Muscular Nationalism: Gender, Violence, and Empire in India and Ireland, 1914-2004 9780814789773

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Muscular Nationalism

Gender and Political Violence Series General Editor: Laura Sjoberg Muscular Nationalism: Gender, Violence, and Empire in India and Ireland, 1914–2004 Sikata Banerjee

Muscular Nationalism Gender, Violence, and Empire in India and Ireland, 1914–2004

Sikata Banerjee

a NE W YORK U N IVERSITY PRESS New York and London

NEW YORK UNIVERSITY PRESS New York and London www.nyupress.org © 2012 by New YorkUniversity All rights reserved References to Internet websites (URLs) were accurate at the time of writing. Neither the author nor New York University Press is responsible for URLs that may have expired or changed since the manuscript was prepared. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Banerjee, Sikata. Muscular nationalism : gender, violence, and empire in India and Ireland, 19142004 / Sikata Banerjee. p. cm. —  (Gender and political violence series) Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 978-0-8147-8976-6 (cloth : acid-free paper) ISBN 0-8147-8976-5 (cloth : acid-free paper) ISBN 978-0-8147-8977-3 (ebook) ISBN 0-8147-8977-3 (ebook) ISBN 978-0-8147-2331-9 (ebook) ISBN 0-8147-2331-4 (ebook) 1.  Women — India — History. 2.  Women — Ireland — History. 3.  Great Britain — Colonies. 4.  Masculinity — Great Britain — History. 5.  Nationalism — History. I. Title. HQ1742.B3694 2012 305.4209415 — dc23 2011043848 New York University Press books are printed on acid-free paper, and their binding materials are chosen for strength and durability. We strive to use environmentally responsible suppliers and materials to the greatest extent possible in publishing our books. Manufactured in the United States of America 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Contents

Acknowledgments

vii

Introduction: Politicized Femininity and Muscular Nationalism 1

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Under the British Gaze: The Weak Bengali and the Simianized Celt

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2 “Muscular Gael” and “Warrior Monk”: Muscular Nationalism in Colonial India and Ireland

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3 Irish and Indian Women in Muscular Nationalism (1914–1932)

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4 Politicized Femininity and Muscular Nationalism in the Postcolonial Context: Naxal and Armagh Women

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5 Who Is a Proper Woman in the Nation? Femininity in the Roop Kanwar Immolation and the 2004 Irish Citizenship Referendum

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Conclusion: Women and Muscular Nationalism: Some Final Thoughts

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Notes

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Bibliography

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Index

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About the Author

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A c k n ow l e d g m e n t s

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ortions of the research for this book were made possible by a grant from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada, as well as by an internal grant from the University of Victoria. Colleagues and friends listened patiently while I expounded various iterations of the argument presented here. Finally, this book could not have completed without the unfailing support of my husband, Dan. Thank you.



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Introduction Politicized Femininity and Muscular Nationalism . . . Now you lie limp, Face down, Dumped in a ditch . . . O poor adventuress— In the name of virtue They cut off your flaxen hair, Defiled your lovely breasts, Before degutting you. . . .1 Gang Bang, Ulster Style, by Linda Anderson The Bengali alas! is always pathetic, Eats, dresses, slumbers, and guards his domestic, Should you give him a meal—no matter trash or treat, That instant he’s your slave and falls at your feet! So why does he worship those red feet with flowers? Abandon your lion-riding, in these parts O Mother, Should such a breed worship you, who will then be porters? Who will be the pen-pushers? And toil in hordes? For Mother you can never make them unlearn ever: Bengalis have been slaves—forever and forever.2 A Poem for Vijaya Dashami (anonymous)

A

lthough these poems are divided by a time span of almost a hundred years and a geographical distance of several thousand miles, the poetic lament they expressed illustrates the complexity and the historical scope of narratives of gendered nationalisms. The broken body of a Northern Irish woman found during the “troubles” that began in 1969 and a groveling nineteenth-century •

1

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Introduction

Bengali man representing collective colonized impotence reveal the location of images of manliness and womanliness within multiple intersections of empire, nation, and race. The opening lines of the Anderson poem identify the adventuress as a Belfast wife, who, worn down by visits to the famous Long Kesh jail, where her husband, a warrior for the Irish Republican Army (IRA), was imprisoned, possibly found some comfort in the arms of a British soldier or Protestant man. But her act of human emotion was seen as national betrayal, and she was punished by the moral guardians of Irish republicanism. The Bengali man also betrayed his nation, represented in the poem by the “lion-riding” warrior mother. However, this act was expressed not through improper sexuality but rather through physical and moral cowardice. Motherhood, the virtuous wife, and the cowardly man are all entangled in a particular story of gender and nation—muscular nationalism—the genealogy of which is presented in this book. Briefly put, muscular nationalism is the intersection of a specific vision of masculinity with the political doctrine of nationalism. Examples of muscular nationalism center an adult male body poised to sacrifice and kill for the nation. Usually, this view of masculinity is juxtaposed with a chaste female body that both symbolizes national honor and provides a moral code for the lives of women in the nation. This gendered binary remains stable as long as women do not act to challenge the expectations of chastity. These expectations are seemingly fragile, as political behavior ranging from picking up arms to marching alongside men in protest seems to disrupt this binary and, in doing so, engenders societal suspicion of politicized femininity. Put another way, muscular nationalism generally centers a gendered binary—martial man versus chaste woman—and several forms of female activism, especially those associated with facilitating political violence, challenge this cultural dualism to create social dis-ease. Using this social anxiety as a point of departure, this book interrogates the complex ways in which the stories of women and womanhood unfold in the context of muscular nationalism. Specifically, it analyzes ways in which women’s bodies intersect this political landscape by focusing on particular examples of muscular nationalism in India and Ireland.3 The bulk of the analysis focuses on how women political actors negotiate ideals of chaste femininity within this view of nation; this negotiation is further contexualized within a discussion of the social processes that construct women’s bodies as the canvas on which muscular nationalism stakes its claim.

Introduction



3

In an article written in 2004, the scholar Gillian Youngs offers an extensive and pertinent exegesis of the relationship among gender, feminist research, and the broad field of international relations.4 An important focus of this text is the ontological work required to meaningfully incorporate feminist and gendered analysis into mainstream international relations. Theoretically, this book begins by building on two observations outlined by Youngs. First, she acknowledges the pioneering work done by Cynthia Enloe on issues of war, militarism, and security, which consistently highlight “the dependence of these concepts on gender structures—e.g. dominant forms of the masculine (warrior) subject as protector/conqueror/exploiter of the feminine/feminized object/other.”5 Important feminist research in the area of gender and war further elaborates these dualisms.6 Youngs’s discussion of this dualism and her call for further empirical work analyzing the power dynamics that underlie the construction of manhood and its relation to “women but also in relation to men configured as (feminized) ‘others’” provide the second theoretical basis for my work.7 Indeed, the process of feminization of (male) bodies on the basis of a complicated interaction among whiteness, manhood, and imperial power is an important component of my analysis. Like other forms of identity, masculinity is historically, politically, and culturally constituted. However, one form always becomes dominant or hegemonic in setting the norms for male action.8 In the nineteenth, twentieth, and early twenty-first centuries, militarism formed and forms an important component of Anglo-American hegemonic masculinity: “Soldiering is characterized as a manly activity requiring the ‘masculine’ traits of physical strength, action, toughness, capacity for violence. . . . It has historically been an important practice constitutive of masculinity.”9 Hooper identifies four ideal types of hegemonic masculinity: (1) the Greek citizen-warrior, in which the manly citizen is characterized by a rational militarism, (2) the more domesticated, patriarchal Judeo-Christian model, rooted in the idea of paternal authority in the family, (3) the aristocratic ideal, defined by male camaraderie, risk taking, and military heroism, and (4) the Protestant bourgeois-rationalist model, which emphasizes competition, individualism, reason, self-control, and self-denial.10 To the list of these values, I would add the zero-sum notion of strength. Put another way, any attempt to negotiate or compromise is interpreted by all involved in this discourse of masculinity as signaling weakness or a retreat from a position of power. These models of hegemonic masculinity

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Introduction

also shaped ideas of citizenship. Machiavelli, for example, cast civic virtue, to be embodied by an ideal citizen, as virile political action wedded to armed masculinity. This masculine construction of citizenship was opposed to an effeminacy marked by weakness, impotency, and cowardice.11 As Hooper also points out, these are merely heuristic devices, and, in international politics, ideologies and nations have drawn on disparate elements from these ideal types to both shape and justify political action. Muscular nationalism is no exception, centering a version of the heroic, citizen-warrior model linked to armed masculinity represented by disciplined, martial male bodies. George Mosse’s analysis of nineteenth-century European nationalism reveals the manner in which nationalist ideology used this idea of manhood (hereafter hegemonic masculinity in this work) to create a particular manly nation, which then regarded the enemies of this nation as effeminate (i.e., weak, undisciplined, nonmartial). However, Mosse’s work largely focuses on manhood and does not specifically and extensively look at the social dynamic between masculinity and femininity within particular cultural contexts.12 Not until the emergence of feminist analysis was the gendered nature of national identities uncovered and deconstructed.13 Although all of the works in this field discuss women and womanhood in the nation, I would argue that the main focus of most these studies has not been the specific social relation between manhood and womanhood and the manner in which this dynamic shapes both female political participation and politicized femininity. Mosse argues that “the manly ideal deserves to hold the center of the stage as well, for it not only played a role in fashioning ideas of nationhood, respectability, and war but it was present and influenced almost every aspect of modern history.”14 However, in my work, rather than masculinity holding center stage, it is the relational dynamic between masculinity and femininity that is highlighted. Cynthia Enloe, in her response to Youngs’s article, while acknowledging the important impact of forms of modern masculinity, cautioned that our intellectual curiosity about masculinity should not overshadow the lives of women and girls and the manner in which femininities play out within masculinized political spaces.15 Further, if nationalisms as posited by the work of Enloe and others cited are in part shaped by competing masculinities, then it behooves scholars to trace this competition and its relationship to both femininities and female bodies. This book interrogates examples of muscular nationalism—Indian and Irish—to reveal this social dynamic.

Introduction



5

The cases I have chosen are not the only examples of this phenomenon. Muscular nationalism is not limited to the Indian and Irish contexts; remarkably similar constructions are found in many other cultural settings. For example, in Serbian nationalism, the political actors––defined by the values of hegemonic masculinity—fought to protect Mother Serbia. The feminine “has been employed to include virtually everyone—men and women alike— not conforming to the accepted ‘nationalized’ versions of masculinity.”16 Rape is seen as a tool of war. According to this masculinized Serbian nationalist narrative, chaste Serbian women remained in danger of being raped by Kosovar Albanians, and it was up to the Serbian manly warriors to protect them. Australian nationalism as it unfolded was also informed by the values of hegemonic masculinity. According to Australian national mythology, in the 1915 Battle of Gallipoli, male citizen-soldiers––through their martial prowess, bravery, and physical strength––gave birth to the Australian nation. In other words, nation and manliness originated in war; indeed, war became the test of manliness and national independence. So, mothers and citizen-soldiers were connected by the act of “giving birth.” Lake argues that mothers gave birth to the soldiers, who in turn gave birth to the Australian nation. But mothers were not equal in power or value to these male citizen-soldiers. The major actors within the nationalist terrain were masculinized; women’s bodies, associated with the feminine, either became a threat to these masculine citizens because of their unpredictable sexuality or could enter the fray only in roles validated by hegemonic masculinity (e.g., as chaste mothers). In Lake’s story of Australia, male martial heroism was the basis of nation making.17 My analysis of muscular nationalism adds depth to the evidence for the existence of a link between nation and hegemonic masculinity in various cultural milieus. Such analysis is the first step toward grappling with the problem destructive masculinities create for any “body” perceived as transgressive within this ideology. Muscular nationalism is visible in many of the conflicts in the world today. Cynthia Enloe’s recent work gendering the U.S. war in Iraq clearly reveals the manner in which conventional ideas of security, work, and politics assumed a martial male body enmeshed in the sociopolitical network, while women’s role in and experience of war remained invisible to the muscular national gaze.18 Women entered this mainstream discourse mainly as bodies whose chastity conservative Shiite militias policed or whose progress the Western coalition purported to defend. The war raging between the

6



Introduction

antiterrorist coalition led by the United States against al-Qaeda and, until his recent death in Pakistan, Osama bin Laden is another contemporary example. Images of burly camouflage-clad male bodies patrolling the streets of Afghanistan, keeping it safe for innocent women and girls, as well as intermittent visions of men kneeling with guns and protecting the honor of the Islamic nation are commonly found on our television screens.19 Parts of the conflict between Israel and Palestine are also being waged in similar terms. Mosse argues that the most potent “outsider” figure in Western Europe has been the Jew, defined as dirty, ugly, crooked, diseased, nervous, and sexually promiscuous. “But it was Otto Weiniger’s famous and perversely popular book Geschlecht und Charakter [Sex and Character, 1903] that proved to be the most important source book for the feminization of the Jews. Here Jews and women were equated as creatures of passion and emotions, lacking true creativity; both were without any individuality, devoid of self-worth.”20 A dominant response to this “Othering” was the idea of the “New Jew” or the “Muscle Jew” that defined itself against both European feminization and the Diaspora Jew, who was seen as timid and effeminate.21 The “Muscle Jew” became the martial hero, constructing and defending the Israeli nation at all costs. A similar masculinization of nationalism occurred in Palestine. The Palestinian national elite viewed liberation “as a transaction between men over the honor of a woman-mother whose ownership passes through paternity.”22 The actors within Palestinian nationalism were masculine, “bourgeois-in-themaking, . . . young and able-bodied—free from the physical vulnerabilities of old age.”23 According to Massad, the Zionist enemy was masculinized, and Palestinian nationalists were urged to equal the enemy in martial prowess and muscular strength as they defended Palestine, embodied as a nation as woman. So we have the clash of muscular nationalisms: the “Muscle” Jew and the “manly” Palestinian.24 A similar clash is occurring in Kashmir as India and Pakistan amass their troops along the Line of Control that divides the two states. The Indian Hindu man and the Pakistani Muslim man are locked in a struggle defined by the valorization of martial prowess, physical strength, and the unwillingness to compromise (read: so as not to appear “weak” or effeminate). But, as both Youngs and Enloe caution, the stories of women and “effeminized” men within the dominant narrative shaping these scenarios are not so easily available. Keeping the focus on the militarized (male) body wielding a weapon either ignores or

Introduction



7

diverts attention from the tensions created within muscular nationalism by the presence of girls and women running guns, acting as couriers, and nursing (wounded male) comrades and even picking up guns for a cause.25 This focus also erases the location and implications of the female body becoming the canvas on which this particular vision of masculinity (not necessarily embodied by all men) writes its nationalist vision. By making explicit complications created in muscular nationalism by the female body and the actions of women who cannot be neatly contained within the gendered binary of martial man versus chaste woman, this book takes a step toward dismantling the impact of competing destructive masculinities in the nation. The gendered images embedded in the poems that began this chapter reveal two gendered aspects of the story of muscular nationalism. The groveling Bengali signifies that some men desire to achieve the dream of muscular nationalism, yet are not able to do so. Thus, the process of overcoming obstacles—usually “effeminate” traits—becomes a story of the nation. Anderson argues that the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a perfect signifier for imagined community because it offers an anonymous (male) body on which the national imagination can project its hopes and desires. Indeed, if Anderson’s work had attended to gender, it would have become clear that the solider signifies a specific iteration of imagined community—muscular nationalism— that enables the creation of an invented tradition valorizing the martial male body.26 For example, the poem that began this chapter presents an implicit yearning for a male, Bengali body to be represented by a militant soldier. Indeed, in both the Indian and the Irish cases, the retrieval of the warrior model of manhood—imagined in different ways—that has been lost under the yoke of centuries of imperial rule is a major theme. In contrast, the Irish poem reveals another aspect of the relationship between women and womanhood and muscular nationalism. By reaching out to an enemy male—either a British soldier or a Protestant neighbor; the poem does not specify—the Northern Irish woman has challenged the proper “chaste” behavior expected of woman in muscular nationalism and hence suffers the consequence. In muscular nationalism, this focus on the purity and chastity of female bodies stems from their role as border guards. By border guards I mean the notion that the boundaries separating “we the people” from “them” are represented by chaste women’s bodies. Put another way, this line of thinking argues that our women are chaste and pure, but yours are

8



Introduction

not. This is the difference that separates our nation from yours.27 Women’s role as border guards requires that their purity be vigilantly guarded. Many versions of nationalism see women as weak and hence vulnerable to defilement (usually sexual) and cooptation by the enemies of the nation.28 In a way, this notion of border guards and the focus on purity may be influenced in the Western tradition by the idea of the beautiful soul. Jean Elshtain argues that women have “served as the collective projection of a pure, rarified, selfsacrificing, otherworldly pacific other.”29 Indeed, the notion of chaste border guards is nicely accommodated by Elshtain’s interpretation of the beautiful soul; this role assumes passivity, since political activism may taint feminine virtue and chastity. In the non-Western context, Gandhi, in delineating his vision of ahimsa (nonviolence), also provided a particularly powerful gendered perspective that may be seen as a variation of Elshtain’s conceptualization. Gandhi saw women as the embodiment and guardian of societal morality. Specifically, their maternal role not only constructed a natural feminine predilection toward peace but also provided women with the spiritual capacity to inspire society to overcome moral ambiguity.30 Using these assumptions as a point of departure, Gandhi actively contributed to female activism by politicizing women’s inner worlds and, in the process, allaying conservative anxiety evoked by the sight of respectable women marching in public streets. He insisted that women should come out onto the streets only when they had finished their household duties and had received the permission of their guardians. In public, they were supposed to maintain a chaste, nonviolent, self-sacrificing image of wife and mother, becoming the moral compass of the Indian nationalist movement. Although, in terms of this work, Gandhian nationalism is not muscular, it is worth mentioning that even he was conflicted about feminine activism and its implications for ideas of chastity, tying the female role as the moral caretaker to women’s presence in the public realm of politics.31 Although Gandhi offered a particularly Indian vision of womanhood, feminist research has shown that this conflation of morality, chastity, and purity with women’s bodies within nationalisms is found in many contexts.32 The versions of muscular nationalism analyzed in this book demonstrate the manner in which the expectation of purity (intimately tied to female sexuality and the feminine body) complicates femininity, specifically femininity that will not remain within the boundaries created by the constructs of border guards, beautiful souls, and Gandhian morality.

Introduction



9

The gender binary of martial man versus chaste woman is integral to the space of muscular nationalism. But this binary is not very stable because the very existence of certain politically active women can disrupt it. Even though it is possible for female bodies to take on masculine traits and to enter the landscape of muscular nationalism, the fact remains that politicized femininity is perceived as transgressive. Nirmal Puwar argues that “Some bodies are deemed as having the right to belong, while others are marked as trespassers, who are, in accordance with how both spaces and bodies are imagined (politically, historically and conceptually circumscribed) as being out of place. Not being the somatic norm they are space invaders.”33 In these particular examples, expectations of chastity and virtue construct women political actors as “being out of place” because they are not the “somatic norm” in the space of muscular nationalism. George Mosse approaches the idea of being out of place from another angle by claiming that, “If woman was idealized [as a symbol of the nation], she was at the same time put very firmly into her place. Those who did not live up to the ideal were perceived as a menace to society and the nation, threatening the established order they were intended to uphold. Hence the deep hatred for women as revolutionary figure.”34 As my analysis indicates, the notion of space invaders, as well as Mosse’s idea of menace, is specifically tied to expectations of chaste femininity and anxiety surrounding female sexuality. Put another way, neither movement under study in this book could reconcile women’s activism with female sexuality. Indian and republican women could be imagined only as desexualized, chaste actors. In a way, the movements grappled with female actors by denying or erasing the physicality of women’s bodies. As the study reveals, the lives and action of real women challenged these attempts to empty their bodies of physical and cultural markers of femininity. So how do women political actors negotiate a political terrain imbued with a focus on chaste femininity? I address this question by tracing the shape of muscular nationalism in two dissimilar contexts, India and Ireland, over time (1914–2004) and then further complicate this examination by exposing the dynamic between certain political acts and the ideals of a muscular nation within differing ideological contexts. Put another way, muscular nationalism is not necessarily tied to a single ideology but can wear many guises. As George Mosse observes, “The masculine stereotype was not bound to any one of the powerful political ideologies of the previous century. It supported not only conservative movements . . .

10



Introduction

but workers’ movements as well; even Bolshevik man was said to be ‘firm as an oak.’ Modern masculinity from the very first was co-opted by the new nationalist movements of the nineteenth century.”35 The cooptation process referenced in the quotation is the foundation of muscular nationalism; like the image of man, many ideologies utilized the normative contours of a masculine nation. In the Indian case, I note how it emerged within conservative Hindu nationalism, as well as in left-wing Naxalism. In Ireland, these ideals shaped both the radical politics of Irish republicanism, which formed the context of the Armagh dirty protest ( 1980), and the liberal democratic debate surrounding the meaning of “citizen” that played out in the Republic before the 2004 citizenship referendum. As the examination unfolds in this study, it becomes clear that both notions of chastity and purity tied to women’s role as border guards and the centering of the martial male body within politics were very much embedded in these ideologically disparate political movements. In both cases, there is an assumption that the male martial spirit loses some of its value if female chastity fails to be a dominant symbol of the national community. Further, notions of what constitutes a morally justifiable “Indian nation” and “Irish nation” were explicitly and implicitly assumed in these forms of activism and debates. What this study aims to highlight is the differing ways in which muscular nationalism used ethnic identity and accommodated women and womanhood. This book centers on how muscular nationalism accommodates women political actors, whether or not they actually attempt to embody the values of armed masculinity by picking up arms or facilitating violence as couriers, gun runners, and nursing wounded comrades. Although I use the term “politicized femininity,” it should be noted that my focus is on a particular type of politicization, that associated with violence. Typically, although men in national armies or militia or rebel groups who take on support roles as medics, chaplains, cooks, mechanics, communication specialists, or code breakers are accepted as soldiers and are central to political violence, women’s support roles (as nurse, gun runner, or courier) are seen as peripheral. Hence, I not only center the roles played by women in conflict but also focus on the gender trouble created by politicized femininity in muscular nationalism. A gendered tension arises when women enter a movement such as Hindu nationalism or Irish republicanism to fight for the liberation of an oppressed group and unexpectedly find themselves struggling with the ideals of mus-

Introduction



11

cular nationalism, usually centered on some notion of normative femininity constructed by the expectation that proper women (chaste, modest, virtuous) should remain aloof from the tainting influence of public politics, specifically political violence. If politics centers the martial male body, what are the consequences for women who pick up arms or are associated with violence in other ways (imprisonment, couriering, carrying weapons, running safe houses for wounded men)? This study reveals that, even when women are not actively political, their bodies remain the political space on which muscular national energizes itself through expectations of female chastity. As Mosse argues, “Nationalism—and the society that identified with it— used the example of the chaste and modest woman to demonstrate its own virtuous aims.”36 Chaste femininity can be signified by many images: mother (e.g., Mother India), young virgin (e.g., the Irish icon Cathleen ni Houlihan), and devoted wife (e.g., Sita, drawn from the epic Indian tradition and symbolizing womanhood in many versions of Indian nationalism). Two powerful images of motherhood are Ruddick’s mater dolorosa, or suffering mother, who mourns her slain adult warrior, and the heroic, Spartan-inspired mother who cheerfully sends off her sons to defend the nation.37 Specifically, this study uses the normative tension between politicized womanhood and these iconic representations—wife, mother, young virgin—to reveal the location that womanhood and women occupy within the power dynamics of muscular nationalism. A point of departure for analyzing this dynamic is Nagel’s notion of a nationalist moral economy that “[provides] specific places for women and men in the nation, identify[ies] desirable and undesirable members by creating gender, sexual and ethnic boundaries and hierarchies within nations, establish[es] criteria for judging good and bad performances of nationalist masculinity and femininity, and define[s] threats to national moral and sexual integrity.”38 According to the preceding logic, nationalist boundaries are moral. Women as border guards shore up the nationalist morality; however, in contrast, forms of politicized femininities have the potential to disrupt clearly defined moral categories by transgressing normative expectations of virtuous womanhood. The trope of border becomes useful again. Gloria Anzaldua challenges the implicit binary assumed in the idea of national borders by claiming that “Borders are set up to define the place that are safe and unsafe, to distinguish us from them. A border is a dividing line, a narrow strip along a steep edge. A borderland is a vague and undetermined place created by the emotional residue of

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Introduction

an unnatural boundary. It is in a constant state of transition.”39 Women activists in muscular nationalism occupy the borderlands; they constantly negotiate their way through the “emotional residue” of the chastity and purity associated with symbolic representations of the nation. The story of women and womanhood that is told in this book reflects the tension that comes with representing borders and occupying the borderlands simultaneously. My analysis reveals that when women were active participants in muscular nationalism, the physicality of their bodies constantly constructed them as “space invaders,” and they had to contend with and negotiate the expectations of chaste femininity, revealing the gendered circulation of power in the muscular nation. Before I commence my analysis, I would like to address the logic that has guided my choice of case studies. Ryan and Bjorkert-Thapar, in their comparative article, call for a more detailed analysis of gender and nation in India and Ireland, while Holmes and Holmes specifically center the scholarly relevance of such a comparison.40 Further, two important works on postcolonial nationalism in Ireland explicitly and implicitly point to the value of an comparison between India and Ireland. In her groundbreaking study, Shattering Silence, Begona Artexga repeatedly compares the unfolding of gender and nation in Ireland to India, while Declan Kiberd, in Inventing Ireland, explicitly calls for the addition of the Irish case to postcolonial nationalisms: In restoring writers to the wider cultural context, I have been mindful of the ways in which some shapers of modern Africa, India, and the emerging world looked at times to the Irish for guidance. Despite this, a recent study of theory and practice in postcolonial literature, The Empire Writes Back, passes over the Irish case very swiftly, perhaps because the authors find these white Europeans too strange an instance to justify their sustained attention. I hope this book might prompt a reassessment. All cases are complex, but it is precisely the “mixed” nature of the experience of Irish people, as both exponents and victims of British imperialism, which makes them so representative of the underlying process. . . . My belief is that introduction of the Irish case to the debate will complicate, extend and in some cases expose the limits of current models of postcoloniality. 41

There have been some works that have examined the similarities and differences in British policy toward Ireland and India and assessed the links

Introduction



13

between Indian and Irish nationalists.42 However, all of these texts are either historical or literary studies or, in some cases, both.43 Some authors, such as Julia Wright and Purnima Bose, do address gender to a certain extent, but the politics of gendered nationalism is not their central analytical focus. My work differs from all of these previous studies in two ways. First, I use the unique construct of muscular nationalism to situate my theorizing of femininity; second, my analysis interweaves history and contemporary politics. Put another way, my genealogy of women and muscular nationalism traces the legacy of this historical construct to nuance and complicate the location of women and womanhood in certain key contemporary political events in a postcolonial context. My analysis spans the years 1914–2004. It begins at a time when muscular nationalism became ascendant in both contexts, reaching its most militant expression in the Dublin Easter Uprising (1916), the two-year Irish War of Independence (1919–1921), and the Irish Civil War (1922–1923). It also looks at the 1920s and 1930s in Bengal, years that were marked by several revolutionary acts inspired by muscular nationalism. In the postcolonial context, the Naxal movement (1969–1972) in Bengal and the Armagh dirty protest (1980) in Northern Ireland are the two key events that most eloquently underline the tension between politicized femininity and muscular nationalism. Further, the 1987 immolation of Roop Kanwar in India and the 2004 citizenship referendum in the Republic of Ireland evoked a passionate debate that in each context centered most emphatically on the location of a female body in the muscular nation. These examples shore up the tension created by female actors in muscular nationalism by revealing the political consequences when the female body as border guard literally becomes the space on which muscular nationalism plays out. In a way, this comparison is haunted by racialization. Building on the images offered by the poems that opened this chapter, it is fruitful to note that, according to popular racial nomenclature, the Irish women’s body is “white,” while the Bengali man’s body is not. Therefore, this comparative study also highlights the complicated position of “whiteness” in the unfolding of these two nationalisms.44 In contemporary Ireland and India, race and gender also intersect in potent ways; however, the racialization process is more complicated. For example, in modern Irish citizenship debates, it emerges (as a response to global immigration patterns) to inform gender in ways that are similar to the observations of the colonial British, but, in the Indian context,

