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Newbigin, Eleanor (2011) 'Personal law and citizenship in India’s transition to independence.' Modern Asian Studies, 45 (01). pp. 7-32.

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Studies of the post-colonial state have often presented it as a structure that has fallen under the control of self-interested sections of the Indian elite. In terms of citizenship, the failure of the state to do more to realize the egalitarian promise of the Fundamental Rights, set out in the Constitution of 1950, has often been attributed to interference by these powerful elite. Tracing the interplay between debates about Hindu property rights and popular support or tolerance for the notion of individual, liberal citizenship, this paper argues that the principles espoused in the Fundamental Rights were never neutral abstractions but, long before independence, were firmly embedded in the material world of late-colonial political relations. Thus, in certain key regards, the citizen-subject of the Indian Constitution was not the individual, freed from ascriptive categories of gender or religious identity, but firmly tied to the power structures of the community governed by Hindu law.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: This article, and the special issue in which it is included, has also been published in book form: Taylor C. Sherman, William Gould, Sarah Ansari (eds.) From subjects to citizens: Society and the Everyday State in India and Pakistan, 1947–1970, (Cambridge University Press, 2014) ISBN: 9781107064270
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of History, Religions & Philosophies > Department of History
Legacy Departments > Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Centre for Gender Studies
?? 5300 ??
Legacy Departments > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Department of History
ISSN: 0026749X
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2014 15:37

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