By Veena Das
This booklet identifies serious moments in modern Indian historical past, similar to the Partition of India, the Bhopal commercial catastrophe, and up to date widow deaths. It describes the results of those occasions for India and analyzes, via them, the character of Indian modernity.
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Extra resources for Critical Events: An Anthropological Perspective on Contemporary India
It should not be made a rule that in every case the child is to be given over as a matter of rule. It is something like the rule that when you ~ l a n ta tree it grows on the ground; therefore the tree goes with the land and the fruit of the tree goes with the tree. A child is the fruit of the labour of nvo persons. There is no reason why the father should be deprived in each case. Why should we make this rule? T h e analogy from nature, especially from agriculture and horticulture, to conceptualize procreation are part of the repertoire of ideas contained in Hindu texts and within popular ideas about procreation.
It was also decided that a legal instrument had to be created for the work of such recovery. As a result of an agreement arrived at between the two Dominions, appropriate ordinances were issued in India o n 31 January 1348 and in Pakistan in May 1948. T h e Indian ordinance was renewed in June 1949. In December 1949 the Constituent Assembly passed the Abducted Persons (Recovery and Restoration) Act, 1949, which remained in force till 3 1 October 19 5 1. These events point to the manner in which the state took cognizance of sexual and reproductive violence directed against women.
58 Critical Events with the task of articulating and preserving those codes of conduct which Western systems of k~owledgehad characterized as the signs of their Otherness. , all of which had been pedestallized as the special marks of uniqueness within various non-Western societies, came to be articulated both through anthropological/administrative knowledge and the practices of the state. Although the self-image of the state in such societies, the image which it projected, was of being engaged in reforming and improving the practices of family and society, in actual fact it made these practices much more rigid by investing them with new authority.
Critical Events: An Anthropological Perspective on Contemporary India by Veena Das