14



Introduction

the category “race” as it is used in the Anglo-American context is not very relevant. Hierarchies based on physical identity are articulated not as racial differences but as differences of caste or ethnic or tribal origin (referring to the descendants of the nomadic peoples of India). However, such categorization does certainly inform the fusion of power and gender within muscular nationalism. Many theorists working in and about India are reluctant to complicate postcoloniality by introducing the Irish case. This hesitancy may center on the ideas of whiteness that imbue certain expressions of historical and cultural Irish muscular nationalism, the implication of Irish soldiers and administrators in the British empire in India, and Ireland’s position as the erstwhile “Celtic Tiger.”45 Indeed, as Julia Wright has pointed out, Ireland disturbs the neatly defined binary of oppressive colonizer and oppressed colonized on which many studies of imperialism rest: “If Ireland is ‘that’—European but colonized, Christian but not Protestant, rebellious but providing soldiers and administrators for the British Empire—the question then becomes whether ‘that’ is best described as allied with ‘this’ or ‘the Other.’”46 Indeed, continuing with the border metaphor, Ireland lies on the border between “this” and “the Other,” occupying the borderlands of imperial power. As becomes quite evident in my analysis, Ireland’s position as “that,” in contrast to India’s position as an imperial space that was unequivocally “the Other,” offers the opportunity to provide a comparison of gender, nation, and race that disrupts neat categories of masculine/feminine and white/nonwhite. The manner in which men and women live and interpret muscular nationalism within diverse ideological and cultural contexts serves to remind us of the complex circulation of power. In contemporary times this comparison is further complicated by the fact that the Republic of Ireland’s per capita GDP of $37,000 in 2010 was ten times that of India, while its 2003 universal literacy rate of 99 percent contrasts sharply with the general Indian literacy rate of 61 percent and the female literacy rate of 48 percent.47 Although Ireland is politically a postcolonial country, is it so in terms of economics and other aspects? I do not want to enter into an argument over Ireland’s postcolonial status; however, echoing Declan Kiberd, I offer this exploration of muscular nationalism as an attempt to “extend and complicate.” To sum up, this book offers an examination of a particular story of gender and nation, muscular nationalism. Although the notion of “border guards”

Introduction



15

and its norms of chastity and purity have the theoretical possibility of limiting women as the passive symbols of nation, this book reveals a more complicated reality by interrogating the contested path women followed as they participated in a nationalist politics that saw their passive, chaste bodies as defining the borders of nation. This examination follows what Judith Halberstam calls a “scavenger methodology,” because “it uses different methods to collect and produce information on subjects who have been deliberately or accidentally excluded from traditional studies of human behaviour.”48 My scavenger method consists of examining colonial texts, political cartoons, biographies, films, political organizations, and fiction. In the case of Ireland, field work was conducted in Dublin (the National Library of Ireland), Belfast (Linen Hall Library), and Derry. Archival research was supported by conversations with Irish academics, personnel at Sinn Fein bookstores, leaders of political walks and museum curators (e.g., the leaders of the IRA walk and officials at the Bloody Sunday Museum in Derry), and perusal of political murals lining the streets of Belfast. The Indian case study draws on archival sources in the India Office Collection in the British library and at the Centre for Social Science Research in Kolkata, as well as interviews conducted in Mumbai and New Delhi. The story of muscular nationalism in both India and Ireland begins with hegemonic masculinity and the British Empire. In chapter 1, I underline the manner in which various imperial forces “racialized” and “effeminized” both the Irish and the Indians, specifically Bengalis. I focus on Bengalis because the Bengali babu was a particular influential colonial image of Indian effeminacy.49 Colonial administrators used a gendered and racialized lens to classify Indians into various groups, one of the most important being “martial” and “nonmartial” races. The former not only embodied certain features of hegemonic masculinity but also were tall and fair-skinned, with light-color hair and eyes (e.g., the Pathans or the Sikhs). In contrast, the “nonmartial” races were effeminate as well as being short and dark-skinned, with dark hair and eyes (e.g., Bengalis or Tamils). The nineteenth-century science of ethnography shored up the racialization of such gendered observations. Hardy, Protestant, white Englishmen were seen as superior because of their regular and symmetrical features; an emphatic mark of this racial superiority was their embodiment of hegemonic masculinity.50 This process of categorization generally worked visually in India, but how did it work for Irishmen who were similar in complexion to their English

16



Introduction

rulers? In the mid-nineteenth century, there was a self-conscious attempt to “Africanize” or “simianize” the “effeminate” Irish, since the racial inferiority of Africans and other people of color was justified by various eugenic scientists in terms of their observed “ape-like” features.51 The process of racialization in both India and Ireland emphasizes the significant extent to which gender and race can fuse within a nationalist narrative. Chapter 2 elaborates the imperial process of racialization and gendering by drawing on primary texts, secondary literature, and political cartoons. Chapter 3 goes on to examine the consequences of this cultural discourse. There was, of course, a multiplicity of nationalist responses in each context. Although many nationalists (not always self-consciously) drew upon ideas of masculinities and femininities, their interpretations of nation were quite different. These differences largely hinged on the role of militarism, women, and religion in the nationalist vision. This book focuses on a specific intersection of the quest for manhood within the nation: muscular nationalism. In the years spanning the late nineteenth and the early twentieth centuries, nationalist leaders in India and Ireland created an oppositional identity that challenged British racialized gendering of the colonial Other. The Irish forged an image of the muscular Gael (with its undertones of Catholicism) in opposition to that of muscular Christianity (rooted in Anglo Protestantism). The Gaelic Irish nation, represented as a woman, was to be protected by these manly warriors of Ireland. A continent away, certain nationalist elites in India were imagining a Hindu nation embodied as a beautiful woman and were calling for masculine Hindu warriors to defend Mother India. These forms of resistance were necessary since the British denigration of both Irish and Indian manhood was linked to a justification for continued British presence. Drawing on both primary sources such as nationalist newspapers and political speeches and secondary source texts, I sketch the general contours of muscular nationalism in each context by highlighting similarities as well as differences. Then, in an attempt to provide a nuanced analysis, I trace the genealogy of a specific iteration of this view of nation: muscular Catholicism as articulated by Patrick Pearse (1879–1916) in Ireland and Vivekananda’s (1863–1902) ideas of masculine Hinduism in India. Although, in each context, these ideas were one of many nationalisms in circulation, it cannot be denied that these two figures released a vision of nation that still resonates in contemporary politics. Further, this chapter nuances the comparison by

Introduction



17

discussing the Irish Volunteers, founded in 1913, an eloquent institutional expression of Pearsian nationalism, as well as the prominent revolutionary group the Anushilan Samiti, which was influenced by Vivekananda’s interpretation of Hindu muscular nationalism. In both contexts, this ideal of nationalism valorizing the martial male body emerged in tandem with notions of female chastity that tended to view women as passive mothers and wives both in and as the nation requiring the protection of manly warriors. Despite this presumption of passivity, women were not absent from this particular quest for manhood. Indeed, a particular interesting niche was created by women who insisted on their right to participate in the muscular nation. In chapter 4, my discussion of Pearse’s work is complicated by a discussion of the Cumann na mBan (Irish Women’s Organization, founded 1914), which reflected an ambiguous relationship with Pearsian muscular nationalism as expressed by the Irish Volunteers in their attempts to interpret the role of woman as warrior within a national context imbued with women’s role as border guards, whether as chaste wife or mother. I also pay specific attention to two figures, Countess Markievicz (1868–1927) and Margaret Skinnider (1893–1971), both of whom were active as soldiers in the anti-imperial 1916 Easter Uprising in Dublin. The actions of Bengali women who advocated and participated in “terror” as an anti-imperial tool complicate the muscular nationalism expressed by Vivekananda and the Anushilan Samiti. Additionally, I briefly discuss the writings of Saraladebi Chaudharani (1872–1946), an ardent advocate of muscular nationalism, and the life and ideas of Preetilata Wadedar (1911–1932), who lost her life in an armed raid. Chapters 2, 3, and 4 set up the present, so to speak, by revealing certain historical discourses and political acts that have specific resonance for modern muscular nationalism. Chapter 5 compares two versions of modern muscular nationalism by focusing on the location of women and womanhood within its social dynamic. The ideas unleashed by the Bengali revolutionary society surfaced in modern India in Naxalism, a specific iteration of radical Marxism. A close examination of the class ideology underlying this movement reveals a gendered association with a “new” Naxal man constructed with the traits of hegemonic masculinity. When women joined the Naxalite movement, they not only faced a politics centered on the martial male body but also found themselves being evaluated according to ideas of chaste and pure womanhood as they struggled against the Indian state and representatives of bourgeois capitalism. A spe-

18



Introduction

cific focus on three Naxal women—Krishna Bandyopadhayay, Ajitha Narayanan, and Joya Mitra—adds depth to my analysis. Similarly, when women joined the Irish Republican Army once it was rejuvenated in 1969, they found themselves embedded in a muscular nationalism that was still very much tied to Pearse’s vision of male warrior and suffering mother. After a general discussion of the implications of this legacy for IRA women, I move on to an investigation of the 1980 Armagh dirty protest in Northern Ireland, a highprofile political event that revealed the social suspicion of and the destabilization wrought by politically active female bodies in a context of muscular nationalism. Chapter 6 shifts focus to illuminate another aspect of womanhood in muscular nationalism that serves to complicate the discussion of politicized femininity. Two key political events—the 1987 immolation of Roop Kanwar and the 2004 Irish citizenship referendum—are unpacked to reveal the contested position occupied by women in a context shaped by muscular nationalism even when they do not explicitly challenge their roles as border guards. Vivekananda, in his ruminations about muscular nationalism, also influenced another political ideology, commonly referred to as Hindutva or Hindu nationalism, that has emerged in modern India. Women activists and politicians occupy a rather fraught location within this ideological terrain. This chapter briefly discusses this feminized space in general and then goes on to unpack a high-profile event that reveals the complicated position of women within modern Hindu muscular nationalism. The immolation of Roop Kanwar on her husband’s funeral pyre, in 1987, evoked ideas of chastity and womanhood within muscular nationalism and for the first time provoked a countrywide debate around these issues in India. In contrast, the controversy surrounding the 2004 Irish citizenship referendum in the Republic clearly emphasized that the colonial past, specifically in terms of racialization and the legacy of Pearsian muscular nationalism, still troubled the modern Irish nation. Woman as mother in muscular nationalism entered a post-Pearsian Republic through public debates surrounding the meaning of Irishness and a perceived threat to this identity through the fertile black female body. Chapters 5 and 6 illustrate the logic of postcolonial muscular nationalism by highlighting several facets of the tension between politicized femininity and chastity within this ideology. Not only did the politicized femininity expressed by the Naxalite and Armagh women challenge the images of

Introduction



19

women inscribed within a masculinized nation, but also Roop Kanwar and the bodies of migrant Nigerian women highlight the considerable anxiety that surrounds the production of “proper” bodies as border guards of a nation. The last chapter uses the work done in the previous six to briefly discuss the relationship between women and muscular nationalism. Women’s bodies and ideas of womanhood occupy a complex position within the several contemporary articulations of this particular ideology. The tension between politicized and chaste femininity creates a complicated terrain that women have to negotiate carefully if they are to be acknowledged as legitimate nationalists and hence equal stakeholders in a nation that accepts a femininity that is much more complex than the unidimensional images and icons of chastity that erase the robust and physical lives of women.

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1

Under the British Gaze The Weak Bengali and the Simianized Celt

P

ublished in 1860, John Brookes’s book Manliness: Hints to Young Men drew a link between national progress and manliness, asserting that manly nations are sure to progress, whereas unmanly nations are bound to be conquered: “Nations never remain stationary—they are always either progressing or retrograding. If they are manly their march towards perfect civilization is . . . certain . . . but if they become unmanly their retrogression is rapid and awful.”1 Brookes’s conflation of manhood and national progress was an integral part of British imperial expansion in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Specifically, nations defined by martial prowess, strength, and discipline— traits of hegemonic masculinity—were sure to attain a level of civilization that “unmanly” (read: effeminate) nations hindered by weakness, as well as lack of discipline and martial prowess, could not attain. The linkage between British notions of hegemonic masculinity and imaginings of empire has been a topic of contemporary research.2 Inherent in this relationship is the pejorative judgment of the conquered. In the words of Said, such criticism can be related to a process of feminization in which the Orient (non-Western colonies in South Asia and the Middle East) was constructed as the weak, irrational, nonmartial “Other,” in contrast to a rational strong, martial European “Self.”3 Ronald Inden alludes to the European masculine hero who would conquer and create order out of the feminized chaos that was India.4 Said and Inden both imply that the feminization of the Orient encompassed a disparagement of Arab and Indian men who were conquered because they were effeminate and who were seen as effeminate because they were conquered. Their conquered status constructed them as not muscular, not aggressive, and not skilled in militarism, all values associated with femininity. Further, as is discussed in this chapter, the Irish, a colonized nation, were deemed “unmanly” and also feminized in ways similar to the processes described by Inden and Said. Thus, gender was a politically salient aspect of colonialism. •

21

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Under the British Gaze

This chapter does not offer a comprehensive tracing of imperialism and normative ideas of manhood and womanhood but rather sketches out a cultural context highlighting British imperial concerns with muscularity, chivalry, martial prowess, rational governance, and self-discipline. These traits of hegemonic masculinity defined the British categorization of Indians and Irish, as well as their location within imperial space. This chapter delineates the impact of imperial masculinity as it emerged and evolved in the mid- to late nineteenth century. For the purposes of this book, the manner in which these ideals of manhood defined and constructed Irish and Bengali men was important for the unfolding of oppositional muscular nationalism in both contexts in the early twentieth century. Green identifies four archetypes of English manliness in empire: the engineer, explorer, missionary, and soldier.5 The engineer tamed unruly nature— rivers, jungles—by utilizing science to build bridges, railroads, and highways; the explorer trekked throughout the mysterious subcontinent mapping terrain; the missionary heralded the civilizing force of Christianity; and the soldier conquered and maintained control over the “effeminate” colonized man. Although each version of manhood perhaps performed a different function within the imperial project, each figure embodied traits of hegemonic masculinity, strength, self-reliance, independence, and confidence as the colonies were controlled, categorized, and conquered.

Gender and Imperialism I begin this exploration of the intersection of hegemonic masculinity and empire with the words of a colonial soldier who gained infamy in Indian nationalism because of his implication in the Jallianwala Bagh massacre of 1919: I fired and continued to fire until the crowd dispersed, and I consider this is the least amount of firing which would produce the necessary moral and widespread effect it was my duty to produce if I was to justify my action. If more troops had been at hand the casualties would have been greater in proportion. It was no longer a question of merely dispersing the crowd, but one of producing a sufficient moral effect from a military point of view not only on those who were present, but more especially throughout the Punjab. There could be no question of undue severity.6

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23

The extract is a rationale offered by General Reginald Edward Harry Dyer, defending his order to fire into a crowd of approximately ten thousand unarmed Indian men, women, and children. They had gathered in an enclosed square, Jallianwala Bagh, to protest the Rowlatt Act, which gave colonial authorities the right to detain suspects without trial. The question of “undue severity” was raised by his superiors because his troops blocked the only path into and out of the square, and many Indians and Britons characterized the deaths of his victims as a massacre. The sociocultural processes that brought General Dyer to India and placed him in Jallianwala Bagh signify the complicated ties linking India and Ireland within the imperial grid, as well as a specific interweaving of hegemonic masculinity and empire. Ireland often functioned as the first stop for many colonial officers who went on to serve in India. For example, Sir John Anderson used the strategic expertise he gained in detaining Irish republicans to restrain and squash the physical force nationalist movement in Bengal.7 General Dyer was also a part of this colonial administrative path; he had served in Belfast in 1886 and became involved in suppressing violent anti-imperial clashes that resulted in deaths and injuries and extensive damage to property.8 Indeed, in 1920, when the British parliament debated the Hunter Commission report on the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, defenders of Dyer feared that the general’s censure would inhibit Britain’s ability to suppress rebellion not only in India but also in Ireland, which was then in the throes of the war of independence.9 There was no doubt that British imperial presence in Ireland was an implicit context for this debate about governance in India. It should also be noted that the highly militarized Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) provided the model of policing in the colonies. This model of policing tended to blur the line between the norms of civilian policing and military occupation.10 Although many colonial officers in India may have been influenced by their Irish experience, this experiential background in and of itself does not shape the unfolding of gendered nationalism in each context but rather remains an indicator of the interlocking reach of the British Empire, which is a part of the background against which gender, nation, and anticolonial resistance intersected. More important for this book is the manner in which gender surfaced and played itself out in General Dyer’s approach to the rule of law and the use of justifiable force in suppressing political protest. His actions in Jallianwala Bagh

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need to be contextualized against the surfacing of what I have termed the role of women as border guards wherein the figure of the chaste woman functioned as the boundary between the orderly, masculine colonial Self and the chaotic, effeminate, colonized Other. Of all the violent acts committed by Indians during civil disturbances in Amritsar that culminated in the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, including the death of five European men, General Dyer viewed the violence experienced by the female missionary Marcella Sherwood, who was attacked by a group of Indian men while cycling in Amritsar, as the most serious. This led to the notorious “crawling order,” which dictated that, when Indian (men) found themselves in the lane where Miss Sherwood had been attacked, they had to get down on all fours and crawl. Many Englishwomen, including Marcella Sherwood, saw Dyer as the “savior” of the Punjab and wrote in his support when he faced a British tribunal to account for his actions at Jallianwala Bagh.11 These letters referred repeatedly to the 1857 war to reinforce the figures of virtuous English women and helpless children who required the protection of the muscular Englishman from the “bestial” native male. The chaste white woman as the victim of savage Indian sepoys (foot soldiers) was a trope that circulated in the British popular imagination and justified the violent manner in which the rebellious sepoys had been punished.12 It was clear that Dyer accepted this visual image of female virtue versus male savagery: He [Dyer] had taken his niece to see Delhi and the Taj with Mary [his wife] just a fortnight ago, and driving through the old city of the capital they had been accosted by a mob of young men, one of whom jumped onto the rear bumper of his motor and peered grinning ape-like through the window. Luckily, Alice hadn’t turned to see that lecherous face with saliva drooling from its wretched red lips.13

Bose makes a compelling case that this fear of native male bestiality contributed to Dyer’s ferocious response in Jallianwala Bagh. The particular gendered duality identified here, centered on the maidenly body of the English woman and the savage lust of the native man, can be situated within a specific power dynamic, the imperialism of the intimate, which emerged in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when a certain anxiety pervaded the colonial enterprise.14 This anxiety was shaped by competing strategies for maintaining control and doubts about the legiti-

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25

macy of the colonial enterprise. This manifested in two main ways. First, with the abolition of slavery, colonial states had to deal with Europeans who were still running plantations and farms in Fiji, Jamaica, Trinidad, Malaysia, Indochina, Kenya, Uganda, and modern Zimbabawe and who needed cheap labor. This led to much debate over the legitimacy of colonial power at the same time that notions of universal human rights, freedom, and equality were occurring in the European centers of colonialism. Thus, much of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries was taken up by attention to a “noncoercive” imperialism (distinguished from violent and extractive rule) that debated attempts to create stable governments beneficial for colonized wage labor instead of slavery. In other words, an idea of facilitating the development of the colonies informed imperial control. However, this notion of development had an ambiguous relationship with Europe’s civilizing mission in its colonies.15 Put another way, political and economic development in the colonies were seen as a part of Europe’s imperial mission, but it was not clear whether self-rule was the logical culmination of this process. A second manifestation of this societal dis-ease centered on and was expressed by the body of the white woman. The notion of “civilization” was integral to the circulation of imperial rule, and the distinction between civilized and uncivilized, although mainly defined by public actions, was also shaped by the domestic: who lived with whom, how they raised their children, what they ate. As Anne Stoler argues, colonial authority was constructed on two powerful and false premises: one, that Europeans in the colonies were an easily identifiable biological identity, and two, that boundaries separating colonizer from colonized were self-evident and recognizable.16 It is the second premise that is integral to my argument. As “border” guards, white femininities were expected to articulate this separation in an unequivocal manner. In short, their embodiment of proper motherhood and wifehood in the domestic would represent what it meant to be European. Consequently, they occupied an elevated status protected from the chaos of the colonized lives surrounding this serene private space. Race was tied to the intimate, as eloquently expressed by George Hardy, principal architect of French colonial educational policy: “A man remains a man as long as he stays under the gaze of a woman of his race.”17 Thus, sexuality and race intertwined to determine who could be intimate with whom. This racialized imperialism of the intimate articulated itself through an interlocking and complicated dynamic linking the muscular (white) English-

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Under the British Gaze

man, the virtuous (white) Englishwoman, the savage colonized native male, and the vulnerable colonized woman. Since the white woman was frequently blamed for inflaming the colonized male by her very presence, her behavior, as well as the native male’s access to the space she occupied, was policed carefully. The figure of the colonized woman became implicated in this triangular relationship in several ways. Her perceived degradation and oppression were used by both white men and women and by colonized men to advance their political agendas. As the border guard of the colonized space, “native” women’s chastity was defended from the polluting gaze of the colonizing European man by her male guardians, and her body became synonymous with “authentic” anticolonial nationalism. In contrast, white men and women used her figure to either condemn the uncivilized colony or argue for the necessity of white women’s attaining political and economic equality as a precondition to helping their more unfortunate “sisters.”18 The configuration of the dynamic connecting these figures, of course, differed contextually. The first step in tracing the trajectory of this complicated dance of gender is the ideas of manhood that infused empire at this juncture.

Imperial Masculinity The masculinity that connected empire and gender in British eyes was Christian. More specifically, it was a Protestant construct. It emerged in the midnineteenth century, when British imperial power was at its zenith and drew upon various traits: self-control, discipline, confidence, martial prowess, military heroism, heterosexuality, and rationality. This masculinization of Christianity emerged in a socio-economic context marked by shifting gender and racial roles enabled primarily but not exclusively by industrialization and urbanization.19 Faced by such social transformations, a certain section of the elite became apprehensive that a process of effeminization was weakening Englishmen and erasing the national masculinity on which imperial power was founded.20

Christian Manliness and Empire In 1866, the Religious Tract Society of London published a monograph titled, “Christian Manliness: A Book of Examples and Principles for Young Men.” Its contents outlined several characteristics necessary for constructing an ideal

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27

Christian man: faith, personal will to decide, resolve, fidelity, courage, energy, perseverance, strength, gentleness, self-mastery, and prudence. The title, as well as the language of the tract, very clearly assumed a male audience.21 The Reverend John Caird, in Christian Manliness: A Sermon (1871), similarly observed, “Let inward principle take the place of instinct and outward restraint,––let the thoughtfulness, the intelligence, the earnest devotion, high and noble objects which are the characteristics of Christian manhood, raise you above the temptations of indolence and self-indulgence or the baser lives of appetites and sense.”22 These values constructed the figure of the manly English actor in opposition to an effeminate “Other” (read: native) marked by weakness, fickleness, cowardice, laziness, and a lack of self-control. Within the discourse of imperialism, the values of Christian manliness were fused with traits of martial prowess, creating the Christian man at arms who represented empire and national glory. For example, Sir Henry Lawrence, a much revered colonial administrator and military commander, linked his imperial presence in India with his Christian duty. In his contributions to the Calcutta Review (1859), he described the ideology shaping his location as a commander in India: “On the other hand, what may not a Christian soldier do? The man who, a Christian at heart, . . . believes his duty . . . evincing his love to God by performing his duty to man . . . such a man will not be the one to quail in the hour of danger.”23 Samuel Smiles, author of Self-Help (1879), one of the more popular voices delineating Christian manliness, wrote, “The spirit of self-help, as exhibited in the energetic action of individuals, has in all times been a marked feature in the English character and furnishes the true measure of our power as a nation.”24 In this work, self-help is linked to enterprise, industrialization, and leadership in technology, all traits in turn that are posited as the cause of British imperial glory. The idea of self-help is also embedded within a context of manliness defined by athleticism, hard work, frugality, honesty, and temperance. Further, the virtues of manhood include good manners, courtesy, and chivalry. The overlap among Smiles’s ideas of self-help, manhood, and Christian manliness is considerable. For the purposes of this argument, it must again be emphasized that most of his examples embodying the virtues of self-help and manhood were the colonial administrators and soldiers who had served in India; many of them, like Sir Henry Lawrence, had begun their colonial careers in Ireland.

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All the passages I have quoted, as well as the one that follows, clearly distinguish between mere muscular Christianity and Christian manliness, which not only includes physical strength and martial prowess but goes beyond mere “muscularity” to emphasize moral dimensions: “We need not fall into the folly of so-called ‘muscular Christianity,’ but it is a Christian duty to maintain in health and vigour the body to which God has given strength and beauty.”25 Norman Vance suggests that “‘manliness’ may relate to physical vigour and prowess . . . or to patriotic and military qualities, or to the traditions of chivalry, or to a variety of moral qualities ranging from . . . general benevolence to the most awe inspiring moral rigour.”26 Patriotism was an important trait of Christian manhood, as Brookes and Smiles reveal. Manliness must serve the nation; indeed, manhood and nation reinforce each other. Further, despite the allusion to the folly of “muscular Christianity,” many proponents of Christian manliness placed a muscular body at the center of their discourse and were avid supporters of athletics as an expression of masculinity. It is also important to note that British interpretations of manliness were not necessarily defined in opposition to “effeminacy” but also referred to childishness and, sometimes, beastliness.27 However, the boundaries between effeminacy and childishness may become blurred, as the qualities of irrationality, emotiveness, weakness, or passivity may be seen to include traits that describe both feminine and childlike behavior. The difference between them is that male children, with proper training and guidance, progress beyond this childlike state, whereas adult women remain trapped in it. Thus, when races like the Irish and Indians were designated as “effeminate,” their state of permanent childhood and the need for a strong, manly guiding hand became the cultural justification for the existence of British rule. Concepts of Christian manliness and muscular Christianity arose in response to industrialization and the uncertainties created by a changing social order in which race and gender roles were shifting. In the face of these uncertainties, a feeling arose among certain elites that Englishmen had become too effeminate and were losing the manly qualities that had made England great.28 Further, many argued that dilution of Anglo-Saxon racial purity was part and parcel of the anxiety about British masculinity.29 Another aspect of this national anxiety was the tension between “middle class radicals and the aristocracy. Some elements of the middle class elite believed that one

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29

of the reasons for the decline of Anglo-Saxon glory was the presence of an aristocracy that had identified with the effeminate French rather than their own hardy Protestant culture.”30 Finally, while the robust values of Christian manliness were being created as an antidote to the effeminate decline of society, it became clear that an important component of this remasculinization was empire. Conquering and holding British imperial lands were vital aspects of this rejuvenated masculinity. Note that, in addition to other factors, this renewed emphasis on imperial masculinity may have been sparked by the Indian War of 1857, in the course of which the British were amazed at the widespread resistance to their presence and, more important, frightened by the fact that they had almost lost India to “native” forces and commanders. This fear was strengthened by British losses in the Boer War, in the aftermath of which the Duke of Devonshire’s Inter-Parliamentary Committee on Physical Deterioration was formed to probe into the weak physique of the recruits for this war—a weakness that was seen as being responsible for British losses. In 1904, this committee reported that the deleterious effects of industrialization and urbanization were sapping the strength of young urban Englishmen and that, further, bad parenting (read: mothering) was exacerbating the negative impact of England’s urban environment. Sir Robert Baden Powell’s formation of the Boy’s Scouts, aimed at building up muscular boys ready to take on the duties of empire, was in direct response to the reports of this committee.31 Such a context of anxiety around the proper expression of imperial manhood, I argue, strengthened British resolve to prove their masculinity in opposition to, in their view, the effeminate (and sometimes childlike and beastly) native. Terms of “manliness” and “manhood” shifted in colonial observations. Although some references to Indians commonly conflated effeminacy and a lack of martial prowess, other observations about Indian manhood were based on broader interpretations of Christian manliness. For example, while the martial ability of some groups of Indian men may have been acknowledged, simultaneously these same groups were condemned for being “unmanly” because of a lack of patriotic fervor or honesty. Similarly, in Ireland, the “fighting Irish” who fought in imperial armies were contrasted with the feckless, contradictory Pat and the violent and unstable Paddy.32 As in the Indian case, none of these figures were seen to measure up to the “manly” English man. Further, as the comparison of the Irish and Indian cases illustrates, the

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feminization of the colonial Other was complicated by the simultaneous and interlocking racialization that shaped imperial discourse. For the sake of clarity, my point of departure for this analysis will focus on the construction of the “violent” Paddy and the “meek” Bengali to demonstrate the twin processes of racialization and effeminization.

