Gender Relations in Eighteenth Century Northern India



                  The eighteenth century, a century which constitutes the core of the era of decline of Mughals, has provoked in recent decades a quality and volume of research that has come to establish it as a sub-specialization in the field of Indian History. Actually, the condition of women in any society is a major yardstick of its social values and social structure. Women often are at the receiving end of any social and political order. A society expresses its gender relation in many ways, one of them being crime against women. The type of crime, its frequency, pattern, attitude of state and society toward it, punishment and tolerance towards the culprit, and more importantly the victim, would help us situate women in the context of time and society. This eventually would have to be seen in the larger perspective of the society in general. A society manufactures a set of constructs-mental, social, cultural, ritual, legal – to control women and their sexuality. The entire discussion on women and crimes perpetrated against them and the liberal social and state attitude is crucial to the understanding of the social milieu prevalent during the medieval and early modern period in India. This writing shows that throughout history women suffered from some kind of patriarchal limitations and taboos.

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