) is a critical period in the independent nation’s history. The government’s suspension of democratic norms and its institution of many, now infamous repressive measures have been the subject of much commentary. However, scholars have not examined Emergency politics from a gendered perspective. Women’s participation in support for and resistance to the regime and their experiences of its programmes are notably absent from historiography. This thesis addresses this gap and argues that a gendered perspective enhances our understanding of this critical period in India’s political history. It assesses the importance of gendered narratives and women to the regime’s dominant political discourses. I also analyse women’s experiences of Emergency measures, particularly the regime’s coercive sterilisation programme and use of preventive detention to repress dissent. I explore how gendered power relations and women’s status affected the implementation of these measures and people’s attempts to negotiate and resist them. The thesis also highlights several ways in which women actively supported the Emergency agenda and participated in organised resistance, focusing on the manifestation of these activities in particular spaces. I utilise a diverse collection of sources, innovative methodologies and theoretical perspectives in order to bring these histories, which have hitherto been completely absent from the historiography of these events, to light.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Humanities
Contributors: Sharma, Shalini (Thesis advisor)
Palladino, M (Thesis advisor)
Depositing User: Lisa Bailey
Date Deposited: 19 Mar 2018 09:36
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2020 15:45

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