Gender, Race, and Imperialism The unfolding of muscular Christianity and Englishness was complicated by the presence of race within this discourse. The racializing of the Indian and Irish in the nineteenth century occurred against a background in which cultural and scientific forces centered race in the imperial order and used this to stress the superiority of the Anglo-Saxon race, as well as Anglo-Saxon institutions. The rebellion by the East India Company’s troops in India in 1857 turned public attention to empire and racial questions took a new urgency as attendant images and stories of “bestial” natives harming “pure” English women circulated in the English public domain.33

The Simianized Celt Racialized and gendered Englishness came to the fore as an underlying justification for empire, and, in keeping with the science of race to shore up Anglo-Saxon superiority, ethnographic studies of the measurements of Irish skulls and brows were published. L. P. Curtis effectively delineates the emergence of the “simianized Celt,” who was distinguished from the manly Saxon: “In cartoons and caricatures as well as prose, Paddy began to resemble increasingly the chimpanzee, the orangutan, and, finally, the gorilla. The transformation of the peasant Paddy into an ape-man or simianized Caliban was completed by the 1860s and 1870s.”34 In a paper read before the Anthropological Society of London in 1865 by Daniel Mackintosh, the Celts were described as follows: “Bulging forward of lower part of face—most extreme in upper jaw. Chin more or less retreating. Retreating forehead. Large mouth and thick lips. Great distance between nose and mouth. Nose short, upturned, frequently concave with yawning nostrils.”35 According to Mackintosh, people with such features were irrational, emotive, excitable, submissive, able to do tedious and monotonous tasks, and unable to focus on deep

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study. In contrast, Saxons had regular, symmetrical features and tended to be moderate, balanced, truthful, honest, and sound in judgment and disliked tedious and monotonous tasks. This contrast pioneered by Mackintosh became a standard commonly used by English Victorians to distinguish the Irish from the English. Another prominent Victorian who added to this discourse of simianization was John Beddoe (1826–1911), creator of the “Index of Nigrescence.” He believed that human racial origin was indicated by eye and hair color, and this index was designed to quantify the amount of melanin in skin, hair follicles, and the iris of the eyes. The index served to “confirm the impressions of many Victorians that the Celtic portions of the population in Wales, Cornwall, Scotland, and Ireland were considerably darker or more melanous than those descended from Saxon and Scandinavian forebears.”36 But it was not only scientists who accessed this imperial logic. In 1860, the author Charles Kingsley, who was an important proponent of muscular Christianity, expressed this view of the Irish: But I am haunted by human chimpanzees I saw along that hundred miles of horrible country. I don’t believe that they are our fault. I believe that there are not only more of them than of old but that they are happier, better, more comfortably fed and lodged under our rule than they ever were. But to see white chimpanzees is dreadful; if they were black, one would not feel it so much, but their skins, except where tanned by exposure, are as white as ours.37

On October 29, 1881, an illustration titled “The Two Forces” appeared in Punch (or The London Charivari). In it, Britannia, an Athena-like martial goddess representing the British nation, protects the vulnerable maiden Hibernia (Ireland) from a rather simianized male figure labeled Anarchy. Under British eyes, the martial strength of empire protected the Irish nation as woman from the bestial male rebels challenging British rule. Both female figures (even the martial Britannia) radiate an aura of chastity, while the ape-like menace of the male Irish rebel stands in marked contrast to the modest and virtuous nation as woman. This racialized discourse occurred in tandem with a process of effeminization represented by Ernest Renan and Matthew Arnold’s discussion of the

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Irish as an essentially feminine race.38 According to Ernest Renan, “If it be permitted to us to assign sex to nations as to individuals, we should have to say without hesitance that the Celtic race . . . is an essentially feminine race.” Matthew Arnold developed Renan’s views in “On the Study of Celtic Literature”: “No doubt the sensibility of the Celtic Nature, its nervous exaltation, have something feminine in them, and the Celt is thus peculiarly disposed to feel the spell of the feminine idiosyncracy; he has an affinity to it; he is not far from its secret.”39 Thus, depending on the context, either the effeminacy or the simianized aspect of the Celtic races was emphasized. An important determining factor of that context was the state of Irish political expression. When the Land League agitations or Irish Republican Brotherhood activism disrupted life in the island, caricatures of the “simianized,” violent Paddy came to the fore; during relatively calmer times, the race’s effeminate nature became the justification for continued British guidance and rule. In the Indian context, the stereotype of the effeminate babu or government clerk who worked in the vast imperial bureaucracies became a dominant imperial expression of a similar gendered and raced discourse.

The Weak Bengali Sir Herbert Risley’s The People of India presented scientific measurements of the skulls and bodies of the people of India, who were then categorized and classified according to various traits, one of which was martiality. “Martial” races not only embodied certain features of hegemonic masculinity but were also tall and fair-skinned, with light-colored eyes (e.g., the Pathans or Sikhs). In contrast, the nonmartial races were effeminate as well as short and darkskinned, with dark eyes (e.g., Bengalis). The scientific research mentioned earlier assumed that hardy Protestant white Englishmen were superior because of their regular and symmetrical features; an emphatic mark of this racial superiority was their embodiment of hegemonic masculinity. An untitled cartoon published in Punch or Indian Charivari (Calcutta) on May 16, 1873, illustrates aspects of this process of racialization. In this illustration, two Indian women are peeking out from behind a curtain, while the martial Britannia stands outside. The caption underneath the cartoon reads as follows:

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Britannia: Well! Are you coming out at last? Native Lady: We should like to very much; but we’re a little afraid. Britannia: There’s nothing to be afraid of; I’ll take care of you.40

Britannia is again protecting a national womanhood, in this case India. While the identification of the nation as woman is not made as directly as in the figure involving Hibernia mentioned earlier, this remains implicit as Britannia encourages shy and vulnerable Indian women to leave their secluded lives under her martial protection. There is no male presence (except the comic figure of “Sir Punch”), and one is struck by the absence of Indian men in this context. However, another political cartoon, “The Same,” eloquently describes the situation of Indian men in the British imagination.41 In this image, an Indian man dressed in proper British clothing and taking little “mincing” steps is juxtaposed with a caged monkey, while an English family dressed in Victorian attire gaze on the two. The title refers to the similarities the illustrator sees between the strolling Indian man and the ape behind bars. Unlike the simianized violent Irish rebel, the Indian man is depicted as an ape-like effete; thus, in these figures from Punch, the metaphor of the ape is used to represent two different “racial” traits: the Irish man’s irrational violence and the Bengali man’s effeminate nature, depicted through an overblown sense of fashion and “prancy” gestures. Much has been written about the Bengali as the archetypical effeminate figure constructed in opposition to the hardy, masculine, imperial British ruler; the stereotype needs little further elucidation. But, for the purposes of the argument presented in this book, it is worth examining one more construction of the effeminate babu.42 The figure of the babu appeared quite frequently in the Indian Charivari, which published the cartoon mentioned earlier. A prominent satirical depiction was a fictitious character known as Babu Bhuggobutty Bose, M.A., who frequently wrote a series of buffoonish letters to the editor that were published with ironic introductions. For example, the introduction to one letter read, “We gladly publish the following interesting communication in the interests of Civilization, Enlightenment and the rule of India for the Indians.”43 In the letter that followed, the babu appears to be meek and devious as he obsequiously requests an exemption from the conditions imposed by the Chota Lord Sahib (a high-placed colonial administrator) who demands that he ride

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twelve miles and stand on his head before he can be promoted to the position of Deputy Magistrate and Collector. It should be noted that although the conditions appear nonsensical, they are centered on ideas of physical prowess, which, it was obvious by the letter’s tone, the babu could not embody. Note how this depiction of the babu is remarkably similar to the satirical image of “pen-pushers” and “porters” found in the poem discussed in the introduction. Thus, both the Bengali poet and the English journalist agreed that Bengali men were far from achieving the ideal of a muscular nationalist. The English contempt for the weak babu surfaced again when Bhuggobotty Bose wrote to demand that he be made an officer in the British army: But for other branch I am quite fit, because uncle Deputy Magistrate, therefore of good “social” position.  .  .  . Not long before you would see undersigned martial [my emphasis] looking officer Baboo in beautiful uniform in Eden gardens. Then, by and bye, would marry Missy-baba, because people tell that red coat makes too much fascination to the Missybabas.  .  .  . Would be so good to let one of the gentlemen of your office teach me the dustoor [custom] of making the love to the Missy-babas? Now I wear patent leather shoes, eat beef steak, drink brandy sharab [wine, alcoholic beverages in general]. Soon will be officer-baboo. Then when I get European Mem-sahib, will be complete.44

Gender surfaces in two interlocking ways. Given this journal’s constant mocking of Bhuggobotty Bose’s cowardice and deviousness, it is clear that he will never be able to express the ideal of manhood required to gain the coveted red coat of the English officer. But, further, the babu’s constant fascination with “missy-babas” implies that if he were to enter the ranks of English soldiers by some underhanded method, his presence would pose a threat to the virtue of English womanhood. Thus, Punch or Indian Charivari anticipates the theme of fragile white female virtue circulated through the body of Marcella Sherwood and the infamous crawling order in 1919. The Indian Charivari’s ironic juxtaposition of the buffoonish and cowardly Bhuggobotty Bose with idea of “the rule of India for Indians,” as well as claims that Bengalis required “the straightforwardness of Christian honesty and the manliness of British energy” to enjoy order and stability, clearly communicates that, according to the standards of imperial masculinity, effeminate

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and simianized Bengalis were unfit to rule themselves.45 These ideas were also echoed within the Irish context. Lord Acton claimed that “The Celts are not among the progressive. . . . races but those which supply the materials rather than the impulse of history, and are either stationary or retrogressive.  .  .  . They are a negative element in the world . . . and waited for a foreign influence to set in action the rich treasure which in their own hands could be of no avail.”46 In a 1836 letter to the Times, Benjamin Disraeli wrote: [The Irish] hate our free and fertile isle. They hate our order, our civilization, our enterprising industry, our sustained courage, our decorous liberty, our pure religion. This wild, reckless, indolent, uncertain and superstitious race has no sympathy with the English character. Their fair ideal of human felicity is an alternation of the clannish brawls and coarse idolatry. Their history describes an unbroken circle of bigotry and blood.47

These were not unusual ideas, as recent work on the location of Ireland in important imperial texts has claimed: Wise government of Ireland, Froude suggested, should encourage or compel the majority in Ireland to undergo deep religious and cultural changes,. . . . As things stood, the Irish people were fit for little other than being controlled and following the lead of others. He compared the “Celt” to “some missing link,” and compared giving self-government to Ireland to giving liberty to foxhounds.  .  .  . Froude’s argument was that on the national sentiments of the Irish people were the antithesis of civilization and inimical to political and social order in the country; hence government according to Irish ideas was not only wrong, but also an impossibility.48

Similar ideas about Indians’ ability to rule were also prevalent: “Disaster would ensue without British control in the country, and it was not in the best interest of Indians themselves to propose that the government of India should be conducted on lines respectful of Indian opinion or customs, since these were obviously inferior to Western values.”49 The intertwined processes of effeminization and racialization signified British skepticism surrounding the capacity of both the Irish and the Indian for civilized self-rule. However, despite the ethnographic comments about the

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racial inferiority of the Irish articulated through tools such as John Beddoe’s “Index of Nigrescence,” the idea of “whiteness” complicated and mediated the location of Indians and Irish in the British imperial project.

The Colonized Other and Whiteness The Irish participated in imperial expansion as soldiers, civil servants, and missionaries. They were also a part of the production of “Orientalist” knowledge, with its blend of cultural observations and historical facts unified by the dynamic of power represented by the British presence, about India having recourse to the narratives of both the colonized and the colonizer. Serving in the East India Company’s troops was a popular avenue of employment for young Irish men. By 1857, more than half the Company’s white soldiers were Irish. In the war of 1857, Irish officers—the Lawrence brothers—as well as soldiers of the Irish regiment played a key role.50 After 1857, numbers of Irish recruits to the Indian army dwindled and can be attributed to mortality and migration. The precipitous fall in Irish population in the nineteenth century, set in train by Famine mortality and sustained by massive outflows of migrants, saw the Irish proportion of the United Kingdom population plummet from around a third in 1840 to just over a tenth in 1900. Irish recruitment to the British Army reflected this decline.51

But the presence of Irish officers remained constant. Bartlett argues that there is “some compelling evidence the Irish soldier was generally not much liked in India.”52 Indeed, Lala Rajpat Rai, a prominent Indian nationalist, claimed that Irish soldiers were worse in their attacks against Indians than the English.53 Presumably, Irish racism toward Indians was tempered by a desire to use “whiteness” to distinguish themselves from the “native” whom they were there to conquer. But it was the notorious Connaught Rangers who were particularly known for their racist violence. One English private, Frank Richards, explained the attitude of the Connaughts in his memoirs: The Connaughts had a reputation second to none for the way they handled the natives. When they arrived at a new station they soon expounded their views of the race-question and, by the time they left, there were not many

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natives around that place who even thought privately that they were equals of white men. The Connaughts were strong believers in the saying that what had been conquered by the sword must be kept by the sword; but not being issued with swords they used their boots and fists to such purpose that they were more respected and feared by the natives than any other British unit in India. It must have been a glad day in the Bazaars in Northern India, shortly after the war, when the Connaughts mutinied as a protest against the same sort of methods being used by the Black and Tans among their own families in Ireland, as what they were using among the Indians; and the Regiment had to be disbanded.54

The Connaught Ranger mutiny referenced in Private Richards’s memoirs is a significant expression of Ireland’s ambivalent position as both the perpetrator and the victim of the British imperial project. In 1920, when news of the atrocities committed by the Black and Tans in Ireland during the Irish War of Independence filtered back to India, the Rangers rose up against their British commanding officers. However, the leaders who engineered the “mutiny” made it very clear that they were not the “bestial” natives who had wrought havoc during the Great Indian Mutiny of 1857 but civilized rebels, and they made no attempt to build bridges with the Indians surrounding them.55 It should be noted that this uprising took place in the Punjab, where, only a year earlier, General Dyer had massacred Indians in Jallianwala Bagh. The racial distinction between the Irish and the “native” that characterized the actions of the Connaught Rangers were echoed in certain literary productions of the nineteenth century. For example, Rudyard Kipling, in his depiction of figures such as Kim and Terence Mulvaney, was quite clear in depicting the Irish as “white” and therefore racially incompatible with Indians.This racial boundary was maintained in his fiction by the absence of any romance between Irish men and Indian women.56 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous short story “The Green Flag,” published in 1900, also conflated Irishness and whiteness. Dennis Connolly, the hero of the story, joins the British army because the famine and evictions have wiped away his family and wealth. In the Egyptian desert, together with other disaffected Irish soldiers, he refuses to fight as part of Britain’s imperial force. However, this decision is quickly reversed when he actually comes face to face with the “Arab” enemy:

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through the narrow gap surged a stream of naked savages, mad with battle, drunk with slaughter, spotted and splashed with blood—blood dripping from their spears, their arms, their faces. Their yells, their bounds, their crouching, darting figures, . . . made them look like a blast of fiends from the pit. And were these the Allies of Ireland? . . . .Connolly’s soul rose up in loathing at the thought.57

Although Connolly’s regiment was not fighting in India, for the purpose of Doyle’s construction of a “white” Irishman, it does not really matter who embodied the “Other” as a “fiend from the pit,” as long as the borders of “whiteness” were maintained. This perspective on Indo-Irish racial differentiation matured in the 1840s, when several key Irish politicians evoked blood and racial issues to bring the Celt and the Saxon together: “Indeed, the Empire and the Orient are what makes consanguinity and bring the blood of the Irish and English together”; “if Saxon and Celtic blood had never met before, it mingled on the plain of Waterloo, and the banks of the Sutlej”; “Keogh asserts that the Celt should serve alongside the Saxon, but an assumption lies behind the argument: the Irish deserve a place on the Indian bench in 1850 because the Irish are European and, therefore, are as effective as the English and more so than native Indians.”58 Additionally, in 1855, Trinity College, Dublin, began to tailor its curriculum for the Indian civil service exams, and various Irish universities, including Trinity and the University of Cork, developed courses in Sanskrit, Arabic, and versions of Hindu and Muslim law, in an attempt to provide Irish students with the background needed for a career in the colonial bureaucracy in India.59 In addition to being soldiers and bureaucrats, the Irish came to India as missionaries. For most of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, they ran hospitals, orphanages, and schools.60 Irish academics, a majority of whom were located in Trinity College, Dublin, were also involved in producing knowledge about the Orient.61 Such cultural production was not limited to the academic realm but was also found in popular culture, mostly in the form of adventure narratives set in India. In addition to relating tales of success in the exotic lands of the Orient, these adventure tales emphasized self reliance, stressing the “Europeaness of the Irish and their ability to be proper manly empire builders.”62

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Indeed, Ireland’s position in the borderland of empire— neither completely the “white” colonial Self nor the “racialized” colonized “Other”—meant that, although “Ireland like India was a context for racial theorizing by selfappointed experts, . . . few British commentators placed the Irish close to the position on racial hierarchies occupied by Indians. . . . As Catherine Hall suggests, the disenfranchising of Irish electors was not really envisioned.”63 Indeed, the presence of the Irish Parliamentary Party in Westminster, a political advantage not extended to Indians, was a significant example of differential policy. Indians themselves were aware of the white privilege extended to the Irish: “for most Indian nationalists, the position of the Irish as a white Christian race placed limits on their desire to imitate Irish tactics. Indian nationalists feared that the because of racial similarity between the Irish and English, revolutionary activity by the Irish would be treated much more leniently than would such action by Indians.”64 The following editorial in the nationalist newspaper Bengalee eloquently signified an Indian awareness of this distinction: Is not the offense of the Punjab nothing as compared with that of Ireland? Punjab was trampled underfoot by Sir Michael O’Dwyer, who is himself an Irishman and a Roman Catholic. Such is the difference between Ireland and India! India is a conquered country, inhabited by black people; she is merely a zamindari of the conquerors. So no comparison should be attempted between Ireland and India. Nor should Indians imitate the Irish.65

Further, in the aftermath of the British parliament’s debate on the Hunter Commission report on General Dyer’s violent act in Jallianwala Bagh, an Indian daily based in Madras clearly articulated this theme of racialization: “we cannot but question why the House of Lords, which decided that massacre at Jallianwallah Bagh was a just punishment for the loss of two or three English lives and the affliction caused to one English lady, did not send heroes like Dyer to Ireland. There seems to be no other reason for this than the fact that Irish are white and the Indian black.”66 We now turn to the relationship between “whiteness” and femininity, which also highlights the racial asymmetry between the Irish and the Bengali in the imperial imagination.

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White Femininity and Imperialism As indicated by the discussion of Marcella Sherwood and General Dyer earlier in this chapter, within a certain expression of imperial masculinity, the native bestial male, the fragile virtuous Englishwoman, and the avenging muscular Englishman were linked in a compelling dynamic. In this triangular relationship, the figure of the white woman as a border guard functioned to separate out a civilized intimate space that became a part of the logic of colonial surveillance. For example, in 1883, the Ilbert Bill proposed that “native” magistrates be given the power to adjudicate the affairs of British subjects residing in India. This led to a widespread protest from the European community centered around the “effeminate” nature of Indian men and their “savage” behavior towards women.67 Many European women protested being under the control of a barbaric native man and appealed to the “muscular” Englishmen not to abandon them. Englishwomen occupied a contested space in empire. The contestation was located in the dynamics between their domesticity and their fragile virtue. For example, Jenny Sharpe points out that in the post-1857 period, the figure of the white memsahib was caricatured as a “small-minded social snob who tyrannically rules over a household of servants.”68 Indeed, racism against Indians was blamed on this petty memsahib. This view of the Englishwoman is eloquently depicted in George Francklin Atkinson’s drawings, which include a series of studies with titles like “The Judge’s Wife” and the “The Colonel’s Wife.” These drawings depict women languidly lazing about while attended by a host of servants who cater to their every need. Brief texts frame these images, mocking the petty and trivial concerns of these supposedly status-hungry women.69 In a way, of course, these female figures could be interpreted as representing masculinized colonial anxiety stemming from the tension between white female virtue and the barbaric sexual threat of the bestial male native found in General Dyer’s imagination. The petty memsahib was the flip side of fragile virtue; if she had not arrived, the masculine world of empire would not have had to be concerned with protecting her. In this particular interpretation of domesticity, the memsahib’s fragile virtue was located on the border between civilized order and uncivilized chaos, and this role as border guard enhanced the anxiety around her sexuality and its attraction to bestial native males. This fear may have become articulated as contempt for her pettiness.

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Many Englishwomen rejected this negative vision and reclaimed the role of border guard to signify feminine agency in maintaining the British empire. Their bodies—dressed in proper English clothing—used the art of homemaking to create a separate civilized space.70 One of the most popular texts offering guidance for this domestication of empire was Flora Annie Steel’s The Complete Indian Housekeeper and Cook, which was first published in 1889 and went through many subsequent printings. The detailed delineation of the art of managing childlike Indian servants, setting tables, and serving proper “English” dishes was meant to assist the imperial wife in creating a civilized English space among the chaos that was India. A particularly interesting example of this was the injunction against Indian food and the need to preserve a simple, yet hearty English cuisine. Again, women’s bodies and actions both signified and maintained the border between order and disorder. To sum up, in India, a certain gendered logic of empire was expressed by a triangulated network of power flowing through the figures of the white woman, the male colonialist, and the native man.71 The white woman cleared a civilized space through the art of domesticity. This was not really a “private” sphere rigidly separated from the “public” sphere occupied by the colonial soldier or administrator, because the civilizing activity in the home was also propping up the public civilizing mission of empire.72 Put another way, the activities within the private and the public spheres reinforced each other to highlight Anglo-Saxon superiority. But this particular art of empire building was fraught because of the presence of the virtuous body of the Englishwoman supposedly coveted by barbaric Indian men. In the relationship I have posited, the colonized Indian woman has dropped out of sight; however, as my later discussion indicates, she will resurface in particular ways to reinforce this triangular relationship. Although gender in the Irish context was also played out in a triangular relationship in terms of civilization and barbarity, in India it took on a different form. In dominant representations of this dynamic, the body of the white Englishwoman has been replaced by that of the Irishwoman. Thus, we have both the Irish and the English man locked in combat over the feminized Hibernia (Ireland). The political cartoons I discussed earlier in this chapter used the twin processes of effeminization and racialization to express the logic of empire. However, although in the cartoons there is a certain symmetry in the dance of

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gender in the imperial vision, it is important to note that there was also asymmetry between the gendering/racing of the Irish and the Indian in the imperial context. Although the patient and suffering nation as woman, India and Hibernia, requiring rescue from the violent Paddy or the ape-like effete babu, is an important theme, it must be noted that, in all the research conducted for this book, I did not come across the trope of the fragile Englishwoman being in danger from the simianized Celt. Indeed, there was very little mention of the Englishwoman as border guard of civilization in the colonial space of Ireland. Put another way, there were few Irish counterparts to the English memsahibs in India. It seems that the answer can be found in the ambiguous position of “whiteness,” despite the simianization of the Irish. Most authors argue that racist depictions of the Irish were linked to the level of political activity: “The prices paid by Irishmen for increasing political activity and agrarian protest was the substitution of epithets like Caliban, Frankenstein, Yahoo, and gorilla for Paddy.”73A propensity for violence, a lack of self-control, and a perverted sense of right and wrong were described as simply part of the Celt’s nature. According to these conclusions, repressive legislation and martial law, coupled with moral reformation, constituted the only “reasonable” response to Irish agitation.74 However, according to Curtis, this explicit racialization of the Irish was over by the time World War I broke out, but depictions of Ireland as the chaste Erin and Hibernia remained.75 Further, in most depictions of Erin and Hibernia, “the image is likely to stress racial similarity, as befits a desireable wife or daughter whose relationship with England is to be a domestic one.”76 Indian (and, I would argue, Chinese, Nigerian, and Egyptian) women were never considered suitable wives or daughters for Englishmen. Julia Wright reveals this gendered racial asymmetry in her analysis of nineteenth-century Anglo-Irish fiction, focusing on marriage as metaphor for colonial relations. In this literary trope, the “feminine” colonized is united by love rather than force with the masculine colonizer.77 For example, Glorvina, the heroine of Wild Irish Girl, authored by Sydney Owenson, is assertive, well read, healthy, and athletic. The ending offers her union with Horatio, the sympathetic Englishman who represents not only a benevolent husband but also a parental figure for the Irish tenants of his land holdings. As an example of a national tale published in 1808 in the aftermath of the 1800 Act of Union, which tied Ireland to the United Kingdom, this novel and its resolution in

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the marriage between Glorvina (an independent rather than passive Hibernia) and Horatio represents a possible compromise for Anglo-Irish relations.78 In contrast, the literary work of celebrated authors such as E. M. Forster and Rudyard Kipling and even that of English women such as Flora Annie Steel (who saw herself as sensitive to Indian women’s issues) never posits the marital union between an Englishman and an Indian woman as a possible metaphor for imperial relations. Indian women may have been admired for their exotic beauty or pitied for living in wretched conditions, which could be ameliorated by the acts of English men (and women), but they were never imagined as a part of English domestic space as a wife. Indeed, the location of English women as the border guards of a civilized domestic space in India was probably linked to this particular unsuitability of Indian women for the orderly private spaces of empire. Katherine Mayo’s infamous depiction, in Mother India, of the so-called barbaric dai or midwife, who was portrayed as being steeped in superstition and unhygienic practices, as well as the ignorant behavior of Indian mothers, testifies to this interpretation of Indian womanhood. Thus, the willingness to imagine a feminized Ireland as either a wife or a daughter not only revealed an ambiguity about the racialization of Irish women but also neutralized the necessity for the arrival of Englishwomen to domesticate empire and act as border guards. Put another way, because of white privilege, “proper” Irish women would be coopted as border guards for the British imperial community in Ireland. Indian women could never be imagined in this role. However, even if the role of “whiteness” enabled the British imagination to view Irish and Indian womanhood in divergent ways, it certainly did not indicate an unequivocal willingness to bestow home rule on Ireland. Both the Indians and the Irish were deemed unworthy of self-rule. Further, many colonial officers believed in the domino theory, which argued that if home rule were granted to Ireland, it would mark the beginning of the end of the British Empire.79

Conclusion Hegemonic masculinity formed a central component in the lens that the British used to focus their gaze on Ireland and India. Its multifaceted and shifting interpretation of manhood shaped the classification and categorization of a

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populace, which colonial administrators found either alien and exotic (India) or ungrateful and difficult to control (Ireland). Imperial masculinity was inextricably linked with British and Anglo-Saxon glory. Imperialism, nationalism, manliness, and conquest all reinforced one another. In hierarchies constructed by Christian manliness, the Englishman was always deemed superior even to Indian “martial races,” who might be brave soldiers but lacked all other “manly” traits. Although no Indian man could ever hope to achieve a status equal to that of the British, whiteness complicated the position of Irish masculinity in the imperial grid. As both colonized and colonizer, the Irish, although deemed barbaric and ape-like at certain times, at other times were seen as worthy allies in the British imperial project. This racial distinction between Indians and Irish was most eloquently expressed through the dynamic that linked imperial masculinity, white femininity, and the colonized woman. However, despite the complicated position of “whiteness” within imperial racialization and effeminization of Irish and Indians, the gendered logic I have demonstrated sets the stage for the articulation of muscular nationalism to be described in the following chapters. The scope and significance of this political doctrine did not lie in the links between India and Ireland; nor was it dependent on the “sameness” of British policy toward these two colonies. Rather, the tensions and complications of the colonial presence in each context highlighted the multiple ways in which discourses of nation harnessed normative masculinities and femininities. The next chapter underlines the manner in which indigenous elites in both contexts launched their views of a muscular nation to challenge the imperial presence. I would like to add a few words on multiplicity before proceeding further with my analysis. Indian and Irish nationalism has unfolded in multiple ways as various elite and common folk imaginatively responded to colonial and postcolonial conditions, essentially turning to their own cultural traditions to make sense of their realities. In this book, I focus on a single dominant strand—muscular nationalism—that exists within the whole of the intricately woven cultural tapestries that are India and Ireland. My emphasis by no means denies the importance or existence of multiple other strands.

