Sati: History, Preservation And Gendering Of Indian Culture And Tradition

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The grounds on which the debate on sati was taken up was through the invention, preservation and gendering of Indian culture and tradition. British Colonial authority employed orientalist scholarship as a way to challenge sati from within Indian tradition and in turn become masters of that tradition . Thus, the protection of women and women’s agency became absent in the discourse as scripture was used as the defining feature of sati, furthering the project of preservation. Scripture was thus used as a tool in the invention of tradition. The British approached various pundits and received interpretations of selected Sanskrit text . Orientalist scholarship concluded that India was a nation governed by scripture . These interpretations were used …show more content…
Essentially, Okin is making the argument that minority women continue to be victims of their culture , essentially having no avenues of agency. This notion reproduces the same distinctions apparent in the colonial ‘civilizing mission,’ in which culture is posed against the idea of rights. Minority cultures are ways in submission to their culture or tradition – versus choice in which western individuals are seen as free thinking agents, who hold the power of choice . This coincides with the assumption that minority cultures are static and frozen entitles without choice . As western women construct themselves as different and re-invigorate said distinctions in comparison to minority women who are seen as acting on the foundations of their culture, we can see the colonial legacy of British versus Indian still at play, one group being superior agents with rights as opposed to those who are essentially characterized as simply victims of their culture. Continuing the denial of their agency, while simultaneously fighting for their …show more content…
Thus, we can see how the reproduction of benevolence reiterates the distinctions between rights and culture. Thus, the idea of benevolence can be regarded as one that is anchored in the politics of power. Spivak states how the notions of development in the post-colnial context are reflective of a new imperialism, that employs a project of civilizing, modernizing and democratizing . As the West is the established New World it must take the old New World upon its shoulders . Spivak questions the idea of ‘sustainable development,’ or as she states it ‘development to sustain what’ ? This question opens up the discussion into the motives of development – to sustain the global hierarchy of power, to sustain the idea of the East as underdeveloped, to sustain an imperial civilizing mission? Thus, Spivak contend that the general ideology of development is racist paternalism connected to the ideas of economic capital-intensive investment, and the board politics of silencing resistance . Therefore, the core of human rights resonates in an Eurocentric model , in which its emergence has been met with articulations of the global dominant, which his contingent on the instability of the dissolution of imperial formations and global economic restructuring . Thus, the art of political restructuring for benefit emerges, reminiscent of the

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