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Eugenic FeminismReproductive Nationalism in the United States and India$
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Asha Nadkarni

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780816689903

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816689903.001.0001

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Severed Limbs, Severed Legacies

Severed Limbs, Severed Legacies

Indira Gandhi’s Emergency and the Problem of Subalternity

(p.173) 5 Severed Limbs, Severed Legacies
Eugenic Feminism

Asha Nadkarni

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter discusses Indira Gandhi’s political career during the period of Emergency rule. Gandhi portrayed herself as Mother India throughout her political career to interpellate Indian women as mothers united with her in the name of national modernity. Her maternalist discourse presupposes a reproductive, eugenic model as the means of national futurity. She used the Emergency rule to fight against her political enemies and control India’s over population. The chapter presents Nayantara Sahgal’s novel Rich Like Us that represented the Emergency rule as an atavistic return to feudalism that can only be overcome through the agency of the liberal feminist subject.

Keywords:   Indira Gandhi, Emergency rule, Mother India, Nayantara Sahgal, Rich Like Us

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