2

“Muscular Gael” and “ W a r r i o r M o n k” Muscular Nationalism in Colonial India and Ireland

I

n both Ireland and India, a dominant response to the twin processes of effeminization and racialization was an emphasis on indigenous virility and martial prowess. Like the idea of Christian manliness, these responses were infused with muted religious overtones that drew on the tenets of Catholicism and Hinduism. In this chapter, I use the writings of Patrick Pearse (1879–1916) and Swami Vivekananda (1863–1902), both highly revered nationalist figures, to illustrate the social construction of this gendered nationalism in each context. Although each thinker presented his own take on the intersection of hegemonic masculinity and nation as a part of anticolonial resistance, their ideas unfolded against a broader nationalist context in which certain traits of hegemonic masculinity were already shaping the cultural milieu.

Pearse, Muscular Nationalism, and Ireland On June 13, 1908, the broadsheet Sinn Fein articulated its view of nationalism in a column titled “Muscular Sinn Fein.” In it, the anonymous author commented on the effeminacy of England: “She is comparable now to Rome in its effeminacy. . . . England has all devices which lend strength to power . . . except men.” The column also urged Ireland to draw on her vigorous asset of muscular manhood. . . . We have in the GAA [Gaelic Athletic Association] branches . . . a precious asset. If it were possible to make the members of these clubs local custodians of good conduct—a national militia—voluntarily obeyed and self-supporting—would it not be a great step towards the ideal of the Sinn Fein? 1 •

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In an earlier issue of the paper, a column titled “Nation Building and Body Culture” compared the Irish “male” physique unfavorably with that of the English and asserted “that a great reawakening has taken place in England in terms of physical culture.”2 I perused copies of the Sinn Fein spanning the years 1906 to 1911, and in these pages there were frequent celebratory references to the Gaelic Athletic Association for its role in contributing to the embodiment of this vision of muscular nationalism by promoting athleticism, as athletic bodies were seen as precondition for muscular soldiers. Michael Cusack founded the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) in 1884. The organization emphasized the Irish sports of hurling and Gaelic football to stimulate an indigenously Irish athletic tradition in an attempt to “resurrect the physical stature of the manhood of Ireland, which was deemed debilitated because of the  .  .  . effects of British rule.”3 The Irish forged an ideology of “muscular Catholicism” in opposition to “muscular Christianity” to assert their manliness. Masculinity was connected to the Gaelic games in many ways. The games were seen to provide a civilizing tendency by their imposition on the individual of team ideas of organization, discipline, and control. This configuration was meant to resist British depictions of the simianized Celt. The GAA promoted “hurling,” an indigenous Irish sport played by propelling a ball by hitting it with a stick with the intention of scoring a goal. In Irish history, hurling was seen as an aristocratic game associated with violence and death; in addition, success at this game was a signifier of manliness and nobility.4 Nationalist papers such as the Sinn Fein, quoted earlier, and The Irish Freedom regularly supported the Gaelic Athletic Association and its attempt to create “manly Fenians.” In 1901, a GAA revival began as a spontaneous cultural movement with a distinctive nationalist tone, one to which the Irish Republican Brotherhood attached itself. 5 The GAA began to stress its role in fostering the essential qualities of brotherhood and manliness in an effort to counter alien sports taken up by “degenerate dandies of the day,” for, “when a race is declining in martial spirit,” national games are neglected by men “whose reason is unhinged” by effete activity.6 In 1901, this organization underwent a cultural revival in which it circulated the ideas of muscularity and manliness as the core of Irish nationalism. A column addressed to Irish boys stressed the links among physical strength, athleticism, and nation by lauding the formation of the GAA:

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I breathe a prayer for the soul of Michael Cusak—the founder of the Gaelic Athletic movement . . . the Irish athletic field was and is today, the maker of men—disciplined, self-controlled men—well built and square shouldered men, perfect athletes—men on whom a nation can rely in its hour of need. . . . I also wish you to become men in the true sense—physically men—so that we may demonstrate to the world that we are not, as our enemies would have other nations believe a nation of weaklings. And when we are a nation of men, we will be a free nation.7

So what was the image of femininity that would work in tandem with the “muscular Sinn Fein”? On May 19, 1906, a woman’s column titled “Letters to Nora” claimed the following: It is “we ourselves,” [a play on the meaning of Sinn Fein] who must save the country if she is to be saved at all. It is the men of Ireland—strong of will, strong of heart and purpose, strong of principle and with bodies strengthened by manly exercises and pure and sober living who shall win the Great victory. It is the women of Ireland—fit helpmates and mothers of a nation of men—who will help them to it.8

It is interesting to read on the front page of the Sinn Fein for January 8, 1910, the words of an anonymous author who challenged this monolithic view of women as “mothers of the nation” in a column titled “Woman—A National Asset”: “The home is the foundation of the state. . . . Let then the mothers of the country realize the magnitude of their power for good. . . . So much for wives and mothers—but for us women who are not the keepers of homes or the counselors of men, there yet remains work, and good work for the nation to do.”9 The column then goes on to advise these women (who are not wives or mothers and whom the author describes as “the third sex”) to “evolve a nation” by teaching, working, and disseminating nationalist ideals. Identifying herself as a member of this third sex the author argues that women as consumers and producers of nationalist goods can sustain an indigenous Irish economy. Although it would be hard to argue that this author represented a dominant view of female activism in the nation, it is interesting to acknowledge that some women attempted to delineate alternative spaces in

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the face of a powerful discourse linking motherhood and nation. Using its support for the GAA as a base, The Irish Freedom argued for a martial spirit and offered this advice to the children of Ireland: “The history of the world proves that there is but one road to freedom, and that is the red road of war.”10 The emphatic declaration in favor of muscular nationalism marked a decisive shift from the cultural politics of the Gaelic League (founded in 1893) and the Sinn Fein’s early nonviolence to a vision of nation rooted in militarism and hegemonic masculinity.11 A major catalyst for this change lay in the creation, in 1913, of the Ulster Volunteer Forces by fearful unionists (Protestant proponents of British rule in Ireland) who believed that home rule was imminent and that their position in a Catholic Irish free state would be at best tenuous and at worst dangerous. In response, the republicans created the Irish Volunteers. Both groups of volunteers expressed the “new martial ethos” that would “combat the effeminacy” of the age by “military training or sport.”12 The Irish Volunteers’ inaugural meeting, in 1913, made it clear that they interpreted the good citizen through ideals of manhood. This republican nationalist focus on manliness, articulated through the activities and ideas of the Volunteers and the GAA, helped define separate spheres for men and women within the nationalist terrain: “Ultimately, the message one receives is that ‘Good Irishwoman was the Good Mother, spiritual, fixed at home, transmitting Irishness to her children.’”13 Even single women without children were instructed that, in order to contribute to the nationalist struggle, they should concentrate on establishing a good home.14 The lives of actual women were linked to the representations of nation as woman. Although Mother Ireland constructed as a sad old woman, lamenting her lot, was the dominant image presented within the nationalist movement as a response to the British configuration of the chaste, virginal Hibernia, other images also circulated.15 For example, Ireland as the beautiful queen—Kathleen ni Houlihan—or the virginal Dark Rosaleen were also popular ways of imagining Ireland. But, whether as mother or proud queen or Dark Rosaleen, femininity was increasingly spiritualized and asexualized, which then, as chapter 3 shows, had important implications for the political activism of nationalist women. The GAA, the Volunteers, and Sinn Fein were also concerned that the ideas of muscularity be disseminated among boys. Thus, The Irish Freedom (the political organ of the Volunteers) and Sinn Fein (the voice of the politi-

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cal party of the same name) celebrated the creation of the Na Fianna Eireann (the Irish Boys Scouts). This was an interesting development, as Sir Robert Baden Powell had created the Boy Scout movement in the wake of England’s defeat in the Boer War and the report of the 1904 Inter-Parliamentary Committee on Physical Deterioration to combat fears that English manhood was becoming weakened by urbanization, industrialization, and general dissolution. In an article titled “The Boys of Ireland,” an anonymous author wrote in The Irish Freedom: The object of the Na Fianna Eireann is to train boys of Ireland to fight Ireland’s battles when they are men. In the past the Irish heroically thought they have struggled, have always lost for want of discipline, for want of plans. . . . The brave Irish who rose . . . went down because they were not SOLDIERS; we hope to train Irish boys . . . to be soldiers . . . to understand and prize military discipline and to have a military spirit.16

This cultural milieu—in which ideas of manhood emphasizing muscular strength and martial power circulated—formed the background against which Patrick Pearse imagined his Ireland and set up his school, St. Enda’s, which aimed to provide the sort of education that would create patriotic boys, representing the beginning of a proper muscular nationalism.

Patrick Pearse and Man-Making Education Born in 1879, Patrick Pearse was trained as a lawyer. But he increasingly became attracted to Irish nationalism, becoming involved in the Gaelic League and the various literary societies that were springing up to promote the Irish language and literature. However, in a text titled “The Coming Revolution” (November 1913), he separated himself from what he saw as the “soft” nationalism of the League and explicitly embraced his version of muscular nationalism: “I have come to the conclusion that the Gaelic League as the Gaelic League, is a spent force; and I am glad of it.”17 He goes on to sketch out his vision of nationalist activism: I hold that before we can do any work, any men’s work, we must first realize ourselves as men. Whatever comes to Ireland she needs men. And we

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of this generation are not in any real sense men, for we suffer things that men do not suffer, and we seek to redress grievances by means which men do not employ. We have, for instance, allowed ourselves to be disarmed.18

Pearse went on to argue that the League’s “soft” nationalism was not appropriate for Ireland: “My fellow leaguers had not, (and have not) apprehended that the thing which cannot defend itself, even though it may wear trousers, is no man.”19 Men, argued Pearse, should accustom themselves to “the thought of arms, to the sight of arms, to the use of arms. We may make mistakes in the beginning and shoot the wrong people; but bloodshed is a cleansing and a sanctifying thing, and the nation which regards it as the final horror has lost its manhood.”20 The loss of manhood is a recognizable theme in Pearse’s writings, which often refer to a loss caused by alienation from Ireland’s heroic past. In his view, England’s physical and intellectual dominance over Ireland had led to the emasculation of Irishmen, who remained ignorant of the manly role models to be found in Irish literature and history. For Pearse, an important way in which he could facilitate the configuration of proper armed masculinity in the nation was through education. In 1908, he founded St. Enda’s School, where he felt he could practice his educational philosophy, a founding principle of which was a quest for Irish manhood.21 Pearse was horrified by the national education system in Ireland, referring to it as “the murder machine” in an essay of the same title, in which he laments that the English education system has succeeded in “making slaves of us”22 because “[t]he modern school is a State-controlled institution designed to produce workers for the State.”23 He goes on to argue that “A new education system in Ireland has to do more than restore a national culture. It has to restore manhood to a race that has been deprived of it. Along with its inspiration it must, therefore, bring a certain hardening.”24 Pearse’s hope for an enlightened education system was expressed not merely in the language of physical prowess but in the rhetoric of hypermasculinity: “The ‘virile fighting faith’ of ancient generations of men must prove to be the inspirational touchstone of the modern education system.”25 The model of manhood that inspired St. Enda’s had two faces: those of a cultured monk scholar and a muscular warrior, drawing on the ancient bardic culture of Ireland and constructed with mythical figures such as the Cuchulain and the boy warriors of the Fianna.26 At St. Enda’s, Pearse’s vision created a prototype of the mod-

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ern Irish male by mapping the attributes of the feminized Celt (defined by intellect and drawing on an Irish literary tradition) onto a masculine ideal of pagan Gaelic civilization. Thus, his vision of manhood melded Christian Celticism with a Gaelic warrior pagan culture. These ideas about manliness were circulated through a particular idea of Irish education: What I mean by an Irish school is a school that takes Ireland for granted. You need not praise the Irish language . . . simply speak it; you need not denounce English games—play the Irish ones; you need not ignore foreign history, foreign literatures—deal with them from the Irish point of view. An Irish school need no more be a purely Irish-speaking school than a Irish nation need be a purely Irish-speaking nation; but an Irish school, like an Irish nation, must be permeated through and through Irish culture, the repository of which is the Irish language.27

It should be noted that these ideas emphasized his belief in bilingual (Irish and English) education. Further, in an attempt to move away from the examdriven, stultifying educational system created by the British, which, according to Pearse, was meant to turn out petty bureaucrats for the empire, he championed the fosterage system encouraged by ancient Irish druids and monks, who nurtured children and gave them the freedom to be creative and imaginative. An important activity bridging Pearse’s commitment to a proper Irish education and muscular nationalism was sports and athleticism: “Our boys must now be amongst the best hurlers and footballers in Ireland. Wellington is credited with the dictum that the battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton. I am certain that when it comes to a question of Ireland winning battles, her main reliance must be on her hurlers.”28 To this end, St. Enda’s had close ties with the GAA and the Na Fianna Eireann, the Irish Boy Scout movement. In 1909, Pearse refused Lord Baden-Powell’s invitation to set up an Irish branch of the Boy Scouts. This refusal was based on his reluctance to be involved in any process that assisted in the transformation of Irish boys into soldiers defending Britian.29 However, Constance Markievicz, a prominent nationalist, was stirred by the vision of a parallel Irish Boy Scout movement, and, on the initiative of Markievicz and Bulmer Hobson, the Na Fianna Eireann was founded. Although he did not found the organization, Pearse was quite involved in the Na Fianna Eireann and in a 1914 essay wrote, “The object of Na Fianna Eire-

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ann is to train the boys of Ireland to fight Ireland’s battle when they are men”30 and to “build a brotherhood of young Irishmen strong of limb, true and pure in tongue and heart, chivalrous, cultured in a really Irish sense.”31 It should be noted that Pearse’s vision of muscular nationalism was infused with the idea of self-sacrifice: “I know that Ireland will not be happy again until she recollects that old proud gesture of hers, and that laughing gesture of a young man that is going into battle or climbing to a gibbet.”32 In keeping with this theme, he sketched a dream he had had in which he saw a pupil of his getting ready to be hanged for a cause; before he started his march toward death, another pupil tied a cloth around his eyes and embraced him.33 Thus, Pearse’s vision of muscular nationalism meant that a man’s ultimate test was patriotic self-immolation on the altar of the nation. Further, Pearse and other proponents of this particular trait of manhood within the nation were very concerned that they as soldiersmartyrs follow the established rules of warfare and express their “masculine” understanding of war. Pearse’s dedication to muscular nationalism was not superficial; he, along with various other nationalists, took part in the 1916 Easter Uprising against the British colonial presence. This uprising was squashed by the British army, and Pearse, together with several others, was executed at Kilmainhain Jail for his role in the armed resistance. To sum up, Pearse’s vision of manhood was embodied by a muscular warrior well educated in Irish culture and history and willing to sacrifice his life for the Irish Republic. When he thought of founding St. Enda’s, Pearse emphatically claimed, “I am conscious of one motive only, namely, a love of boys, of their ways, of their society; and a desire to help as many boys as possible to become good men.”34 A statement like this seems to close off any space for women and womanhood in Pearse’s muscular nation. However, this is not quite accurate. Pearse himself wrote, “When I was a child, I believed that there was actually a woman called Erin and had Mr. Yeats’ Kathleen ni Houlihan been written and had I seen it, I should have taken it not as an allegory, but as a representation of a thing that might happen any day in any house.”35 Since Kathleen ni Houlihan, the beautiful young woman in Yeats’s play, was a metaphor for an Ireland that inspired men to fight for her, it seems that, in a fundamental way, Pearse was conflating nation as woman and women in nation. Thus, according to this mode of thought, the way in which Kathleen ni Houlihan is imagined anticipates the manner in which actual Irish women should act. Consequently, the metaphor of asexual, chaste women was quite

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powerful in Pearse’s interpretation of nation. Indeed, the chastity and purity of Irish women were important not only for Pearse but also for most members of the Sinn Fein, the Irish Volunteers, and the GAA; women’s pure bodies worked as border guards separating Ireland from England.36 Further, mothers in Pearse’s nation gladly sacrificed their sons as Mary had hers. In his poem “A Mother Speaks,” Pearse compares his mother to Mary and depicts himself as Christ. Speaking in the voice of his mother, Mary Pearse, he makes an offering: “Dear Mary, . . . Receive my first-born son into thy arms, Who also hath gone out to die for men.”37 So the ultimate expression of heroic motherhood was a willingness to sacrifice one’s son. Implicit in this vision of sacrifice was the notion of female chastity conflated with the maternal body, justifying the righteousness of the muscular nationalist. The message in both Pearse’s own play The Singer and Yeats’s Kathleen in Houlihan centers on the willingness of women as mothers and wives to encourage their men to take on their civic obligation of war. Put another way, male heroism and self-sacrifice were legitimated by women who witnessed and provided inspiration through their embodiment of chaste femininity. Note also that the role of “witness” and “inspiration” embodied by chaste women reveals a social anxiety about female sexuality as hindering and tempting men from the righteous path of the muscular nation. Further, valorization of such traits seeks to either erase or condemn politically active women, especially those who pick up arms or become involved in political violence. When various women’s organizations in Ireland began to stake their claim in muscular nationalism, they were obligated to negotiate this social anxiety around female sexuality and militarism. These views of womanhood did not necessarily indicate that Pearse believed that women should be excluded from an independent Irish republic. For example, the vision of the Irish Republic that he and other leaders of the Easter Uprising unveiled at the Dublin General Post Office stated, “The Irish Republic is entitled to and hereby claims the allegiance of every Irishman and Irishwoman.” Thus, the Irish Republic was seen as being inclusive of both men and women. Of course, it is perfectly possible that women, while included as citizens, were to serve not so much as warriors or politicians but rather as mothers and wives. Furthermore, when members of a women’s organization, Inghinidhe na Eireann, wrote to him about the possibility of women participating in an armed uprising, Pearse replied:

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We have been so busy grappling with the immediate problem of organising and drilling men . . . that we have not yet had time to consider in any detail the work of women. . . . I would not like the idea of women drilling and marching in the ordinary way but there is no reason why they should not learn to shoot.38

The distinction between drilling and marching on one hand and shooting on the other is not clearly justified. It can be argued that women’s participation in drilling, marching, and shooting would imply that they were soldiers and therefore able to participate in warfare. Viewing women as soldiers in muscular nationalism would challenge the images of nation as mother and virgin that seemed to dominate Pearse’s essays, plays, and poems. To sum up, the particular view of manhood that informed Pearse’s view of muscular nationalism created a rather ambiguous position for women and womanhood. In valorizing the cultured warrior-martyr and creating the attendant ideas of mother and virgin, Pearse clearly saw female sexuality as a cause for social anxiety. However, his views on women’s inclusion in the republic, as well as the comments on women learning to shoot, indicated that women did not necessarily, even as mother or wife or virgin, need to be passive in muscular nationalism. Such a juxtaposition of views opened up the possibility for motherhood or even womanhood as a broader category, to be reinterpreted in terms of political activism in the nation. However, within this feminized political activism, the tension between chastity and purity of women as border guards and politicized femininity remained palpable. This is demonstrated by the discussion of the Cumaan na mBan in the next chapter. While the women of the Cumann na mBan did enter nationalist politics as robust actors, they were at all times involved in a complicated negotiation within Pearsian muscular nationalism as they took on roles that challenged the masculinized interpretation of warrior-martyr. Finally, on the whole, Pearse’s view of national gendered identities was not complicated by class hierarchies (which was certainly the case for his contemporary, the socialist James Connolly, who also died in the 1916 Uprising), and there can be no doubt that his imagined Ireland was entirely white. The general contours of gender that informed Patrick Pearse’s vision of nation were echoed in the words and ideology of Swami Vivekananda, who depicted a particular interpretation of a Hindu-tinged muscular nationalism.

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Vivekananda, Muscular Nationalism, and Bengal From the mid-nineteenth century to the 1930s, the Bengali Hindu elite, a group that had developed a symbiotic relationship with the British, strove to overcome its supposed degeneracy through the pursuit of physical culture. This degeneracy, as articulated in the poem that begins this book, was interpreted as the loss of manhood. The famous Tagore family, the novelist Bankimchandra Chatterjee (1838–1894), and the spiritual leader Swami Vivekananda were all part of this movement. According to this view, an addiction to English education and the need to work in the offices of the imperial bureaucracy (as “porters” and “pen-pushers”) accounted for the decline in an ancient physical hardiness. A particular outcome of this general ideological configuration was a form of muscular nationalism—terrorism—led by the Anushilan Samiti, from which the main networks of the terrorist (a word used by the activists themselves) society developed. The word “Anushilan” was coined by Chatterjee and meant “the fullest development of all faculties, physical and mental.”39 The Anushilan Samiti focused on physical culture and sexual abstinence. Indigenous forms of athletics such as lathi (a bamboo staff) play and Indian wrestling were encouraged in neighborhood clubs, or akharas. Although not as well organized as the GAA, this movement, loosely centered around a network of independent clubs, was based on a similar attempt to foster masculinity and athleticism and to challenge British notions of the effeminate Bengali. Nagendra Prasad Sarbaadhikari (NP) is known as the father of Bengali football (soccer). Born in the 1850s (the exact date is not known), he looked on the use of masculine European sports as a viable cultural tool to proclaim Bengali masculinity.40 The following extract from a biographical sketch of his life underlines this theme of reconfiguring manhood. It describes NP’s reaction when a group of babus made fun of his muscles; NP lifted the man who was tormenting him off the ground and shook him about a bit: He [i.e., NP] declared in disgust, “those who speak like this—they are the ones who are afraid to step out on the streets with their wives and daughters; and when they do [they] are unable to safeguard their honour. Muslim drivers intimidate them before their wife and daughter, . . . and walk away with a swagger while the babu humours himself saying I can’t stoop to

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being a chotolok [commoner] with the chotoloks. Such behaviour however is not becoming of a bhadralok but of a eunuch! The rate of female abductions from the homes of Bengali Hindus is unparalleled in any other community. Bengalis are effete, let them gain in physical strength—with the return of masculine splendour, will come respect from others.”41

In addition to the conflation of physical strength and manhood, the extract ties the expression of manhood to the defense of a woman’s honor, and Bengali effeminization is emphasized by the reference to female abduction through which women’s purity was sullied by outsider males. NP formed a small sporting club while attending Hare School in Calcutta (1877), and by the time (1884) he was attending Presidency College, several clubs had formed around Kolkata (Calcutta), including Presidency, Wellington, and Howrah Sporting. Later, several of the clubs he founded were dissolved and merged into the Sovabazar Club. Indeed, it was quite interesting that, in his view, soccer had been “Indianized” because Bengalis played it barefoot. It was with the formation of the famous soccer or football club Mohan Bagan, which still exists today, that the intersection of manhood, nation, and sports became quite emotive and explicit.42 On July 29, 1911, Mohun Bagan beat East York, a British military team, to win the Indian Football Association Shield. So electrifying was the victory for Bengalis that many started tearing their shirts and waving them in the air. Even members of the Moslem Sporting Club (a pioneering soccer team of Bengal Muslims), forgetting the bitterness of the Hindu-Muslim conflict during the antipartition movement that took place between 1903 and 1911, “went almost mad . . . [started ] rolling on the ground . . . on the victory of their Hindu brethren.” The event became international news as Reuter reported that, “[f ]or the first time in the history of Indian Football, a core Bengali team, Mohun Bagan, won the IFA Shield by defeating a competent White team.” The euphoria did not die down quickly; the next morning, July 30, 1911, The Bengali, a nationalist daily of Calcutta, published a poem: Thanks my friends of football renown, For bringing the British teams down A victory grand to behold, Serene and noble-bright and bold—“The Mohun Bagans.”43

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This event in Calcutta touches on a crucial cultural aspect of emerging Indian nationalism among Hindus of Bengal, namely the quest for manhood. It illustrates quite eloquently the Bengali Hindu political project of recovering athletic and martial prowess through a physical culture movement. This physical culture movement, along with the political activism represented by the Anushilan Samiti, was a component of a general muscular nationalism that arose in Bengal in the early twentieth century. Among the important influences on this vision of nationalism were the ideas of a masculinized Hinduism and spiritual manhood unleashed by Swami Vivekananda.

