"Masculine Pakistan, Feminine India"

Shrinivas Tilak shrinivast at HOTMAIL.COM
Mon Aug 30 22:11:03 UTC 1999

   In a recent post he sent to Edwin Bryant (and forwarded by EB to Indology
list) Jan Brzezinski asked,"Did the conquering Muslims ever overtly accuse
Hindus of being effeminate?" The following excerpt entitled "Masculine
Pakistan, Feminine India" is cited by Shahnaz Rouse in her chapter "The
Oursider(s) Within" in Appropriating Gender: Women's Activism and
Politicized Religion in South Asia," edited by Patricia jeffrey and Amrota
Basu (pp65-66). I thought it might be relevant to Jan's query. The excerpt
comes from a 1994 article by Rubina Saigol in the context of her discussion
of government sponsored school texts in Pakistan.

   "The period before the advent of Islam [in India] is always a "feminine"
period. It represents unbridled desire, darkness, mystery, strangeness and
uncontrolled moral laxity. After Islam conquers and subjugates the sensuous
pre-oedipal/pre-Islamic society, it brings the Law of the Father and the
society enters its moral and cleansed oedipal phase...The masculine finally
defeats the feminine and establishes its law. Conquest here is equivalent to
purification through insemination."

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