ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Whatever Happened to the Dreams of Modernity-The Nehruvian Era and Woman s Position

The Nehruvian era, which has set the pattern of economic development for the next 40 years to follow, provides important clues for understanding the failure of modernisation project in getting rid of gender discrimination within the household and at the workplace. In spite of presiding in the 1930s over a committee on women's status, Nehru and the Planning Commission under his leadership in the post-independent India proceeded to discard the radical economic measures the committee had recommended to establish parity between men and women. Instead, the unproblematic tradition of regarding women as targets for householdand motherhood-oriented welfare services was given recognition in official policy documents. Thus, challenging the patriarchal ethos of society has never been the agenda of the Indian state. But equally important, the article argues, has been the shortcomings of the women's movement in the Nehruvian period, which in its exclusive dependence on the state, neglected mass mobilisation and remained blind to subtle class and patriarchal barriers.

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