The Warrior Monk and Vivekananda Swami Vivekananda, born Narendranath Datta, the son of a fairly prosperous lawyer, in 1863, matured in a society in flux; the lives of the colonial elite were rapidly being transformed as the conflict between the old Hindu orthodoxy and the liberal ideals championed by many members of the elite community reached a peak. For various reasons, Vivekananda was attracted to the ascetic life. When he came in contact with the remarkable spiritual being Sri Ramakrishna, he experienced a religious epiphany. For him, India’s redemption from foreign rule was both a political goal and a type of religious salvation. In his mind, no religion could be vital unless it was strong and independent. Vivekananda not only aroused Indian awareness and appreciation of Hindu philosophy but also exhorted his countrymen (and sometimes women) to unite religious introspection with worldly and moral battles against both alien British rule and social injustices. In his opinion, the method that best expressed his beliefs was a “man-making” education. Vivekananda’s vision became institutionalized in the Ramakrishna Mission and several affiliated schools and organizations (e.g., the Vedanta Society), both in India and abroad. These organizations combined his religious theories, represented by Advaita Vedanta, with practice through action in education, self-sufficiency, and social work. Vivekananda died in 1902 after a brief but incredibly dynamic life that provided inspiration for diverse forms of Indian nationalism, including the muscular nationalism expressed by Bengali revolutionaries. His eloquent speeches reverberated with masculinist Hindu language. He repeatedly emphasized the need for masculine action in his country’s struggle with the British and against indigenous forms of injustice and exploitation:

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Make your nerves strong. What we want [are] muscles of iron and nerves of steel, inside which dwells a mind of the same material as that of which the thunderbolt is made. Strength, manhood, Kshatra-Virya [warrior strength]. . . . We have wept long enough. No more weeping, but stand on your feet and be men. It is man-making religion that we want. It is manmaking theories we want. It is man-making education that we want. And here is the test of truth—anything that makes you weak, physically, intellectually, and spiritually reject as poison.44 First of all our young men must be strong. Religion will come afterwards. Be strong my young friends; that is my advice to you. You will be nearer to Heaven through football than through the study of the Gita. These are bold words; but I have to say them, for I love you. . . . You will understand the Gita better with your biceps, your muscles, a little stronger.45

The passages in these speeches clearly delineate notions of physical strength and, to an extent, martial power embedded in hegemonic masculinity. Implicitly, he positioned the values of hegemonic masculinity articulated through masculine Hinduism against a femininity defined by weakness, indecisiveness, and a lack of virility. Those men who embodied these feminine attributes were Hinduism’s greatest enemies: There is another defect in us . . . but through centuries of slavery, we have become like a nation of women. You can scarcely get three women together for five minutes in this country or any other country but they quarrel. . . . Women we are. If a woman comes to lead women they all begin immediately to criticize her, tear her to pieces. . . . If a man comes and gives them a little harsh treatment, scolds them now and then, . . . it is all right. . . . In the same way, if one of our countrymen stands up and tries to become great, we all try to hold him down, but if a foreigner comes and tries to kick us it is all right. We have been used to it, have we not? . . . So give up being a slave. For the next fifty years this alone shall be our keynote—this our great mother India.46

Further, he condemned the Vaishnavas (followers of the sixteenth-century saint Sri Chaitanaya of Bengal, who preached nonviolence and love for all beings) of Orissa and Bengal for becoming “effeminate”: “Through the

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preaching of that love broadcast, the nation has become effeminate—a race of women! The whole of Orissa has been turned into a land of cowards, and Bengal . . . has almost lost all sense of manliness.”47 These effeminate beings were seen to pose a danger to a masculine Hinduism that combined invincible muscular strength and awe-inspiring spiritual power. Like Pearse, who attempted to fuse “Irishness” and “manhood” through ideas drawn from Ireland’s Gaelic past, Vivekananda created an indigenous Indian vision of masculinity by mapping the spiritual of strength of Hinduism onto a virile warrior. Influenced by the work of some nineteenth-century Bengali historians who sketched a Bengali Hindu warrior past in which the martial Bengali had resisted invading foreigners, he fused militant virility with the “pure” Brahminical principle of asceticism in order to render masculinity invincible. In this fusion, he chose to center the Hindu sannyasi, or monk, rather than the Muslim fakir to create a new masculinity expressing a heroic capacity to bear hardships, undertake penance, and make sacrifices.48 His vision of dominance, while acknowledging the importance of muscular politics, focused predominantly on the spiritual superiority of Hinduism: Not politics nor military power, not commercial supremacy nor mechanical genius furnishes India with that backbone, but religion; and religion alone is all that we have and mean to have. Spirituality has been always in India.49 I am an imaginative man, and my idea is the conquest of the whole world by the Hindu race. . . . The story of our conquest . . . [is] . . . the conquest of religion. . . . We have to conquer the world. That we have to! India must conquer the world, and nothing less than is my ideal. . . . We must conquer the world or die. There is no other alternative.50

These speeches emphasize two themes that shaped the role of masculine Hinduism performed by the warrior monk in Vivekananda’s view of nation: the monk protects a Hindu nation, and the warrior monk, though physically strong, conquers (indeed, must conquer if India’s greatness is to be expressed) through moral and spiritual fortitude. In other words, the warrior monk cleverly changes the rules of conquest and redefines manliness within the gendered discourse of imperialism created by the British. Warrior monks test their manhood through spiritual rather than martial prowess. The British

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may be more “manly” in terms of coarse muscularity, implies Vivekananda, but, in terms of spiritual strength, Hindu men will conquer the world to reflect India’s cultural superiority. Although we have already discussed the notions of Christian manliness, it may be useful to move beyond what has been previously emphasized in its definition. That is, our look at mere muscular Christianity can be extended to encompass consideration of the construct of morality, as well. While Christian missionaries perhaps hoped to overawe the pagan Hindu with a spiritually superior Christian manliness, for the most part British discourse about the effeminate Hindu did not enlist morality within its repertoire. Rather, to an overwhelming extent, British discourse about the effeminate Hindu constrained itself to emphasize a lack of martial ability and military power. Vivekananda did actually embark on a journey of spiritual conquest of sorts when he toured Britain and the United States in the 1890s. The speech about the spiritual strength of Hinduism that he delivered to the 1893 Parliament of Religions in Chicago has become legendary in the annals of Hindu nationalism. While in Chicago, he attended the Columbian Exposition, a celebration of man’s material and nonmaterial (literature, art, democracy) progress. Vivekananda saw this exposition as the celebration of the spirit of America and also as an embodiment of Western masculinity (hard work, discipline): “Here you have a most wonderful manifestation of grit and power—what strength, what practicality, what manhood.”51 But he bemoaned the West’s focus on hypermasculinity untempered by the feminine principle (which made it inflexible, crass, and power hungry). His warrior monks were a manifestation of the right blend of gendered traits. Although Vivekananda’s model of warrior monk emphasized the notion of spiritual conquest, that emphasis coexisted with his focus on the importance of martial prowess and physical strength. Indeed, it is possible that Vivekananda’s vision of the warrior monk and the influential nationalist writer Bankimchandra Chatterjee’s delineation of freedom fighters in his widely read novel Anandamath (first published in 1882) mutually reinforced each other. Indeed, such enmeshing of images of manhood clearly indicate the construction of a cultural milieu receptive to ideas of muscular nationalism. The ascetic warriors of Chatterjee’s novel, donning the saffron robe of Hindu holy men, remain pure, removing themselves from the temptation provided by female sexuality by not touching women or being alone with them. These warriors see their quest to free Mother India as spiritual and as informed by

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the religious tenets of Hinduism. Chatterjee’s novel very clearly demonstrates an awareness of the colonial gendered critique and the need to reformulate a muscular Hindu warrior culture to resist the effeminization of Bengalis under the British gaze.52 This culture was tied to a reconfiguration of Hindu masculinity, and the quest for manly virtue, according to Chatterjee’s novel, required physical strength, asceticism and celibacy, untainted by female sexuality. His writing is infused with the desire for a pure, untainted Hinduism and a search for a perfect Hindu leader who would engender a national solidarity through the spread of Hinduism.53 Shanti, a leading female character in Anandamath, is an important example of armed femininity, with its ambiguous relationship to female sexuality. In an incipient nationalist discourse of the kind offered in the novel, reinforcement of hegemonic masculinity is crucial if Chatterjee’s theory of a politics infused with ideas of muscular power is to be upheld. A Hindu nation is dependent for the demonstration of this masculinity on martial prowess and strength embodied by men, even though the disciplinary knowledge that produces such men can be made accessible to extraordinary women. But, at all times, women’s sexuality and their dominant role as the border guards of nation make their presence in muscular nationalism ambiguous. Shanti, a leading female character in Ananadamath, dons male armor, takes up weapons, and vows to lead a celibate life to join the struggle for freedom. It is also made clear in the novel that Shanti will return to her role as wife and mother once Mother India has been made free. Thus, in this narrative of ascetic, masculine Hinduism within the nation, women can negotiate a space if they are willing to temporarily take on masculine attributes—that is, to erase outer markers of their femininity—but return willingly to their roles as wife and mother once danger to the motherland is over. To a certain extent, Vivekananda’s warrior monk draws on the legacy of such a vision of masculinity. In his image of manhood, then, asceticism, physical strength, and, to a certain extent, martial prowess combine to construct a virile figure ready to fight for India’s rightful position as a moral and spiritual leader in the world. If warrior monks were to construct and protect the nation, then how were these men to be created? Like Pearse, Vivekananda was very clear that education was the means of socializing the men who would embody muscular nationalism: “Education is the manifestation of the perfection already in man. The ideal of all education, all training, should be this man-making.”54

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Agreeing with Pearse on the stultifying effects of “the murder machine” that was imperial education, which churned out petty bureaucrats for the empire, he argued that the British education of his time made “parrots of boys” and “slowly reduced them into machines” who mindlessly recited “the thoughts of others in a foreign language” in an attempt to obtain a mediocre office job in the vast imperial bureaucracy.55 He advocated a return to the ancient Vedic system of schooling in which a boy lived with a teacher for several years to learn philosophy, believing that such a system would create the self-reliance and strength required of the new warrior monks of India. It should be noted that this Vedic school of teaching was, in its essential contours, similar to Pearse’s ideas of fosterage, which envisioned having boys live with their teachers as foster children. Another pillar of Vivekananda’s vision of education was an approach encapsulated by the phrase “Science and Sanskrit,” a fusion of English language and Western technology with indigenous philosophy, art, and literature.56 Other than this, Vivekananda did not develop a detailed description of his educational vision, although his ideas of Science and Sanskrit and masculine Hinduism were reflected in the Ramkrishna Mission, the order of monks he founded to carry on the work of muscular nationalism. In terms of female activism and its relation to masculinity, it behooves us to ask whether, in his view, women could become activist warrior monks in muscular nationalism. The answer is a qualified no. Vivekananda held a rather ambiguous position toward women. On the one hand, he extolled the virtues of historical figures such as the Rani of Jhansi and even celebrated various women of his time—Sister Nivedita and Saraladebi––who had transcended traditional gender roles to enter the public sphere as nationalists. Yet, on the other hand, “wife” and “mother” were held up as potent images in his interpretation of women’s role in the nation; he wrote that “[t]he height of a woman’s ambition is to be like Sita . . . the patient, the all-suffering, the everfaithful, the ever-pure wife”57 and that “[n]ow the ideal woman, in India, is the mother, the mother first, and the mother last. The word woman calls up to the mind of the Hindu, motherhood.”58 The valorization of such images led him to ignore actual women when he was organizing the Ramkrishna Mission as a training ground for warrior monks. Women, because of their potential for seducing warrior monks away from a path of spiritual righteousness, were to be kept under strict surveillance in the religious organization.59 Celibacy, as in Chatterjee’s delineation of the

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ascetic warriors, was a vital part of Vivekananda’s vision of the warrior monk. All dedicated followers of the Ramakrishna Order were to be monks who had embraced celibacy and accepted (as did Vivekananda) the wearing of the saffron robe of Hindu holy men. In this narrative of male celibacy, the sexuality of women was a perceived threat. Thus, it became necessary for women to be excluded from the Ramakrishna monasteries. Further, because of women’s primary roles as mothers and wives, “woman-making education” was to be kept separate from “man-making” education and was to include only a rudimentary introduction to religion, arts, and science, with an emphasis on “housekeeping, cooking, sewing, hygiene. . . . It is not good to let them touch novels and fictions.”60 Likewise, women ascetics, skilled in such arts, could be trained as educators of women in separate institutions. Wife (pure and chaste), mother, and celibate female ascetic—this was the entirety of women’s role in the nation. Another inconsistency in Vivekananda’s view of women in the nation can be seen in his attempts to eliminate the actual realities of their lives in India. He generalized that “[t]he Indian woman is generally very happy; there are not many cases of quarrelling between husband and wife.”61 He even sometimes denied that women (e.g., child widows) were in anyway ill treated in India. Some scholars argue that such utopian (and simplistic) statements reflected Vivekananda’s misogyny.62 Others, in offering a motive for his words, focus on his deliberate public creation, at times, of a national utopia, formed as a resistance to British critiques of Hindu manliness, that were, in Vivekananda’s opinion, based on greatly exaggerated and overgeneralized comments on the country’s brutal and exploitative treatment of women.63 This latter explanation is supported by the existence of internal speeches he made to his disciples that were exceedingly critical of Hindu society’s treatment of women.64 Another strategy deployed to resist the gendered colonial critique centering on Indian womanhood was to again draw on assertions of Hindu India’s spiritual superiority over the West. By idealizing Hindu women as wife and mother, he attacked “Western” women as impure and improper: “No sooner are a young man and young woman left alone than he pays compliments to her. . . . I was told it is mere pleasantry, and I believed it. But . . . I know it is not right. . . . It is wrong, only you of the West shut your eyes and call it good.”65 Obviously, the Swami held women responsible for their chastity; it is they who must be modest to prevent such improper interactions. At other

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times, he referred to Western (that is, American and British) women as fickle, “masculine,” and even vulgar and loose.66 Yet, at other times, Vivekananda extolled their virtues: “there are no women in the world comparable to the American. . . . How pure, free, self-reliant, and kind they are . . . pure as the icicle on Diana’s temple and withal with much culture, education, and spirituality in the highest sense.”67 The inconsistency in his views of women, both Indian and Western, could derive from an embedded misogyny. Or it could merely express a nationalist resistance to colonial critique. His idealization of women as pure wife, selfless mother, and chaste warrior monk must have conflicted with the reality of the complex flesh-and-blood women he met in India as well as in the United States and the United Kingdom, women who defied neat categorization. On the other hand, his act of assigning women or femininity to a place within a monolithic binary opposition by erasing the nuances in the lives of all women, Indian and Western, in favor of an ideal allowed him to glorify the Indian woman’s perceived “purity” over the Western woman’s perceived “impurity.” Put another way, his dichotomy of pure versus impure, although not accurately representing the complex reality, still effectively challenged British manhood by defiling the honor of their women. Such a tactic, of course, fits in nicely within a masculine narrative that defined nation as woman and woman as a symbol of national honor, so that any defilement of a woman’s body uncovers a weakness in the nation’s manhood. It also shored up the role of women as border guards. It is against this gendered background that the militant activism of women such as Shanti, armed and strong but always vigilant about protecting their chaste bodies, should be read. This fraught model of female activism was replicated in Pather Dabi, an earlytwentieth-century work on muscular nationalism by Saratchandra Chatterjee (1876–1938), which was serialized in a Bengali journal between 1922 and 1926. This novel by Chatterjee, which became an iconic work among nationalists, anticipated the militant armed resistance in Bengal as an alternative to the Gandhian nationalist movement. At this time, for various reasons, the mainstream nationalist movement suffered a temporary political eclipse in Bengal and ended up in fractional squabbles and communal bickering. In this political vacuum, there developed a wider political action centered on armed revolutionary organizations. The period 1922–1926 witnessed a rather powerful upsurge of revolutionary activities in Bengal as these organizations

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embarked on a path of militant nationalism, which encompassed activities ranging from the looting of British banks to the assassination of colonial administrators. The ideas of Ananadamath and Vivekananda’s speeches inspired these organizations, and their ideal of resisting the effeminate Bengali babu was eloquently depicted in Pather Dabi. Apurba, the central character of the novel, is an effective portrait of the everyday unmanly ineptitude of Bengali men. Put another way, the effeminate inadequacy of Apurba represents a major obstacle to the realization of political virility. In contrast, Sabyasachi, the figure representing hegemonic masculinity in the novel, invigorates Bengal’s, indeed India’s, dream of national liberation. The central position of martial prowess in this dream of muscular nationalism is emphasized by the fact that Sabyasachi (the ambidexterous one) is another name for Arjuna, the famous warrior of the Indian epic Mahabharata. The novel’s message is nicely captured by Sabyasachi’s recounting of the dying words of his political mentor: As I sat there weeping, he opened his eyes and looked at me. The he said slowly, “Don’t cry like a woman along with these sheep and goats. But never forgive those who’ve destroyed the manhood of this country to preserve their power.”68

In Pather Dabi, Sabyasachi embodies the eloquent appeal to reconstruct India’s manhood while Apurba, a well-educated conservative Brahmin boy who is enormously influenced by this mother, represents the effeminate men who are cowed into submission by their hunger for middle-class security. Apurba shares his mother’s conservative religious views and orthodox way of life and rejects the heterodox “Westernized” way of life of his father and his male siblings. He follows strict rituals befitting a proper Brahmin and remains devoutly loyal to his mother. The close relationship between the two may have been Chatterjee’s attempt to provide an explanation for Apurba’s excessive cowardice and physical weakness (read: effeminacy). Bengali men were alleged to be too close to their mothers, thus lacking virility because of overindulgence and protection. Though Apurba is no exception to this, he is also a sportsman. He is patriotic and peripherally active in the Indian nationalist movement. But obviously he does not manifest the virile political nationalism Chatterjee deemed necessary for a true patriot. Like many Bengalis who

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migrated to Burma for economic reasons, Apurba leaves his mother and his comfortable home to become the manager of a European firm in Rangoon. Once there, away from the enveloping love of his mother, he is forced to face harsh reality and proves to be completely inept at managing the day-today routine of life. However, in the novel, his cowardice is most shamefully revealed when he is unable to resist the humiliating treatment meted out to him by his upstairs neighbor, an Indian Christian. In his own way, he is aware of his weakness and is quite critical of his effeminacy. Indeed, Pather Dabi is a critique of this meekness and a rallying call to masculinize the Bengali character. Chatterjee’s depiction of Apurba ruthlessly exposes what, in his view, was the effeminate character of Bengali men. Apurba is rescued from domestic turmoil by Bharati, a Bengali Christian girl, who also is the daughter of one of his Anglo-Indian tormentors. Through Bharati, Apurba becomes a member of Pather Dabi (literally, Demands of the Path), a secret revolutionary organization active among workers and led by the charismatic Sabyasachi a revolutionary who is the motor force behind this organization. Apurba’s patriotic support for militant action comes to an abrupt halt when he betrays the organization to save his job. Apurba is sentenced to death by revolutionaries who capture him. Sabyasachi intervenes and saves his life. Chatterjee uses Apurba to underline his contempt for the weak men who have surrendered to the British in exchange for security and the stability of a middle-class life. Apurba represents the effeminate Bengali ridiculed by the British: nonmartial, cowardly, unpatriotic, treacherous, and lacking chivalry. If Apurba is an unworthy patriot, then Sabyasachi is a true one. He bears a warrior’s name, embodies martial prowess, and is physically strong. However, like Vivekananda’s warrior monk, he is celibate, rejecting the love of beautiful women and dedicated to his motherland. He lives an ascetic, monastic life in his quest for national freedom. In the world of Pather Dabi, can women achieve the political virility required for agency in muscular nationalism? Chatterjee’s response (like Pearse’s, Vivekananda’s, and Bankimchandra’s) is an ambiguous yes. When Sabyasachi intervenes to save Apurba, he does so for the sake of Bharati, who is a brave and strong woman, more “manly” than Apurba. Throughout the novel, she is courageous, willing to sacrifice comfort for the sake of her beliefs, and steadfast in her patriotism. Indeed, without Bharati’s help, the weak Apurba would not have survived in Burma. However, she is also chaste

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and pure and unwavering in her love for the unworthy Apurba. Although Apurba’s downfall may have been his overindulgent mother, Chatterjee implies that his salvation may lie in the love of a chaste wife. Thus, the novel ends with Bharati giving up her peripatetic revolutionary life to be Apurba’s wife. As a chaste wife, she will be responsible for Apurba’s moral steadfastness and physical vigor. Indeed, within the moral economy of nationalism, real women, as mothers and wives, are frequently responsible for the morality, strength, and courage of their sons and husbands. In order to shore up this responsibility, their own bodies have to physically represent this morality in the form of heteronormative chastity. To sum up, Pather Dabi represents Saratchandra Chatterjee’s search for a masculine Hindu Bengali who would not only defeat the British but also remain as a challenge to the effeminate Bengali babu responsible for the degradation of society. But, ultimately, political women cannot be easily accommodated within this quest for manhood, as politicized femininity is a space invader, transgressing its role as border guard associated with ideas of female chastity, and virtue. The particular gendered vision of nation outlined in the thoughts of Bankimchandra Chatterjee, Saratchandra Chatterjee, and Vivekananda, together with the physical culture movement intersected in the political thought of Aurobindo Ghose, who inspired the revolutionary network of organizations. Established in 1902 and 1906, respectively, the Anushilan and Jugantar, two revolutionary organizations, became active again in 1923. Aurobindo injected the notion of blood sacrifice into the militant masculinity of muscular nationalism by drawing on Bengal’s tradition of mother goddess worship. In an article titled “The Pujah and Patriotism,” published on October 9, 1907, in his paper, Bandemataram, he wrote: It is only a patriot who can understand the full significance of the DurgaPujahs in Bengal. It is a national festival. It is a sacrament which brings home to us that the mother-land is no other than divinity itself, that the divine energy and glory cannot but intensely felt by every heart when the meadows, groves and fields of the mother-land appear to us appareled in celestial light.69

In another editorial in Bandemataram, this one published on April 23, 1908, Ghose wrote:

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The hero, the martyr, the man of iron will and iron heart, the grim fighter whose tough nerves defeat cannot tire out nor danger relax, the born leader in action, the man who cannot sleep or rest while his country is enslaved, the priest of Kali who can tear his heart out of his body and offer it as a bleeding sacrifice on the Mother’s altar, the heart of fire and the tongue of flame whose lightest word is an inspiration to self-sacrifice or a spur to action, for these the time is coming; the call will soon go forth. . . . For the battle is near and the trumpet ready for the signal.70

Both Kali and Durga are warrior goddesses who demand blood sacrifice in order to be propitiated. In yet another imagining of nation as woman, the nation is seen as a bloodthirsty goddess demanding the lives of her soldiers. This is an interpretation of the soldier-martyr, not the Christian idea of martyrdom explicated by Pearse but rather the spilling of blood to satisfy a hungry goddess nation. This idea of the “hungry mother goddess” competed with Abanindranath Tagore’s famous portrait of “Bharatmata” or “Mother India,” which depicted the feminized nation as a frail and weak mother lamenting her conquered lot. Both Kali and Durga were used to represent power, sometimes specifically martial power. Kali can be read at times as a monstrous woman who has abandoned shame and, hence, her femininity by trampling on Shiva, read at times as her husband and, most important, the god of destruction and power. In this view, she has upset order by asserting her monstrous nature, but she also represents power over evil, transformation, a thirst for revenge. Durga, in Bengali folk culture, is the warrior goddess, the destroyer of demons or asuras. Sarkar points out that male Bengali nationalists had an anxious relationship with these representations of feminized power, as indicated by their attempts to “tame” Durga by depicting her as a smiling maternal figure who holds weapons of war in her hands.71 The figures of Shanti, Bharati, Vivekananda’s women, and the cultural of icons of warrior goddesses, indicate that, in the relationship between nation as woman and women in nation, the female body can take on traits of hegemonic masculinity in muscular nationalism, but these female bodies are at all times situated in a dynamic juxtaposition with competing imaginings of frail mother and chaste wife. Muscular nationalism is troubled by politicized femininity in its myriad forms and attempts to contain it through an empha-

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sis on chastity. Female agency is further complicated by social anxiety around female sexuality. This complex negotiation taken on by women who occupy the borderlands of muscular nationalism in both India and Ireland is detailed in the next chapter. A particular quest for manhood, articulated in diverse ways, is the political vision driving muscular nationalism in the Irish and Indian contexts. Further, as I have argued, the contours of this quest in both India and Ireland seized upon ideas of an armed masculinity, man-making education, the fusion of physical culture and nationalist activism as preparation for constructing a muscular nation, and a celebration of blood sacrifice. Associated with this quest for manhood were competing ideas of nation as woman centered on chaste motherhood and wifehood. Although these versions of Indian and Irish muscular nationalism unfolded in a British imperial context, interconnections and affinities between the two were troubled by Ireland’s location in the borderlands of empire.

Muscular Nationalism in India and Ireland: Complex Interconnections On December 10, 1910, The Irish Freedom published an article titled “The Civilizing of India,” which discussed the exploitation of India by the British. This article ends as follows: Enough has been said to show how India is being civilized. . . .This is how the English empire lives—on the taxes wrung from the starving millions of India. . . .We might perhaps share in the spoils—we too might fatten on the Indian, the Egyptian . . . we would rather remain a nation of political serfs than become a nation of imperial parasites. . . .There are other ways of obtaining freedom and one of these is by joining hands with our Indian brothers, so that both they and we may be stronger to fight against the English.72

In the April 1911 issue, a brief column celebrating the work of V. D. Sarvarkar (another proponent of muscular nationalism) was published alongside an excerpt from the Indian Sociologist applauding the article published on December 10, 1910. On September 1911, the paper reviewed Valentine Chirol’s

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Indian Unrest (a collection of reports he wrote for The Times). The reviewer ended as follows: “If Fenianism and the Land League had their lessons for India, Swaraj and Swedeshi [sic] have their lesson for Ireland.”73 In October 1911, the paper reprinted an article from Madam Cama’s nationalist newspaper Bandemataram titled “Hinduism and Political Assassination,” which justified moral killing for the nation. These allusions to India were not unique; similar references appeared quite frequently in the pages of The Irish Freedom. The Sinn Fein also drew links between the Irish and Indian struggles of independence. In a section of the paper titled “Over the Frontier,” India was mentioned frequently. Here is one example: The results of Swadeshi [author’s note: literally, national independence or, in this case, economic nationalism] or Indian Sinn Fein movement [author’s note: Sinn Fein means “we ourselves,” and the group favored challenging Irish reliance on British goods] in the first year of its existence are to be found in the Indian official records. They provide material for the Manchester school economists to explain away. “In Bengal,” says our contemporary, the Bengalee, “the horny-handed son of toil has every reason to bless the Swadeshi movement as it has brought about an appreciable rise in the wages of labourers.”74

The “Over the Frontier” section made frequent reference to the similarities between the Irish nationalist movement’s agitation against foreign (i.e., British) goods and the Indian focus on economic nationalism. References to India, although less frequent, were also found in the The Irish Citizen and the Bean na hEireann. The Citizen represented the suffragist views of the Irish Women’s Franchise League (IWFL), while the Bean na hEireann, the political organ of the Irish women’s organization Inghinidhe na Eireann, described itself as the voice of the women of Ireland, declining to see itself as solely suffragist. Both these newspapers emphasized the links between Irish and Indian women; Margaret Cousins, an Irish suffragist who was active in the Indian women’s movements, founded the Women’s Indian Association, in 1914, and the All India Women’s Conference in 1928 frequently published updates on the Indian situation in The Irish Citizen, while the Bean carried brief references to women in India and even printed a two-page interview with the exiled Indian nationalist Madam Cama in April 1909.

