India has the highest number of war widows in the world, and yet there is little research on the lived experiences of war widows in India. Upon the death of an army officer, his wife is ensured a pension only if she remains unmarried within the family or marries the living eligible heir of her deceased husband’s family. The widow of an armed forces member who has laid down his life for the nation, whether in war or in a military operation is termed a “veer nari”. This essay looks into the state’s oppression through its influence on the family, and an ultimate control over a war-widow’s agency and sexuality.
Articles By Sayantani Sur
Garbha sanskar is a politico-cultural project to create ideal Hindu, male babies towards the creation of a strong nation abetted by a superior progeny who are mentally, physically, and spiritually strong. This political design of the Sangh Parivar seeks to establish Hindu hegemonic masculinity, by disrupting existing forms of intellect-based masculinity in Bengal.
How and when did family planning become a blanket term for population control as well as poverty alleviation in India? How did contraception emerge as an economic virtue in family planning discourse, instead of a corporeal one? This paper interrogates whether poverty was the reigning theme in family planning, or the body, as the state—especially during the Emergency—moved from indirect interventions on the bodies of the poor through sterilisation programmes, incentives and disincentives, to the elimination of the poor themselves by demolishing their homes. When material poverty flowed into bodily poverty and transformed into an identity, Garibi Hatao became Garib Hatao.