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In terms of this book’s area of interest, muscular nationalism, there was much interest in and admiration for Irish militancy among the Bengali revolutionaries who adopted Aurobindo Ghose’s ideas and joined in the network of militant organizations. The Easter Uprising reverberated in the nationalist imagery of Bengali muscular nationalism: The hunger strike was a peculiar weapon used by both Irish and Bengali revolutionaries. Maybe we were influenced by them. MacSwiney died after 72 days of hunger strike; and when Jatin Das died here after 63 days, one of the things I remember was the telegram from Mrs. Mary MacSwiney, wife of the great leader: “Ireland joins India in grief and pride over the death of Jatin Das. Freedom shall come.”75

A famous revolutionary leaflet seized by the Bengal police in 1929 quoted Patrick Pearse and urged Bengalis to imitate his sacrifice: This is how a nation awakes. Flare up with the fire of vengeance for the annihilation of foreign enemies. You will find that the victory is yours. History bears testimony to this. Read and learn the history of Pearse—the gem of young Ireland—and you will find how noble is his sacrifice; how he stimulated new animation in the nation, being mad for independence. . . . Pearse died and by so dying he roused in the heart of the nation an indomitable desire for armed revolution. Who will deny this truth?76

In addition to Pearse, many Bengali revolutionaries, male and female, were inspired by Terence MacSwiney and by Dan Breen’s My Fight for Irish Freedom. But, as the previous chapter has indicated, the issue of whiteness was always a specter haunting these two nations and the possibility of anti-imperial alliance. The empathic interconnections I have described must be read against the background of the acts of the Connaught Rangers, Irish Orientalism, and attempts by the Irish to claim their rightful position as one of the architects of the British Empire. At times, a process of racialization erupted in the Irish nationalist movement. For example, in September 1909, the Bean na hEireann ran a report describing the manner in which several Irish nationalists honored the executed Indian nationalist Madan Lal Dhinghra by carrying placards bearing the words “Ireland Honours Madan Lal Dhinghra who was

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proud to lay down his life for his country” and placing wreaths in his memory at the monument built to acknowledge the bravery of the Irish revolutionary Robert Emmet. In the following issue, an indignant letter responding to that report was published: A man of unbalanced mind and non-Christian moral training may brood over certain wrongs ’til his moral sense becomes over clouded, and then take this most unmanly means of “retaliation” as your article calls it. But surely such a man is an object for pity and his crime for sorrowful horror—never for “honour.”. . . Also why connect the memory of our patriots, men of high honour and clean hands, who, if they fought, came into the open and fought like true men. Why associate their memories with that of an assassin.77

In this extract, Madan Lal Dhinghra’s action is denigrated as “unmanly,” and, because of this failure to exemplify the martial traits of hegemonic masculinity, the comparison with Robert Emmet is condemned. Put another way, in the hierarchy of manhood that informed muscular nationalism, Dhinghra was placed below Emmet. It is actually not very important whether or not Dhinghra’s and Emmet’s actions were comparable; what matters is this Irish writer’s indignation at the idea of valuing equally Irish and Indian patriotism. Given that the most noted difference between Emmet and Dhinghra was a supposed “whiteness,” one cannot fail to mark the racialized anger. Another version of this racialized hierarchy of manhood within the Irish context is found in the pages of the The Irish Citizen. In the May-June 1920 issue, the following words appeared in a small article titled “Black Troops in Europe”: Miss Royds, Secretary, British Section of Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom writes that the following resolution was put before a Protest meeting in the Central Hall London April 27th: “That in the interests of good feeling between all races of the world and the security of all women this meeting calls upon the League of Nations to prohibit the importation in Europe for war-like purposes of troops belonging to primitive peoples, and their use anywhere, except for purposes of police and defence in the country of their origin.”78

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The article goes on to report that the Irish section of the League had already circulated such a memo. Further, a Mr. Morel, at the London meeting, spoke of the terrible atrocities visited upon German women and girls by such troops. Although the Germans were the enemy in World War I, their “whiteness” placed them above colonized peoples from Asia and Africa. It is interesting to note that both Irish and English women (and, for that matter, German women) in this article expressed their unity in face of the threat from “primitive” troops. In this context, Irish women were included in the virtuous white womanhood threatened by the bestial native lust that I have described in the previous chapter. It is not clear if the descriptor “black” included Indians, but, given that a large proportion of the British army was Indian, it would not be surprising for them to have been included in this exhortation. Further, this racialization was reflected in the pages of The Irish Citizen in terms of relations between (white) Irish and Indian women. On the front page of this paper, on September 1917, in a column titled “Ireland Helps India,” the editors expressed their support for Margaret Cousins’s Indian journey in these words: “Though we could ill afford to lose Mrs. Cousins from the feminist movement at home yet we are proud and glad that the enslaved womanhood of Indian have the privilege of her inspiring presence and teaching, and the example of her splendid courage at this time of crisis in their national history.”79 Although the column seems to make common cause with India around the issue of nationalism, the use of the phrase “enslaved womanhood” reveals an implicit assumption that Indian women were below Irish women on the ladder of female empowerment. This represents an unconscious assumption of superiority, probably built on the celebration of “whiteness” and on common imperial images of the abject “Hindoo” woman.

Conclusion Muscular nationalism grew out of an effort to resist a gendered colonial justification for the British presence in Ireland and India. This ideology asserted the primacy of indigenous martial prowess and physical strength, with an emphasis on ideas of armed manhood, the need for a physical culture and man-making education, and a dedication to blood sacrifice. Indian and Irish muscular nationalism did not merely parrot British categories but developed an innovative and dynamic model of resistance, a discourse based on hegemonic masculinity framing colonial rule.

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The warrior monk was a dominant image informing both muscular nationalisms. In Ireland, this figure represented manhood by fusing martial prowess and physical strength with a cultural dimension focused on a Celtic tradition. Patrick Pearse’s writings, as well as his educational policy, breathed life into and politicized this image. In India, Vivekananda’s spiritual masculinity tried to distinguish itself from the aggressive nature of British hegemonic masculinity by emphasizing Hinduism’s principles of compassion and gentleness; however, it still centered a muscular male body and martial prowess, using metaphors of conquest to describe national glory. Both nationalists, suspicious of a stultifying imperial education that in their minds enabled the expansion of a colonial bureaucracy, circulated their image of this warrior monk through alternative, indigenous models of education informed by a precolonial tradition of teacher-disciple fosterage. For both men, these particular spaces of nationalist education were masculine; however, women’s voices and models of femininity were not completely absent from their wider interpretation of nationalism, as muscular nationalism needed the feminine to articulate its manliness, which was shored up by the creation of corresponding female images within the nation: nation as woman (Mother India/Ireland) and pure wife. Female bodies had to balance political activism with social anxiety about their chastity. As the discussion in chapter 3 of the Irish Cumann na mBan and Bengali female revolutionaries indicates, women’s presence in muscular nationalism was fraught, as politicized femininity existed in a tense dynamic with images of womanhood rooted in a valorization of feminine virtue and chastity.

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s the previous chapter has argued, the ideas of manhood and nation articulated by Pearse and Vivekananda focused on an athletic, muscular male body poised to sacrifice and kill for the nation as woman. Taking this dynamic as a point of departure, this chapter investigates the manner in which specific groups of women, in both contexts, advocated for and participated in a masculine dream of nation centered on male martial prowess and female chastity. Women in India and Ireland followed many paths in their nationalist politics, but this chapter focuses particularly on women who expressed an affinity for muscular nationalism. An investigation into the actions of the women involved in the Cumann na mBan— with specific attention to two women activists, Countess Markievicz (1868–1927) and Margaret Skinnider (1893–1971)—in Ireland illuminates the complex path women traversed when they entered into muscular nationalism as political actors and, by doing so, challenged the social dichotomy between martial man and chaste woman. A similar social dynamic is traced in the Indian context through an interrogation of the thoughts and actions of Saraladebi Chaudharani (1872–1946) and Preetilata Wadedar (1911–1932), as well as an investigation of women’s general involvement in what was termed “terrorism” against the British. It should be noted that this chapter does not offer a detailed organizational or biographical profile of the women and groups studied; only issues and events relevant to the relationship between female activism and the interaction between masculinities and femininities in the context of muscular nationalism are addressed.1

Femininity and Muscular Nationalism in Ireland Contextualizing the Cumann na mBan The Gaelic League, founded in 1893, focused on the revival of the Irish (Gaelic) language, literature, and art. Women were involved in the League •

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from the beginning, attending classes and even social events with men.2 However, despite their seemingly radical attitude toward women, leaders of the League interpreted women’s role in the nation in terms of normative femininity within muscular nationalism. Women were envisioned as cultural producers and reproducers (read: wives and mothers who bore children and transmitted proper cultural myths and icons to them). The League published a series of pamphlets, titled Irishwomen and the Home Language, written by Mary E. Butler, to outline its perceptions of proper feminine behavior: “Women reigns as an autocrat in the kingdom of her home. Her sway is absolute. She rules and serves simultaneously in the home circle. Not only does she attend to the organization of the practical details, and the supplying of material wants, but the spiritual side of home life is starved or satisfied according to her nature is noble or ignoble. . . . The spark struck on the hearthstone will fire the soul of the nation.”3 The domestic femininity of the Gaelic League existed in tandem with a vision of womanhood imagined as suffering republican motherhood as depicted by Eamon de Valera’s eulogy at the grave of Margaret Pearse, mother of Patrick and William Pearse: “But for the fame of her sons the noble woman whose grave we are gathered would, perhaps, never have been heard outside the narrow circle of her personal friends. Her modesty would have kept her out of the public eye. Yet it was from her that [her sons] learnt that ardent love for Ireland and for Gaelic culture.”4 Implicit in this theme of mother as the transmitter of nationalist ideals within the home, which then inspire sons to attempt valiant patriotic deeds in the public, is the notion of martyrdom and maternal grief. Note that Patrick and William died fighting for Ireland and that Mary allegedly bore her grief stoically. Today, this theme is further elaborated in a garden on the Falls Road in Belfast, which commemorates the fallen soldiers of the republican movement. Flanked by trees and bushes, there is a statue that depicts an adult warrior dying in his mother’s arms, with Pearse’s words inscribed underneath: “the fools, the fools, the fools!—they have left us our Fenian dead, and, while Ireland holds these graves, Ireland unfree shall never be at peace.”5 The suffering republican mother remains an important signifier of national womanhood. Further, the other common metaphor for women as nation, the virginal Kathleen ni Houlihan, made popular by Yeats’s play of the same name, imagines Ireland as a beautiful maiden, an inspiration for rather than an actor in political conflict.6

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The League was avowedly nonpolitical, and women who were interested in becoming politically active had to search for an alternative forum to pursue their goals. Sinn Fein, founded in 1905, was open to women from its inaugural meeting, and women were elected to the executive board. But this involvement was ambiguous, as the presence of women did not facilitate an unequivocal commitment to women’s political and economic equality. Irish women were also involved in the Irish Women Worker’s Union, established in 1911 by Delia Larkin and Helena Molony, as well as in James Connolly’s Irish Citizen Army, founded in 1913. It is worth underlining that the Irish Women’s Worker’s Union and the Irish Citizen Army do not hold as dominant a place in mainstream Irish nationalist memory as the Gaelic League and Sinn Fein. Hanna Sheehy Skeffington, founder of the Irish Women’s Franchise League (1910), argued that women were allowed in the Gaelic League and the Sinn Fein only because of the nature of the work involved.  .  .  .It is primarily in her capacity as mother and housekeeper, not as an individual citizen, that these movements have of necessity recognized her importance. After all, as a wag has put it, “woman is matchless as wife and mother.” No male has ever denied her these onerous privileges, and for that very reason the average male would see her confined to these purely incidental avocations. That is why, doubtless, many worthy Gaelic Leaguers get restive at the thought of women having places on the executive Body, that is why, too, in spite of theoretical equality, some Sinn Feiners have not yet rounded Cape Turk where women are concerned.7

As argued in the previous chapter, the vision of normative womanhood that Skeffington challenged was very much a part of Pearsian muscular nationalism. Although these norms were rooted in a seemingly rigid gender duality, the story of the Inghinidhe na hEireann (Daughters of Erin, hereafter IE), founded in 1900, illustrates that the border separating hegemonic masculinities and femininities was much more permeable than perhaps perceived by Pearse, the Gaelic League, and the Sinn Fein. Specifically, women refused to interpret ideas of motherhood and wifehood as implying political passivity; instead, they demanded and seized a space in the borderlands between armed masculinity and chaste femininity through bold action. Although not

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as explicitly militant as the Cumann na mBan, the IE did anticipate, to an extent, the more robust gendered physicality of the later organization.

Inghinidhe na hEireann Inghinidhe na hEireann was formed in October 1900. The renowned nationalist Maud Gonne was president, and its official flag depicted a sunburst against a blue background. The IE’s objectives were as follows: to encourage the study of Gaelic (Irish) literature, history, and music; to support and popularize Irish manufactures; and “to discourage the reading and circulation of low English literature, singing of English songs and to combat in every way English influence which is doing so much injury to the artistic taste and refinement of the Irish people.”8 The members of the IE asserted a discourse of equal rights within a nationalism in which the figure of Ireland as either suffering mother or beautiful virginal girl was an established signifier of community. In contrast to the Gaelic Leaguers, who articulated a motherhood rooted in a passive figure telling tales by the hearth and removed from the fray of public life, the IE furthered a more public interpretation of motherhood in which mothers were involved in campaigns against conscription, protested the visits of English monarchs, and sponsored and participated in public spectacles of culture. Indeed, the impetus for the IE came from Maud Gonne’s leadership in setting up the Children’s Patriotic Treat to demonstrate resistance to Queen Victoria’s visit to Ireland in 1900. Organized by the Patriotic Children’s Treat Committee under Gonne’s leadership, this public spectacle involved a gathering of thirty thousand children in Clonturk Park, where they were given treats while they listened to nationalist speakers, including Gonne. The women who assisted Gonne in this endeavor were reluctant to retreat into the private sphere after having tasted the excitement of organizing a public nationalist spectacle.9 When the IE was formed, one of its major activities was to introduce children to Irish culture. In January 1909, the IE’s official newspaper, the Bean na hEireann, published an article titled “Irish Women’s Duty”: Our obvious duty is to our country, to the task of strengthening her spiritually, morally, materially. . . . As mothers and teachers they [i.e., Irishwomen]

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have the sacred charge of forming young minds. . . . As housekeepers they have the expenditure of Ireland’s income.  .  .  . As citizens they have their share (if they do not always take it) in the formation of public opinion.10

This extract, in conjunction with the Children’s Patriotic Treat and the IE’s interest in training children, emphasizes its advocacy of an activist motherhood. However, even this slight politicization of motherhood led Gaelic Leaguers to construct them as “shrieking viragoes and aggressive amazons” who sought a public platform.11 This suspicion of the members of IE was heightened further by the fact that many of the members were women who earned independent livings. Despite the staid Gaelic League’s disapproval of their Amazonian traits, these women brought a vivacity to nationalism that attracted many working independent women. They navigated the prescribed role of women in a muscular nationalism by reinterpreting traditional women’s roles in a more activist manner. The IE expressed its ideological beliefs in the Bean na hEireann, which began publication in 1909. The masthead showed a sun rising behind a woman holding a banner printed with the paper’s name. Much of the paper was made up of ads—presented with a patriotic flair—for indigenous products. For example, an ad for cloth for tailoring dresses declared, “The ‘Kathleen Ni Houlihan’ are Lovlier than Ever! By Wearing Dripsey Dress Cloths the sensible Women of Ireland have Doubled the Dripsey Mills in Two Years.”12 There were columns on Irish ways of dressing, household hints, recipes, and Irish poetry; in addition, columns by prominent nationalists such as Arthur Griffith, Hanna Sheehy Skeffington, and Countess Markievicz appeared frequently. Overall, the Bean reflected the IE’s unequivocal belief that, when Ireland became free of British rule, the men of Ireland could be easily persuaded to give Irish women the suffrage: The task of winning over the Irish public and the members of our elected bodies to the cause of women’s suffrage does not seem to be colossal to me. We feel sure that if the case were put logically and forcibly before our country men their love of freedom and sense of justice would compel them to give to women a voice and a place in the government of their common country.13

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However, Hanna Sheehy Skeffington, of the Irish Women’s Franchise League (IWFL), was not so sure of the commitment of an independent Ireland to women’s suffrage. In an article titled “Sinn Fein and Irishwomen,” she chided Irish men and women for believing that ancient myths and history celebrating women as warriors and politicians would necessarily translate to female political power in an independent Ireland. She argued that past glory meant nothing for contemporary women and also remained skeptical that Anglicization was to blame entirely for the patriarchy in Ireland and unconvinced that when Ireland became free, the patriarchal system would inevitably be dismantled.14 She also challenged the Sinn Fein, which continually criticized the IWFL for pandering to British feminists by asking, “If it is right for Irishmen to demand Home Rule from Westminster . . . why is it a crime for Irishwomen to demand the vote—which will enable them to become qualified citizens under a Home Rule Parliament?”15 However, the Bean never wavered in its belief that women would be equal and free in an independent Ireland. The women of the IE were impatient to achieve a free Ireland, and this impatience shaped their support for physical force nationalism as articulated in a Bean editorial: “Then let Irishmen recognize their duty and set themselves at last to the heavy task that is before them. . . . A ‘Moral Force’ movement, ie a movement that stops short of shedding blood, and therefore forbids you to make that last sacrifice—that of your life—cannot be taken very seriously, and must end in contempt and ridicule.”16 As the lead sentence implies, Bean was not encouraging women to take up arms; their pleas were to Irish male warriors. It is ironic that the Bean folded in 1910, the same year that Irish Freedom, the organ of the militant and martial Irish Republican Brotherhood, began publication.17 It could be argued that the “ladies” paper was no longer necessary for militant nationalists because the “real” nationalist warriors had arrived. Although the IE opened up new political possibilities for Irish women nationalists, this organization did not self-consciously foreground women as agents of political violence. It was the women of the Cumann na mBan, successor to the IE, who troubled the politics of muscular nationalism through their political actions, which included an emphatic celebration of armed femininity.

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Cumann na mBan The Cumann na mBan (or Women’s Council, hereafter CB) was formed in 1914, but its years of strength spanned the years 1916–1923, a span that included the Easter Uprising, the War of Independence, and the Civil War. As argued in chapter 2, these years also saw muscular nationalism at its most ascendant in Ireland. Further, republican nationalism was rejuvenated by the threat of mass conscription. In April 1918, after years of indecision, the British Parliament finally passed a military service bill that raised the threat of conscription in Ireland. An anticonscription stance not only united the Irish Volunteers and Sinn Fein but hardened their militaristic interpretation of nationalism. In the years spanning the Easter Uprising, the War of Independence against the English, and the Civil War, the dominant masculine figure in muscular nationalism morphed from the “common man in arms” to a secretive elite of young male warriors on the run. Republican resistance against the infamous Black and Tans (British army reserves, so named because of their uniforms) and the auxiliaries (groups of former British army men) brought in to restore order was sustained by these shadowy groups of young men who waged a guerrilla war for independence (1919–1921).18 The Cumann na mBan was an integral part of these years of turmoil in Ireland. Agnes O’Farrell, presiding over the CB’s inaugural meeting, declared, “We shall do ourselves the honour of helping to arm and equip our National Volunteers. Each rifle we put in their hands will represent to us a bolt of fastened behind the door of some Irish home to keep out the hostile stranger. Each cartridge will be a watchdog to fight for the sanctity of the hearth.”19 Note the phrase “their hands.” Women of the CB were not holding the rifles themselves but placing them in the hands of the Irish Volunteers, whom, according to the group’s constitution, the CB was expected to assist. Further, the guns that the Volunteers wielded were to protect the Irish hearth, presumably tended by a mother. Thus, the image of the male warrior protecting woman as/in nation was nicely preserved in this quotation. Indeed, the Manifesto of the Cumann na mBan, published in The Irish Citizen, claimed: We are the Women’s Section of the Irish Volunteers and have been working side by side with them from the beginning. We are the only women’s organization belonging to the Irish Volunteers, and our activities and aims are

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solely national. . . . At the present juncture we are concerned that the food of Ireland shall be conserved for the people of Ireland.”20

Despite the apparent equality implied in the phrase “working side by side,” Margaret Ward argues that “its status was deliberately circumscribed by its constitutional requirement to ‘assist’ the men.”21 The manifesto, with its reference to the “women’s section” and the association it makes between women and food (a natural extension of work in the domestic space of home), does little to challenge this perception. The feminist Hanna Skeffington was also of this opinion. She regarded the formation of the Cumann na mBan as a step backward, arguing that, as soon as the men realized the necessity of having a subordinate organization to take on the tedious work of collecting funds, the women eagerly responded. Mary Colum, a member of the Cumann na mBan, who was busily touring the country setting up new branches, reacted angrily to this depiction by declaring: From the start we of the Cumann na mBan decided to do any national work that came within the scope of our aims. We would collect money or arms, we would learn ambulance work, learn how to make haversacks and bandoliers, we would study the question of food supplies, would practice the use of the rifle, we would make speeches, we would do everything that came our way—nothing is too high or too low for us to attempt, for we are not the auxiliaries or the handmaidens or the camp followers of the Volunteers—we are their allies. We are an independent body with our own executive and our own constitution. If some unhappy fate were now to destroy the Volunteers, Cumann na mBan is not only capable of still growing and flourishing, it is capable of bringing the whole Volunteer movement to life again.22

Further, most members of the CB saw themselves as soldiers in their own right. They sported militaristic uniforms, and their logo was a silhouette of a woman carrying a gun. Branches of the CB trained women in drilling, shooting, and signaling. Of the ninety women who took part in the Easter Uprising, sixty were CB members. No member took part in the active fighting, however; the women’s primary duties were nursing, cooking, and dispatch carrying. This role continued when the war of independence was precipitated

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by the killing of two members of the Royal Irish Constabulary by Irish volunteers. The members of the Cumann na mBan undertook enormous risks while carrying out work as nurses, couriers, cooks, and gun runners.23 Although the official role of the women of the CB may have been to “assist” the volunteers and although perhaps they did not always embody the figure of the warrior visualized as an armed body in uniform charging the enemy (although some women did embody this image), they were constantly challenging the boundaries of gendered dichotomies by straying into supposedly masculinized national spaces through their role in the Easter Uprising, political canvassing, and the campaign against conscription. In 1918, the CB institutionally reflected this robust political agency by changing the preamble of its constitution. The new preamble read, “Cumann na mBan is an organization of women founded to advance the cause of Irish liberty. Although working in co-operation with other associations having the same objectives, it is independent of them.”24 This preamble indicated an official recognition of independence; although each CB branch was attached to a corresponding Irish Volunteer unit, it was the captain of the CB who, in consultation with the male leader, issued orders to her group. A member present at this 1918 convention underlined this desire for change: At that convention, I put forward the proposal that we should reorganize Cumann na mBan on military lines in view of the fact that we were cooperating with the Volunteers.  .  .  . This proposal was well-received by the younger members . . . and although some of the older members were reluctant to change the existing organization, the vote being taken, it was carried by a large majority.25

This change in 1918 reflected, to some extent, the CB’s growing influence and membership.26 As the members of the CB recognized the increasing visibility of their presence, the organization’s self-confidence, as well as its commitment to a militant agenda, was enhanced: “Cumann na mBan’s self-confidence was expressed in a number of counties as members began to emerge uniformed and on occasion they even ‘marched with Sinn Feiners.’”27 As violence gripped the country in 1918, as Ireland moved toward its war of independence, the Volunteers, as well as the CB, were at war. For the most part, women fulfilled their traditional roles of courier, gun runner, and agitator. Maire Comerford

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describes the role of the CB in moving guns around: “With a concealed rifle each company of Cumann na mBan could infiltrate from one hiding place to another through the city streets.”28 Some women, however, seemed to be a bit more involved in actual raids. One participant in the war of Independence described her experience as follows: “During the Black and Tan Wars with other members of the Cumann na mBan, I took part in raids on the house of relatives of the Black and Tans threatening them that if they did not get their Black and Tan relations to leave Ireland, their homes would be burnt down or other damage done to them.”29 Each company of the Irish Republican Army (the successor to the Volunteers) had a battalion of the CB attached to it. Although the CB had expressed its organizational independence in the 1918 convention, it appears that the organization remained subordinate to Volunteers in military matters. The organization’s official paper, Leabhar mBan, clarified its relationship to the IRA battalions: “The captain must keep in close touch with the Volunteer battalion or company officer, get his help in organising signaling and other classes, see that he knows how to get in touch quickly with mobiliser, and put herself under his orders in all military operations.”30 However, it seems that many CB branches found this subordination problematic, and subsequent convention reports outlined tensions between CB and IRA leaders. By the time the CB held its 1921 convention, it had some 702 branches and approximately eleven thousand members with varying levels of engagement.31 The CB was the first organization to officially reject the treaty with Great Britain that partitioned Ireland in 1921. In 1922 the Provisional Government of the Irish Free State was created by pro-treaty activists. However, there was much opposition to the the treaty with Britain, and a civil war ensued in which the Irish Free State acted every bit as ruthlessly as the British colonial authorities had. During this period, the Cumann na mBan’s publications resisted the Free State and rallied troops to the cause. However, despite the robust attempts by the women of the CB to introduce an active armed femininity into Irish muscular nationalism, ideas of motherhood infused with notions of self-sacrifice, devotion, and purity still circulated. For example, when Mary Pearse, mother of Patrick Pearse, died, in 1932, the outpouring of grief and reverence surrounding her death emphasized “the national importance of motherhood, a motherhood that was stoic and patient and self-sacrificial.”32 Further, prominent republican men such as Terence MacSwiney, who

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died in prison before finishing his tenure as Lord Mayor of Cork, celebrated these ideas, as well as the notion of the devoted wife.33 In the years following the founding of the Irish Free State, which became the Republic of Ireland, the Cumann na mBan never recaptured the robust presence it had had during the years of Irish turmoil. Much of the discussion about Cumann na mBan initiated by Margaret Ward’s pioneering study Unmanageable Revolutionaries centers on whether or not the women of the CB were indeed circumscribed by their requirement to assist men. I do not wish to enter into this debate; rather, my focus is on unpacking the manner in which the CB women seized a space between the borders dividing hegemonic masculinity and femininity to emerge as robust actors in muscular nationalism. Although the women of Cumann na mBan did not explicitly protest the national metaphors of suffering mother and wife, their activities during the Easter Rebellion, the Irish War of Independence, and the Civil War indicated that they by no means interpreted “motherhood” and “wifehood” as sanctioning passivity; instead, they used their dedication to nationalism to become robust political actors; challenging the expectations of chaste femininity. It can be argued that their actions situated them in a borderland between normative womanhood and manhood. Put another way, the presence of active women—as dispatch riders or snipers—in incidents of violence troubles the trope of woman as nation protected by masculine warriors. Politicized femininity in the Cumann na mBan complicated the unrelenting maleness of blood sacrifice and war outlined by Patrick Pearse and implicated politically active women in a complicated web of silence and social anxiety. Sinead McCoole begins her discussion of women’s participation in Ireland’s militant violence by mentioning Aunt Bridie. When she died, at the age of eighty-five, in New York City, her nephew Christy Halpin, after digging through his aunt’s papers, discovered that she had been an active member of the CB and had been imprisoned in Kilmainham Jail for her militant activities. But, she had never shared her stories with her family in the United States. This silence, claims McCoole, is not unusual because “it had been a source of extreme embarrassment to some families that their womenfolk had been in prison.”34 Aunt Bridie’s silence and familial embarrassment reflect the social anxiety that emerged when Cumann na mBan women faced clashing masculinities, Irish and British, during the years of armed action. For

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example, the Sinn Fein leader and, later, prime minister of Ireland Eamon de Valera, refused to allow women in Boland’s Mill, the outpost that he seized and held during the Easter Uprising. Years later, he apparently regretted his decision because men, whom he could not spare, had to cook the food, but he still maintained that women were “at once the boldest and most unmanageable revolutionaries.”35 The juxtaposition of “bold” and “unmanageable” indicates his fear that improper femininity (i.e., politically active, possibly armed) would disturb the landscape of muscular nationalism. More specifically, martial women were threatening the order of muscular nationalism by weakening the boundaries between normative masculinity and femininity to create a space in the borderlands of gender as “manly women.”36 This masculinization of womanhood, argues Kiberd, draws on an ancient Gaelic tradition celebrating mythic figures such as Maeve, the sexually demanding warrior queen. Society’s ambiguous response to these masculinized female bodies indicates the fraught nature of their existence in a muscular nation. In the two-year guerrilla war of independence, the republicans relied heavily on the CB. This reliance took two forms; women as householders provided a network of safe houses and also acted as dispatch riders, intelligence agents, and couriers. The images republican male texts used to interpret gender during this period provide a provocative context for the CB’s works. A Sinn Fein pamphlet declared, “The only way to be a patriotic Irishman is to do your best to become a perfect man.”37 Bulmer Hobson, editor of Irish Freedom, the voice of the Volunteers, wrote, “There is no power can withhold freedom from the people where the people are alive to the dignity of their manhood and their nationhood and march forward relying on their own strength.”38 What was this manhood extolled by men? This ideal masculinity was chivalrous, clean, sober, well disciplined, and pious. From the discussion in chapter 2, we can see that the Irish Volunteers’ definition of manhood echoed some of the traits found in British ideas of Christian manliness. In contrast, British soldiers, usually the dreaded Black and Tans, were seen as unruly, dangerous, and drunken and, consequently, as posing a threat to innocent Irish womanhood. The treatment of Irish women became a symbol of “proper” masculinity for both republicans and British soldiers, who accused one another of sexual violence toward women, violence against women being a violation of the code of chivalry and hence a proof of “unmanly” behavior. In a way, this discourse was a clash of masculinities, and women emerged as only asexual,

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passive figures representing the self-discipline of the masculine agent; real women and their bodies were erased. Benton points out that IRA men did not have wives; they had mothers.39 The presence of wives who represented suffering because of the absence of men disturbed the prominent discourse of celibate men fighting for Mother Ireland, who was grieving the loss of her land and freedom. Wives had the potential to disturb the gendered duality of disciplined male warrior versus suffering mother by demanding sexual satisfaction or interjecting emotive messiness (wanting attention, distracting the warrior, and even rejecting his quest) into this elegantly simple gender binary that sustained muscular nationalism. Further, the threat of female sexuality to this vision of nation was demonstrated by the republicans’ public humiliation of women who were seen as consorting with the enemy (usually British soldiers or informers). One of the functions that the Cumann na mBan took on was that of intelligence gathering, mostly recording the movement of British troops fighting in Ireland. This sometimes meant speaking with British military officers. However, as the war progressed, both the Volunteers (now the Irish Republican Army) and the CB instituted a ban against such interaction. Any woman (whether CB or not) found violating this order was severely punished. Young women were sometimes beaten and had their heads shorn by IRA members after being found in the company of British soldiers. It is interesting to note that the CB also participated in such condemnation, court-martialing or suspending members suspected of keeping company with British military men. Further, when CB women found themselves captured by the Black and Tans, it appears that many had their hair shorn by their captors.40 Both the IRA men and the British troops punished women suspected of being sympathetic to the “enemy” by cutting off their hair. This was an attack on an essential symbol of femininity. Both of these groups, although on opposite sides of the conflict, were united in their disapproval of women who—in their view—had transgressed the boundaries of proper femininity through “unchaste” behavior. The IRA presumably condemned the act of a woman whose body was not a proper representation of the moral economy of the nation, while the Black and Tans punished women who entered the arena of masculinized war. Further, women’s involvement in the Uprising was seen as an indication that Ireland’s women were out of control. Eamon de Valera remained wary of women like Mary MacSwiney who too publicly professed her commit-

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ment to war until total independence was achieved. When the Civil War was over and the Irish public could reflect on the era of turmoil they had just lived through, President Cosgrave ruminated on CB women and violence: “unhappily in Ireland, the ‘Die Hards’ are women, whose ecstasies are at their extremest can find no outlet so satisfying as destruction—sheer destruction [sic]. Weak men in their atmosphere seek peace in concurrence with their frenzy.”41 This statement, made after the end of the Civil War, when the militant republicans had been defeated by the Irish Free State, utilized gender in muscular nationalism in two important ways. First, the women of the CB who were antitreaty (and hence against the Irish Free State) were dismissed as improper women because they were “frenzied” and violated the proper ideals represented by either grieving mother or youthful beauty. Second, the republican men who had depended on these irrational, violent women were emasculated as “weak.” In 1925, a Catholic bishop gave the following advice about the women of the CB: “Women who go around taking despatches and arms from one place to another are furies. Who would respect them or who would marry them? Never join a Cumann na mBan.  .  .  . Do your work as your grandmothers did before you.”42 At this point, it is worth briefly delineating the words and actions of two “manly” women who embodied the unmanageable “furies” targeted by the bishop: Constance Markievicz and her protégé, Margaret Skinnider, both of whom were militant members of the CB and active in the Easter Uprising.

Constance Markievicz Born in 1868, Constance Gore Booth, a member of the Anglo-Protestant elite and an ardent republican who later married a Polish count and became Countess Markievicz, is a popular figure in the annals of Irish nationalism. She is known for her fiery nationalism and her flamboyant personality and was the first woman elected to the Dail Eireann (the Irish parliament), in 1918. The only woman who had a leadership role in the Easter Uprising, she was sentenced to death (the sentence was later commuted to imprisonment). Through her words and actions, she disrupted normative womanhood, and her political writings, published in The Irish Citizen, challenged the use of women’s bodies as passive feminized icons of nationalism and called upon Irish women to take their place as robust political actors. She lamented the

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passivity of many of her contemporaries: “Ancient Ireland bred warrior women.  .  .  . Today we are in the danger of being civilised by men out of existence.  .  .  . Women are left to rely on sex charm, or intrigue and backstairs influence.” She critiqued the poetic tradition that constructed woman as a “beautiful houri” and lap dog who was unable to act independently. It is advisable, argued Markievicz, to bring out the “masculine side of women souls.”43 One way for women to embody masculinity was to arm themselves both materially and spiritually: “Arm yourselves with weapons to fight your nation’s cause. Arm your souls with noble and free ideas. Arm your minds with the histories and memories of your country and her martyrs. . . . And if in your day the call should come for your body to arm, do not shirk that either.”44 Further, her “Buy a Revolver Speech,” given before the Irish Women’s Franchise League in 1915, would have made those suspicious of frenzied diehard female revolutionaries shudder: If you want to walk around Ireland, or any other country, dress suitably in short skirts and strong boots, leave your jewels and gold wands in the bank, and buy a revolver. Don’t trust to your “feminine charm” and your capacity for getting on the soft side of men, but take up your responsibilities and be prepared to go your own way depending for safety on your own courage, your own truth and your own common sense, and not on the problematic chivalry of the men you may meet on the way. . . . A consciousness of their own dignity and worth should be encouraged in women. They should be urged to get away from wrong ideals and false standards of womanhood, to escape from their domestic ruts, their feminine pens. War is helping to do this by shaking women out of old grooves and forcing responsibilities on them.45

She lived her words during the Easter Uprising by donning male clothing, although, when participating in marches before 1916, she was hesitant to upset norms by dressing in too “masculine” a manner. Indeed, her sartorial splendor was seen to emphasize her militarism and enabled her to walk among men like a man. Scholars have marked on the fact that her penchant for donning masculinized khakhi uniforms that hid her feminine physicality enabled her to perform certain gender ambiguities.46 She was a woman who certainly situated herself on the borders of manhood and womanhood by challenging the gendered contours of muscular nationalism.

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Margaret Skinnider Constance Markievicz’s body—in drag, so to speak—attracted another “manly” woman, Margaret Skinnider, who was born in Glasgow but who had a dedicated allegiance to the Irish nation, an expression of which was her membership in a Scottish branch of the CB. She learned to shoot a rifle in the clubs the British had set up so that women could defend the empire.47 Markievicz, hearing of her activities in Scotland, invited her to Dublin in 1915. Once there Margaret became involved in militant action, informing the Countess that she could pass as a boy. Dressed in a Fianna uniform, she went around with the Na Fianna Eireann boys, singing nationalists songs and harassing British soldiers.48 When the Uprising commenced, in 1916, she was at the heart of it with the Countess at the College of Surgeons. According to her biography, the bulk of her political action consisted of carrying dispatches, but this was also dangerous work: “Every time I left the college, I was forced to run the gauntlet of this machine gun [set up on a roof top opposite the college of surgeons]. I blessed the enemy’s bad marksmanship several times a day.”49 However, sometimes circumstances required that she pick up a gun and shoot from the roof of the college of surgeons, and for that purpose she had a male military uniform. She felt that the act of shooting—being a “real” soldier—required the ceremony of the uniform, “for the work of war can only be done by those who wear its dress.”50 However, she took off the uniform when she had to go outside, as it would have made her more of a target (although earlier in her biography she claimed that the British soldiers shot at even Red Cross nurses in their uniforms). The Countess’s and Margaret Skinnider’s political activism clearly disrupted the scenario that envisioned “male” soldiers protecting Mother Ireland as outlined by both Pearse and the Irish Volunteers. The Countess was ridiculed in the contemporary press as being too masculine. A contemporary urban myth described her as kissing her revolver when she surrendered to the British; this act was seen as quite “masculine” and “unfeminine” by the press.51 A few extraordinary women do not necessarily challenge the manhood in muscular nationalism: “The so-called masculine virtues such women possessed were granted to them as outsiders, and therefore they were not seen as challenging masculine privilege.”52 This is illustrated by Countess Markievicz’s fate when she took her seat in the first Dail. Given that martial prowess has

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been constructed as one of the preconditions for full citizenship, it would seem reasonable that she should earn political respect because of her role in the conflict and her subsequent imprisonment. However, she received scant respect or attention when she attended the meetings of the first Dail.53 Similarly, Margaret Skinnider’s bravery in the Uprising did not lead to a politically active career; after the turmoil was over, she quietly settled down to be a school teacher. In 1932, Nora Connolly, who had fought in the Uprising, lamented the fact that women’s role in the revolutionary fervor translated into few or no political rights: “Progressive and revolutionary women have no voice in the council of revolutionary movement.”54 The marginalization of politicized femininity and its links to citizenship are also articulated by Declan Kiberd: “[the new state denied] the manly woman epitomized by Constance Markievicz . . . opting instead for de Valera’s maidens at the rural crossroads.”55 Put another way, the possibility of using the words and actions of the women of the CB and the IE to construct a powerful and independent vision of national womanhood was closed off by the Irish Free State’s focus on the chaste and virginal female body, with all its attendant expectations of proper heteronormative female behavior. Although women like the Countess and Margaret Skinnider disturb the order of normative gender duality in muscular nationalism during times of armed militancy, this disruption is temporary and does not really translate into sustained ideas of equality. The women of the CB were a part of nationalist history when politics was most militaristic. Members of the CB, even though they were part of an organization that was expressly founded to “assist” the male Irish Volunteers, whose ideology validated martial, masculine virility, were caught between their embodiment as women and their political role as warriors. Thus, as CB members facilitated or participated in political violence, they were challenging gender norms in a society within which chaste femininity (usually depicted as the passive, suffering wife and/or mother) was a dominant trope of nationalism. Thus, the figure of the political woman poised on the borderlands of gender managed, by her performance of active femininity, to challenge the masculine face and hope of nation. However, the condemnation of such female agency as “frenzied” indicates the existence of a social anxiety, which Mosse alludes to in his discussion of the female “menace.” In the decades after the Irish Free State came to being, Indian women were traversing a similar fraught political path.

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Women and Muscular Nationalism in India The political landscape that women in India traveled in the early twentieth century resembled the terrain of Irish women’s journey in some general ways. By drawing on the words of Saraladebi Chaudharani (1872–1946), Preetilata Wadedar (1911–1932), and the shape of women’s participation in the revolutionary terrorist movement in Bengal, this section illuminates the complicated gendered terrain Indian women faced as they attempted to participate in the politics of muscular nationalism. In chapter 2, I discussed Vivekananda’s vision of the warrior monk in the context of attempts by Bengali Hindu men to recapture a perceived loss of manhood marked by a physical culture movement based on a network of sports clubs. Further, the action in these clubs was linked to martial prowess. Sarkar argues that, as Indian men felt effeminized in the public sphere under an imperial gaze that condemned them as cowards, they responded by asserting their manhood in the “inner world,” or the domestic sphere.56 One impact of this masculinization was the creation of a chaste wife, devoted to her husband and children. The shahadharmini, or the “proper helpmeet” for these men, had to have the potential for traditional heroic chastity, as well as the ability to absorb “desirable” Western values, in order to be the counterpart of the male citizen of the future nation.57 The “inner world” discourse illustrates the manner in which the domestic sphere was politicized. In a way, Gandhi’s political language brought about a steady blurring of the boundaries separating the “inner” and “outer” worlds in a specific reconciliation of domestic and public values. As I argued in the introduction, by focusing on the values of chaste femininity in the nation, he effectively linked chastity and womanhood within the political realm. Put another way, feminized political activism was acceptable only if it remained within the boundaries of what society envisioned as “proper” behavior. Social anxiety surrounding “improper” behavior haunted politicized femininity and was contained by the familiar appeals to the images of virtuous wife and mother. Stri-Dharma, the journal of the Woman’s Indian Association, formed by Margaret Cousins in 1927, although in favor of women’s suffrage, declared that it would take on the responsibility for informing Indian women that “the future of India lies largely in their hands: for as wives and mothers they have the task of training and guiding and forming the character of the future

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rulers of India.”58 Although there were slightly different interpretations of women’s role in Indian nationalism—for example, Annie Besant (1847–1933, the first woman president of the Indian National Congress) glorified the selfsacrificing Hindu woman, Sarojini Naidu (1879–1949), saluted the heroic Indian mother, and Kamaladebi Chatterjee (1903–1990), a member of the Communist Party of India, celebrated the spiritual and selfless Indian peasant woman—the intersection of chastity, purity, and self-sacrifice, with woman as and in the nation, shaped all these images. Sarojini Naidu, in her 1930 presidential address to the All India Women’s Conference, stated: We are not week [sic], timid, meek women. We hold the courageous Savitri as our ideal; we know how Sita defied those who entertained suspicion of her ability to keep her chastity. We possess the spirit of creative energy to legislate for the morale of the world. . . I am not a feminist. To be a feminist is to acknowledge that one’s life has been repressed . . . and there has been no need for such a thing in India as women have always been by the side of men in Council and in the fields of battle.59

Naidu’s invocation of the mythic figures of Sita and Savitri provides an important point of departure for gender and nation. It cannot be denied that Sita and Savitri are dynamic and powerful female images. But, simultaneously, in the popular realm, the power of their mythic status lies in the notion of pativrata, or extreme devotion to one’s husband. This devotion is interpreted in Hindu Indian society as a wife’s complete capitulation to her husband’s wishes. Alongside the pativrata idea of wifehood, powerful figures such as Gandhi and Vivekananda made the notion of the self-sacrificing Hindu mother politically salient. These notions of wifehood and motherhood need not imply a shy, retiring, woman. According to popular Hindu mythology, Sita lived in exile for fourteen years and fended off the advances of Ravana by using her intelligence, and Savitri was fierce in demanding of Yama, the lord of Death, that her husband be reincarnated. But, both these models emphasize that a woman’s power derives from devotion to a man (i.e., her husband or son) and also that a powerful woman is a chaste woman. The ideas of Saraladebi Chaudharani and the acts of women, like Preetilata Wadedar, who participated in the Bengali terrorist movement traced a complicated trajectory in a social terrain infused by Vivekananda’s ideas

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of muscular nationalism and the floating nationalist signifiers of women as mothers and wives. Although the word “terrorist” is now used in a pejorative manner, Indian nationalists in the 1920s and 1930s used it as a description of their anti-imperialist activities centered on the use of “violence” or “terror.” Women’s presence in the loosely defined terrorist movement in Bengal emphasized the ambiguous position of a women warrior in muscular nationalism. Saraladebi Chaudharani’s articulate advocacy of muscular nationalism in the first decade of the twentieth century was a provocative ideological precursor to the actions of the young women of the Bengali revolutionary movement who picked up arms against British imperialism: “Sarala’s sympathy lay with the revolutionary philosophy. It would not be wrong to describe her as the first woman of Bengal to get involved in the biplabi [revolutionary] movement.”60

Saraladebi Chaudharani: Women and the Quest for Manhood Saraladebi was born into the Tagore family, which was at the forefront of the various social, religious, and cultural movements shaping nineteenth century Bengal. Jorasanko, the principal Tagore family seat, was always bustling with people, debate, music, and nationalist ventures. Saraladebi completed her B.A. at Bethune College and challenged the social conventions of her time when, at the age of twenty three, she took a job in a school in Mysore. For an unmarried young woman to leave home and reside in a distant city was unheard of in 1895 Kolkata. From a young age, Sarala was an ardent nationalist. She was married at the age of thirty-three, in 1905, to the widower Rambhuja Datta Chaudhury. She spent eighteen years in the Punjab with her husband, continuing her nationalist work and working with him to edit the weekly newspaper Hindustan. Sarala returned to Bengal after the death of her husband, in 1923. Her daily life remained busy with political speeches and editorial activities. She retired from public life in 1935 and devoted herself to a spiritual quest under the guidance of her guru, Bijoykrishna Goswami, until her death, in 1945. Saraladebi’s writings are replete with an anxiety about Bengali cowardice and the need to rejuvenate an ancient martial manhood. The following extracts emphasize her vision of nationalism, which imagined a martial and muscular male body:

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Both Bengali and Western Indian coolies are men, but what a difference in appearance! My first emphasis was on attempts to erase the differences between the weak bodies of Bengalis when compared to those of Bhojpuri, Marathi, and Punjabi men. I also realized that it was necessary not only to erode physical weakness but also the cowardice haunting the Bengali mind. I saw that even the muscular body builders of Western India were afraid of Englishmen. We have to remove this fear of white skin from our psyche.61 Dogs have teeth, cats have claws, even insects bite back if they are attacked, was it only Bengalis who kept quiet even in the face of vicious threats and assault? Was there such a lack of manhood? Were we mired in such ignominy?62

Indeed, Saraladebi was not the only woman author to lament Bengali effeminacy. Girindramohini Dasi (1848–1924) wrote, “Compared to an Englishman’s efficiency, fearlessness, and steadiness, a Bengali man appears as woman.”63 In her writings and speeches, Saraladebi constantly reiterated the need for Bengali men to take on the masculine traits integral to muscular nationalism. In a wonderful essay titled “Foreign Blows versus Native Fists,” she listed incidents in which many Indian men showed their virile manhood by standing up to English violence. According to the essay, she compiled this list by drawing on incidents reported in daily newspapers and disseminated by word of mouth. For example, she described an event in which a Bengali man, R. C. Chowdhury, was passing through the English neighborhood near the Maidan, the central park of Kolkata. In front of him were strolling an Indian and an Englishman with his dog. The Indian stepped on the dog’s tail by mistake. The Englishman did not notice this, but, at his dog’s yelp, he turned, saw Mr. Chowdhury, and immediately punched Chowdhury in the stomach. At this, Chowdhury threw the Englishman to the ground and beat him. This essay lists several similar incidents, many of them involving Indians standing up to protect their women’s honor (e.g., the Parsi gentleman who protected an young woman who was being harassed by British soldiers and the Sikh officer who physically attacked the British colonel who insulted his wife when she refused to dance with him).64 Saraladebi’s interpretation of nationalism was clearly built on a muscular, martial, and aggressively poised male body. To train male bodies to achieve these traits, she formed clubs and gymnasiums. She would place a map of

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India in front of these young boys and tie a rakhi or red thread around their wrists (a rakhi usually symbolizes fraternal loyalties). By binding decorative threads on the wrists of young men, Saraladebi pledged her chaste sisterly love; men used the same ritual to establish fraternal ties with other men. She was an enthusiastic participant in the rakhi ritual in which women urged their “brothers” to join the battle for independence.65 As a part of this commitment to the motherland, Saraladebi organized Birashtami festivals (to celebrate martial valor): “I prepared a ritual for Birashtami. A main part of this was the worship of a sword decorated with flowers. The boys encircled this sword and reciting verses celebrating the heroes of the past, offered anjali [devotional floral offerings] to the sword.”66 Representatives of all Kolkata papers were present at first festival celebrated by Saraladebi. The Bangabashi, a leading Bengali daily, applauded her advocacy of muscular nationalism: Lord, Lord, what a scene. What a meeting. No speeches, no table-pounding—just a celebration of the memories of Bengali heroes, the tough hands of Bengali youth gripping weapons and their leader a daughter of Bengal, a Brahman woman who distributed prizes with her soft hands. Has the ten armed goddess come down among us? Brahmin women have awakened— the glory of Bengal has been rejuvenated.67

By comparing her with “the ten armed goddess,” the editorial drew attention to a specific rendition of nation as the warrior goddess Durga. As discussed in the previous chapter, this was a part of the political vision that informed the unfolding of muscular nationalism in Bengal. This particular divine image also occupied a crucial position within Saraladebi’s nation; her Birashtami festivals celebrating male martial prowess drew on rituals that formed an important part of the annual Durga puja (celebration) honoring the goddess. In the following extract, Saraladebi refers to another common feminine nationalist icon: In the front room of my house, stood an image of Kali, I had commissioned a Japanese artist to paint this for me. I still have this image. On the other walls of the room, among pictures of my family, there was one of me. It was possible that my long flowing hair attracted the eye—this picture had been published in several places, perhaps in Mr. Jogen Gupta’s The

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Women Poets of Bengal. I took the King of Baroda to my Kali portrait for a better look. He turned to my photograph and said, “Which Kali should I look at, this one or that one?”68

In a deft rhetorical maneuver, Saraladebi used another warrior goddess, Kali, to describe her location within the nation. Thus, in Saraladebi’s work the figures of Kali, Durga, and the motherland intersect her quest for Bengali manhood within a muscular nation. Although the representation of the nation as a warrior goddess can provide some space for women as warriors, in the Bengali national context the armed femininity embodied by these images existed alongside a simultaneous discourse of frail, suffering, or passive, nurturing motherhood. All three images of nationalist iconography jostled around in Saraladebi’s nation: the motherland, represented by chaste, virtuous women and protected by muscular warriors; and both Kali and Durga, who embodied divine expressions of and inspiration for the martial spirit. In Saraladebi’s muscular nation, the feminine can take on multiple forms. It can represent a motherland, such as Mother India, or it can be a martial goddess, such as Durga or Kali. Building on this particular strain of thought, recent work has demonstrated that, in India during the nineteenth century, the images of chaste wife, heroic mother, and celibate warrior were three common expressions of femininities and female bodies that circulated during the conflict between British imperial authority and Indian nationalisms.69 Such imaging did not necessarily construct submissive or apolitical roles for women; indeed, many women used these iconic images to catapult themselves into nationalist politics. But this entry was always defined by ideals of heteronormative chastity. A woman’s body remained heterosexual and chaste as it embodied national honor. Indeed, her body became the canvas on which competing masculinities were played out. As argued earlier, particular images of this female body included the figure of Mother India, captured in art by Saraladebi’s relative Abanindronath Tagore, and the female divinities Durga and Kali. Mother India captured the nurturing aspects of a heroic mother who would remain the moral compass for her children, while Durga and Kali in many instances represented the warrior, avenging themselves on the enemies of the nation. But it was to the young men that Saraladebi called out to enter the fray and rejuvenate masculine nationalism. Further, martial prowess was a test of this rejuvenation. For example, after England joined World

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War I, Saraladebi explicitly encouraged young Bengali men to join the British army. In her opinion, although the British government had emasculated Bengali men, now was the time to remedy this wrong by donning martial garb to prove their masculinity. Such a sight would satisfy their mothers and sisters.70 In Saraladebi’s texts, it is not clear whether women could take on the features of this martial nationalism and become literal warriors (i.e., muscular and trained in weapons play) for the nation. It is, however, clear that Saraladebi did not view women as apolitical or passive; indeed, her own robust political life attested to her belief in feminine vigor. Saraladebi negotiated a provocative gendered path both in her own life and in her gendered nationalism. In a way, this path was shaped by a vigilant policing of female virtue and chastity, a vigilance that was rooted in an anxiety created by women who entered public spaces. Educated, articulate women of Saraladebi’s time had to be careful that they were not seen as too Westernized (read: immodest, unchaste) as they voiced their support for women’s education and their need for economic selfsufficiency. This careful negotiation shaped Saraladebi’s view of women. At times, Saraladebi clearly located women’s primary role as being domestic: “Women can turn their homes into heaven or hell, because they are the presiding deities in their home. It is women who can create a beautiful home. It is women again whose negligence can turn a home into an ugly and foul place.”71 The women’s organization, Bharat Stree Mahamondal, she founded reflected the careful negotiation of elite women. Saraladebi wrote that this organization was created to train women to be social and political leaders. To this end, the goals of the Mahamondal were to train teachers who would educate women within their homes, make literature accessible to women by encouraging publications in the vernacular, help women earn money by marketing and selling handicrafts, and provide a forum for discussing women’s health and hygiene. At first glance, this appeared to be quite an empowering agenda. But simultaneously Saraladebi was emphatic that this organization’s goal of enabling women’s education was necessary because only educated mothers could inspire their sons to be great warriors and nationalists. Further, she also argued that a part of this education would include training in the domestic arts as well as socializing women to be fit and obedient companions to their husbands because a wife was responsible for her husband’s moral strength.72 Her rationale for the Mahamondal also made it clear that she was aware of women’s marginalization. A woman’s marginalization, in her opinion, began

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when the birth of a son was celebrated but not that of a daughter. From the day of her birth, a woman was informed of her lack of value in society. In face of such an analysis, the Mahamondal’s stated intention of female education unfolded against a realization of patriarchy. At the same time, it is clear that Saraladebi’s vision of womanhood also included the need for income generation. The focus of the Mahamondal on marketing and selling handicrafts, as well as Saraladebi’s own education in Bethune College and her brief sojourn in Mysore for the purposes of wage labor, underscore this view. However, these ideas must be juxtaposed with the ideas already articulated about women as the presiding deities of the home. Just as male anxiety tamed Durga’s martial power in nationalist iconography, so educated and articulate women had to tame their fire to allay men’s (and, I would argue, some women’s) fear of a woman’s body “unnaturally” depicting masculine traits: rationality, martial prowess, independence. This ambivalent gendered trajectory was reflected in the lives of the young women who were born about thirty years after Saraladebi and who, unlike her, actually joined male warriors in the fray. These were the women of the Bengali revolutionary movement.

Preetilata Wadedar and Armed Femininity in Bengal As argued in the previous chapter, the Anushilan Samtiti, from which the main networks of terrorist societies developed, centered on a chaste male figure devoted to sacrificing blood to the Mother India, usually configured as the ferocious Kali or Durga: Will the Bengali worshippers of Shakti shrink from the shedding of blood? The number of Englishmen in this country is not above one lakh and a half and what is the number of English officials in each district? If you are firm in your resolution you can in a single day bring English rule to an end. Lay down your life but first take a life. The worship of the goddess will not be consummated if you sacrifice your lives at the shrine of independence without shedding blood.73

Thus, the revolutionary movement celebrated the martial goddess as the nation, but these images were juxtaposed with the floating signifier of nation as grieving mother.

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The very acts of violence undertaken by revolutionary nationalists were informed by a gendered ideology. Usually, revolutionary groups like the Anushilan Samiti focused on assassinations of individual British colonial officers, arranging them as public spectacles in crowded spaces. These visible acts became an expression of Bengali masculinized nationalism, challenging the discourse of the “effeminate Bengali.” In the 1930s, the terrorist movement became dissatisfied with isolated acts of violence and decided to take on armed action. On April 18, 1930, a group calling itself the Indian Republican Army in homage to its Irish counterpart launched what its leader, Surya Sen, referred to as the Indian Easter Rebellion. The attack centered on select targets in the area of Chittagong (now in Bangladesh) and was defeated on April 22 by British forces. Many of the group’s members were tracked down and shot, and others went into hiding.74 This raid fired the imagination of many young men and women who then went on to join the revolutionaries. In the gendered discourse of muscular nationalism, when Bengali women became involved in acts of violence, the armed female warrior represented an undermining of British manhood. For example, Suniti Choudhury and Shanti Ghosh shot a district magistrate of Comilla. Ela Sen, another woman revolutionary, offered this analysis of the act: In the hilltracts no Bengali girl of good family was free from the attention of the magistrates, who exploited their position of authority. Therefore, two young girls sought to end degradation by making an example of a certain magistrate. To them it appeared that brutality must be paid back in its own coin, and boldly they walked up to him in his office and shot him dead.75

Sen’s interpretation of this feminine action clearly challenged the ideas of Christian manliness based on ideas of chivalry. Further, in this scenario, it is not Indian men who are avenging their women’s honor but Indian women who avenge themselves. Consequently, like the women warriors of the CB, women of the Bengali terrorist groups troubled the dynamic of muscular nationalism. So how did this troubled dynamic play out? Bose claims that a fear of women’s sexuality remained.76 The risk of scandal made it difficult to arrange meetings between men and women, and this led to problems with men training women to use fire arms. Kalpana Dutt,

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a woman revolutionary who has written an account of the Chittagong raid, describes the leader Surya Sen as follows: “He became a terrorist revolutionary in 1918. His guru was present at this wedding night and he never lived with his wife for ten years until her death in 1928. It was an iron rule for the revolutionaries that they should keep aloof from women.”77 Like the Irish activists he so admired, Sen also believed in a celibate revolutionary brotherhood, untainted by female sexuality. Consequently, at all times, women revolutionaries had to guard their sexuality and emphasize their chastity and purity because it was believed that female sexuality would lead men astray. This tension between politicized and chaste femininity, whether defined as grieving mother, the patient sacrificing Gandhian wife, or the fear-inducing martial goddess, congeals in the story and figure of Preetilata Wadedar, the first woman who died in direct action against the British. Attracted to Surya Sen’s brand of revolutionary nationalism as a college student, Preetilata spent much of her student life training for armed resistance against the British.78 On September 24, 1932, Wadedar led an attack on against the Paharatali European Club, located in present-day Bangladesh. Some shots were fired, and a bomb exploded. However, in the midst of the attack, the lights went off, and the eight men accompanying Wadedar escaped in the confusion; Wadedar, clad in male attire, was found dead outside. She had committed suicide by ingesting a cyanide capsule. She let behind a justification of her action: I think I owe an explanation to my countrymen. Unfortunately, there are still many among our countrymen who may be shocked to learn how a woman brought up in the best tradition of Indian womanhood had taken up such a horrible deed as to massacre human lives. I wonder why there should be any distinction between male and female in a fight for her cause. . . . As regards armed rebellion. It is not a novel method. It has been successfully adopted in many countries and the females have joined it in their hundreds. . . . As regards fitness is it not sheer injustice to the females that they will always be thought less fit and weaker than the males in a fight for freedom? Time is come when this false notion must go.79

Wadedar was very clear about women’s role in muscular nationalism:

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Women today have taken the firm resolution that they will not remain in the background. For the freedom of their motherland they are willing to stand side by side with their brothers in every action however hard or fearful it may be. To offer a proof of this, I have take upon myself the leadership of this expedition to be launched today. I earnestly hope that our sisters would no longer nurse the view that they are weak. Armed women of India will demolish a thousand hurdles, disregard a thousand dangers and join the rebellion.80

What is astounding about Wadedar’s words is that she made no apology for her participation in armed rebellion and justified her right to stand side by side with her brothers. Note, however, that the relationship she asserted is asexual (i.e., fraternal) and neutralizes any hint of sexuality. Moreover, Surya Sen, her teacher and mentor, interpreted Wadedar’s actions as follows: In the name of the mother Goddess I like to announce from the core of my heart that never have I come across anyone so innocent, so sinless and so spotlessly pure as you. Really you were as beautiful as a flower and as pure and great. Your self-immolation is without a parallel and it has made you all the more beautiful and great.81

Lest Wadedar be read as shameless and uncontrolled because of her use of violence and her dressing in male attire, Sen repeatedly asserted her purity. Further, by using the phrase “self-immolation,” he harkened back to the actions of devoted wives who immolated themselves on their husband’s funeral pyre to prove their purity (or satituva) and hence were called “satis.” Preetilata Wadedar’s suicide was interpreted as sati to emphasize once again her chastity. In an interesting gendered flip, nation in this case was masculinized as a proper spouse for a sati. Wadedar’s death in direct action and her fiery words seem to underline the Bengali revolutionary movement’s unambiguous acceptance of women warriors. In reality, however, the space occupied by women in the movement was rather more ambiguous. This ambiguity stemmed from a suspicion of female sexuality. Mukherjee argues that women in general nursed male fighters, hid them in safe houses, and attempted to allay British suspicion by playing out a helpless femininity.82 Women like Wadedar were the exception. Surya Sen’s

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description of Preetilata’s “self-immolation” certainly cast the Indian nation in the role of a husband and offered an interesting reversal of the role of woman as/in nation. Preetilata Wadedar, Shanti Ghosh, and Suniti Choudhury’s acts underline the complicated position that women as warrior held in muscular nationalism. Like the women of the CB, they breached the rigid walls that separated male warrior and maternal nation/woman and occupied a space in the borderlands of gender. It is tempting to argue that many of the revolutionaries saw themselves as challenging the traditional gendered metaphors of nation. However, the reality is more complicated. For example, although Ghosh and Choudhury were seen by some as avenging the honor of Bengali women, others saw their act as “revolting” and their conduct as “shameless.”83 The respected novelist and Nobel Prize winner Rabindranath Tagore in one of his novels described political women as “unbalanced, unnatural,” while Saratchandra Chatterjee, an active proponent of muscular nationalism as depicted in his novel Pather Dabi, ridiculed the woman revolutionary.84 It should be noted that, as discussed in the previous chapter, Chatterjee’s novel, did not claim that women should not be a part of nationalist activism; indeed, in terms of hegemonic masculinity, the central female protagonist, Bharati, was more manly than the book’s hero, the effeminate Apurba. However, in the end, Chatterjee could not envision her accompanying Sabyasachi, the ideal muscular nationalist, as a roaming warrior. Her proper duty was to make a man of Apurba and to ensure that he lived up to his civic obligations. If she rejected her role as wife by transgressing normative femininity in the nation and joining the roving band of revolutionaries, she became, in her creator’s eyes, wild and frenzied. At times, even the woman revolutionary herself offered a somewhat ambivalent assessment of her action. A contemporary of Ghosh and Choudhury, Bina Das attempted to assassinate the governor of Bengal during Calcutta University’s convocation in 1932. Bina Das offered the following analysis of her act: Would not the immolation of a daughter of India and of a son of England awaken India to the sin of its acquiescence to its continued state of subjection and England to the iniquities of its proceedings. . . . All these [sufferings of the people] and many others worked on my feelings and worked them

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into a frenzy [my emphasis]. The pain became unbearable and I felt as if I would go mad if I could not find relief in death. I only sought the way to death to the situation created by the measures of the Government, which can unsex even a frail woman like myself, brought up in all the best tradition of womanhood [emphasis in original].85

The use of the words “unsex” and “frail” is quite revealing. Das is arguing that she picked up arms only because her feelings had made her frenzied (note the link to the critical construction of Cumann na mBan women as frenzied furies), which unsexed her (i.e., forced her to transgress the boundaries of the “best tradition of womanhood”). So Das interpreted her own action as “unfeminine.” This ambivalent position was also expressed by Preetilata Wadedar in terms of her participation in “abscondence” (the fugitive lifestyle embraced by many male revolutionaries after their participation in a guerrilla act of violence). The male revolutionary in this instance was a part of a secretive group that had to keep on moving. Women helped by giving shelter or nursing or carrying messages. But could they be part of this “male” elite? This was a decision that Wadedar faced when she led the raid against the Pahartali European Club: The decision of Pritilata to end her life might have been dictated by her experience in abscondence, as she realized that for a woman, prolonged refugee existence exposed her party to multiple dangers: her presence among compatriots could restrict their flight to safety. She said, “. . . it is difficult for you to abscond with me . . . no, no, I should not live . . . even if I do not die by the bullet of the enemy, I shall have to die on my own.” As surrender was out of question, suicide was the only option.86

Of course, her unambiguous acceptance that it would be difficult to abscond with her is somewhat surprising, given her subsequent decision to lead a raid against a club, which required as much martial prowess as her male colleagues possessed. In discussing the roving groups of Irish Volunteers, I drew on the notion that the fraternal bonds uniting these men were strengthened by a frail mother waiting at home to be freed by their martial sacrifice, while the presence of a wife, with her sexual and emotive demands, disrupted this brotherhood. Building on this theme, I would argue that Wadedar’s words denote an

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understanding that a young female body would interrupt the roving Bengali fraternity with its sexuality. Specifically, in terms of muscular nationalism, her body could undermine the manhood of her male companions by defiling her nation’s honor if she were raped or disturbing their commitment to the motherland by providing a sexual distraction. To sum up, Saraladebi’s words expressed a female dedication to a muscular nationalism. But, in her thought, the female body remained on the margins in terms of actual militant action. She could inspire as Kali or Durga or mother, she could even organize fora where armed masculinity could be practiced, but the image of woman as warrior remained confined to the divine. Note also that a goddess, by virtue of her divinity, is permanently pure. However, even a divine female body articulating such devotion to muscular nationalism may challenge the social boundaries between normative femininity and masculinity. Preetilata Wadedar, Suniti Choudhury, and Bina Das were women warriors. Their armed version of politicized femininity further disturbed the dynamic expressed by the gendered binary of martial man versus chaste woman that underlay muscular nationalism.

Conclusion In early part of the twentieth century, politicized femininity in Ireland and India occupied a fraught position in a nationalist vision rooted in a rigid separation of male warriorhood and maternal or virginal nation to be protected. Whom did women warriors protect? Theoretically, the answer to this question was quite simple. It was just as possible to envision a band of women warriors, united by the bonds of sisterhood, sacrificing their lives to protect Mother Ireland or Mother India as to imagine a similar group of male warriors. However, as argued in chapters 2 and 3, the social construction of muscular nationalism in both Ireland and India was rooted in a foundational duality of male warriors who protected a nation symbolized by the chastity of female bodies. However, women’s political activism within the nation, without perhaps challenging this duality outright, circumvented it and destabilized the apparently rigid boundaries that separated manhood and womanhood. Thus, by embodying armed femininity, women like Countess Markievicz, Margaret Skinnider, and Preetilata Wadedar seized a space in the gender borderlands

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of muscular nationalism. Although their political activism utilized the malleability of socially constructed boundaries, in the final analysis, their actions did little to disrupt the hegemonic logic of muscular nationalism. Indeed, in Wadedar’s case, the price of playing with socially constructed boundaries may have created a fatal dissonance in her life, culminating in her suicide. Although the actions of Countess Markievicz and Preetilata Wadedar, both revered in the nationalist memories of their respective nations, did little to open up political spaces for women activists in the postcolonial context, I would argue that, although it did not last and was the cause of much social anxiety about frenzied female behavior, armed femininity remains a powerful demonstration of the fluidity and perhaps even “constructedness” of gendered boundaries in muscular nationalism. Indeed, the next chapter, which interprets the legacy of muscular nationalism in the postcolonial context, demonstrates that, although not claiming a direct connection with their foremothers, modern women’s agency in political violence demonstrates that politicized femininity continues to claim a space on the borderlands between and martial man and chaste woman. By unpacking the 1980 women’s dirty protest in Armagh Prison (Northern Ireland) and the involvement of Indian women in the revolutionary Naxalite movement in India, I demonstrate the unexpected ways in which the gendered vision released by the Cumann na mBan and the Bengali terriorist women emerges. I am by no means arguing a mechanistic and unbroken continuity; rather, my discussion highlights the shadowy presence of historical discourse. To an extent, the dirty protest in Armagh Prison and the Naxalite movement extend and complicate the discourse of politicized femininity in muscular nationalism introduced in this chapter.

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Politicized Femininity and M u s c u l a r N at i o n a l i s m i n the Postcolonial Context Naxal and Armagh Women

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n the late twentieth century—several decades after the woman warriors in Indian and Irish nationalism fought to clear a space for themselves in the anticolonial resistance movement—the suspicion of politicized femininity within muscular nationalism was highlighted by the radical politics of Naxalism and modern Irish republicanism. Although these two militant movements have unfolded in socioeconomic backgrounds quite different from those that existed in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth centuries, this chapter reveals that the political ideologies underlying both these struggles still centered the male body and activated feminine icons rooted in the image of chaste, pure women as the border guards of the nation. This chapter discusses how versions of muscular nationalism in the late twentieth century reflected both continuities and discontinuities with earlier social anxieties about political women embodied by the “terrorist” women of Bengal and the female activists of the Cumann na mBan. Like their foremothers, the Naxalite and IRA women occupied an ambiguous political space in the social borders that separated normative masculinity and femininity in the nation. By drawing on female participation in Naxalism (1969–1972) and republicanism (1972–1980, with special focus on the 1980 dirty protest), I reveal the contentious location of politicized femininity in postcolonial muscular nationalism. Although I focus on the early years of these movements, when they were most politically robust, Naxalism is still prevalent in the deprived areas of the Indian states of Bihar and Andhra Pradesh, while republicanism was active until an independent monitoring committee reported to Tony Blair in 2006 that the IRA had neither the capacity nor the will to continue its use of political violence. •

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Politicized Femininity in Postcolonial Muscular Nationalism The film Hazaar Chaurashi ki Ma (The Mother of 1084), narrates a middleclass Bengali woman’s ideological journey from a passive acceptance of the “way things are” to a political awareness of radical movements aimed at challenging the structures of oppression and privilege that shaped society in urban and rural Bengal. Her journey has a gruesome beginning; she has to identify the dead body of her son (prisoner #1084) in a police morgue under the unsympathetic gaze of an officer. She finds out that her son, Brati, was involved in revolutionary Naxalite politics, spearheaded by a breakaway faction of the Communist Party of India—Marxist Leninist, or CPI-ML, under the leadership of the charismatic Charu Majumdar. As the woman, named Sujata, explores the events that led to her son’s death, she befriends his girlfriend, Nandini, who explains the basic concepts that underlie Naxalite ideology. Sujata becomes politicized through her role as mother, while Nandini, although a part of the movement, represents her political maturity by shedding the outer markers of a sexualized female body; her relationship with Brati is described as a platonic meeting of minds rather than a relationship shaped by emotive, erotic longing. In the film as well as in the novel on which it is based, motherhood and the asexual female body are centered in the narrative of a political movement marked by ideas of violence and blood sacrifice that are remarkably reminiscent of Aurobindo Ghose’s concepts of muscular nationalism. In a way, the women of the Naxalite movement, represented by the asexual Nandini, are the modern-day Preetilatas, although they are fighting different enemies (Indian capitalism, rather than the British ) and envision a different society (communist, rather than an independent India free of British rule). Unlike the revolutionary women of the anticolonial resistance, Naxalite women entered radical politics in a socioeconomic context in which middle-class women maintained a visible presence both in the wage labor market and in postsecondary institutions. This visibility certainly created an ideological presumption that women would be considered the equal of their armed male comrades. However, as this chapter illustrates, this particular interpretation of muscular nationalism also centered on the celibate male revolutionary, leaving politicized femininity once again in a contested position, even though the Naxalite movement emerged almost twenty years after Indian independence. Before I move onto a discussion of

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the Naxalite movement, a word about the authenticity of its “nationalism” is in order. The Naxalites did and still imagine an India that is supposedly radically different from the present day, poverty-striken nation, with its glaring inequalities of income created by global capitalism. Activists in this movement would not hesitate to overthrow the present Indian state and nation as it is structured. It can be claimed that the Naxalite revolutionaries envision a “new” nation of relative equality and agrarian socialism, one that differs radically from contemporary India, which is shaped by two dominant but competing visions of imagined communities: Nehruvian secularism and Hindu nationalism.1 Women revolutionaries occupied a similar ambiguous space in Ireland when Northern Irish women joined the Irish Republican Army. They entered revolutionary politics at a time when the political context was characterized by the rising political visibility of women. In February 1978, the article “The Slaves of the Slaves” was published in Sinn Fein’s Republican News. The article, which outlined the urgent need for the republican movement to incorporate women into their fold, precipitated an intense debate about the location of women and womanhood in the nation imagined by Sinn Fein and the IRA.2 There was no doubt the political context had changed since the women of the Cumann na mBan had picked up arms in defense of the nation. Yet ideas of chaste femininity, most commonly depicted by images of suffering republican motherhood, continued to haunt the muscular nationalism of the IRA. This was demonstrated most poignantly by the Armagh dirty protest taken on by female warriors of the IRA. The presence of the Armagh and Naxal women and their embodiment of femininity were situated against a social anxiety about frenzied “unmanageable” revolutionaries that still lingered on in the postcolonial nation. Put another way, neither movement could reconcile women’s activism with female sexuality. Naxalite and republican women could be imagined only as desexualized, chaste actors. In a way, the movement grappled with female actors by denying or erasing the physicality of women’s bodies. As this chapter reveals, the lives of real women both complicated and were complicated by these assumptions.

Women, Womanhood, and the Naxalite Movement in Bengal A tribal and peasant revolt against the oppression of the landless peasantry by an unofficial government-landlord collusion in Naxalbari, a small village

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located in the northern part of the eastern state of West Bengal, launched the Naxalite movement in May 1967. Initially a rural movement demanding widespread land reform, it was led by a peasant-intellectual coalition, many of whose whose members belonged to the Communist Party of India—Marxist-Leninist. Soon, it spread to other parts of rural India, especially to Andhra Pradesh and to parts of Kerala and Bihar; it also gained force among youth in both small towns and metropolitan centers such as Kolkata in the form of urban class struggle. Students joined the movement largely in protest against the massive unemployment rampant in the cities during the economic crisis of the 1960s.

Naxalism and the Nation The exploited Indian peasant was the figure through which Naxalism structured its interpretation of both oppression and resistance. According to its vision, poor and landless peasants would lead a struggle to seize power in villages through guerrilla warfare, and then these “liberated” villages, as they encircled cities in Bengal, would take the first step toward seizing state power: So the first and main duty of the peasant movement today is to destroy the State machinery.  .  .  . The struggle to create [a] liberated area is the most urgent and immediate task of the peasant movement. What, according to us, is a liberated area? We shall call that peasant area a liberated area from where we have been able to oust the class enemies [i.e., the “jotedars,” or feudal landlords, and money-lenders]. To create this liberated area, the peasants’ armed power is necessary. By this armed power we mean the hand-made weapons of the peasants, as well as guns. . . . Where will the peasants get guns? Class enemies have guns and they stay inside the villages. Guns should be snatched away from them. . . . For this, the peasant militants will have to be taught all tactics beginning from setting fire to the houses of class enemies. . . . So to do this, it is necessary to propagate the politics of building up armed struggles extensively among the peasantry. It is further necessary to organize small secret militant groups to carry on the campaign of collecting guns.3

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These liberated villages would represent the first step toward an imagined community based on equality and agrarian socialism. In early 1970, as villages in Bengal were rocked by Naxalite violence, an urban economic crisis centering on failed industrial policies and the widening gap between rich and poor, as well as a crisis in the state-run education system created a pool of young people who were willing to listen to CPIML’s message of violent revolution. While Charu Majumdar hoped to attract the industrial proletariat to his movement, it was overwhelmingly students, “skeptical about the entire educational system—the monotonous lectures on courses which were out of touch with the reality, the cramming of outmoded texts to pass examinations, corruption in the university,” who responded to his call.4 Frustrated by their outdated education and their bleak employment prospects, Kolkata students were already venting their anger by disrupting commencement ceremonies, tearing up diplomas, and openly cheating at exams to show their disrespect for the education system. Majumdar attempted to channel their anger into an armed struggle aimed at creating a new society in which capitalism and feudalism had been destroyed. One important cultural expression of youthful anger was the desecration and destruction of busts and portraits of nineteenth-century reformers (Gandhi, Vivekananda, Rammohan Roy), who, in the youths’ minds, represented the bourgeois morality that had, on the basis of ideology, resisted armed rebellion during the nationalist movement in order to ensure that the caste or class hierarchy remained intact after the British left.5 It was interesting that the youths chose to vent their ire on Vivekananda, who, as I have shown in chapter 3, was a vocal critic of a corrupt education system based on cramming and who visualized a more practical and innovative method of learning. However, these acts of destruction were interpreted by the angry students as signifying a clean break with nineteenth-century nationalism and heralding the creation of a new nation. Further, Charu Majumdar encouraged urban students to go out in the countryside and live with peasants to realize the multifaceted oppression that informed rural lives. Some students also chose to live with industrial workers in the slums of Kolkata. Thus, “the student” joined “the peasant” as a part of the imagined community encompassed by the Naxalite vision. Although seemingly gender neutral, the revolutionary subject centered in the Naxal imagined community was unequivocally male.

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The New Man and the Naxal Movement At the center of Naxal politics was the idea of a “new” man, his youthful figure, ready to sacrifice for the revolutionary cause, embodying self-control, martial prowess, and discipline.6 In the Majumdar’s mind, this new man needed to engage in deadly confrontation, which was expressed by the main political tactic of militant Naxal groups: annihilation. This strategy entailed the targeting of specific individuals designated as class enemies, who were then killed by the armed revolutionary. Not all activists found this tactic palatable, and Charu Majumdar was called on to justify his actions at a secret party congress. It was in the speech he gave defending his particular strategy that we find armed masculinity emerging. Only through this annihilation campaign, argued Majumdar, “could the new man be created—‘the new man who will defy death and will be free from all thoughts of self-interest.’” He explained, “‘To go close to the enemy, it is necessary to conquer all thought of self.’” As for martyrs, while his critics tended to look upon the loss of lives as unnecessary sacrifice, Charu Majumdar vindicated sacrifice thus: “only the blood of martyrs can make possible this victory. It is this blood of martyrs which creates enthusiasm, transforms the fighters into new men, fills their hearts with class-hatred; it is by being inspired by the blood of these martyrs that they move up to the enemy and with bare arms snatch away their rifles.”7 This speech echoes the themes of blood sacrifice and martyrdom delineated by Aurobindo Ghose several decades earlier in his nationalist paper Bandemataram. Although, unlike Ghose’s conception, this notion of martyrdom did not explicitly visualize nation as woman, there was no doubt that blood sacrifice was involved in the creation of manhood (new men). Thus, martial prowess, martyrdom, and manhood were linked in this specific vision of revolution. Although this particular revolutionary “man,” presumably embodied by the Indian peasant and the radical student, was at the center of the Naxalite vision, it was not clear whether the Indian state or class enemies were explicitly effeminized, nor did the Naxalite discourse highlight ideas of remasculinization that were very evident in the nineteenth-century Bengali resistance. However, it seems to me that Naxalism’s vision of a communist collective nation centered on the “new man” was one manifestation of a muscular nationalist view that constructs an imagined community rooted in an idea of manhood shaped by physical strength and martial prowess and dedicated to a particular ideology (in this case, radical communism).

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Majumdar’s musings about blood sacrifice, martial prowess, and masculinity make it difficult to visualize the armed revolutionary as a woman. Indeed, Naxalite texts make no mention of the “new” woman.8 But women were a part of this movement. In rural areas, peasant women were facilitating meetings, leading rallies, providing shelter to male comrades, couriering messages, and resisting police and military action. Indeed, women played a vital role in the very first uprising in Naxalbari, which was a small, semitribal area located on the foothills of the Himalayas near India’s border with Nepal.9 Seven peasant women were killed when police fired on this mass meeting, and, in response, armed peasants with Naxalite help declared this area a liberated zone in June 1967. It is surprising that this female militancy was not acknowledged by Charu Majumdar in his subsequent speeches. Although the basis of Naxalism and CPI-ML ideology was a critique of the postcolonial state in Bengal, with its implication in oppressive capitalist hierarchies, the gendered aspect of postcolonial modernity was ignored by the party. Economic crises, coupled with an emerging feminist movement, facilitated the entry of middle-class women into white-collar jobs, and this participation in wage labor was built on women’s involvement in education. The category “student,” of course, included both men and women. In cities and in smaller towns, young women students joined the movement. However, party documents, leaflets, and essays written by the CPI-ML refused to acknowledge this action.10 Women were a part of this movement, but normative interpretations of womanhood and suspicions of politicized femininity made their presence somewhat contested. Fighting the perception of themselves as space invaders, Naxal women began to challenge “the image of women as docile and passive.” In an attempt to destabilize this image, “women Naxalites often consciously attempted to engage in direct confrontation.”11 Although all Naxalite women did not embody armed femininity, there was a belief that this was an ideal to be realized, and this idealized norm haunted Naxalite women. Further, peasant women’s militancy and their willingness to resist with violence was not always the cause of social anxiety; the presence of middle-class women—more intimately linked with Gandhian norms—engendered the greatest disruption in the space of muscular Naxal politics. This disruption was further enhanced when a few middle-class women wished to follow their male comrades into rural areas to become a part of the small groups that were the backbone of

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the strategy to annihilate class enemies. They were in general discouraged by the party; this decision was buttressed by concerns with personal security and even the lack of toilet facilities to fulfill women’s “natural” needs.12 Women’s marginalization from the rural domain needs to be situated within a larger realm of ambiguity that structured women’s entry into the party. Some women went so far as to suggest that the party made no explicit effort to recruit women and was less than enthusiastic about accepting women full-timers who had left home.13 The female revolutionary remained suspect because her body had the potential to disrupt, through its expression of sexuality, the path of self-discipline embarked on by both women and their male comrades. Indeed, given the movement’s dedication to the creation of the new man and its reliance on small squads of male revolutionaries, armed femininity required that female bodies occupy a space in the borderland between normative manhood and womanhood, erasing any consequence of the physical embodiment of being a woman. This erasure complicated the politics of Naxal women. For example, many women took on alternative identities for the revolution to work in low-paying factory jobs and live among the urban poor. Others took refuge in political shelters provided by both middle- and working-class families. For the men, these shelters were seen as a place of safety, providing a semblance of a calm domesticity, but, for women, these spaces were fraught, as the women were in constant fear of unwanted sexual advances from local goons and the hostility expressed by female members of political shelters (usually older women who insisted on maintaining boundaries of domestic respectability and who saw these young women as unchaste and wild).14 The anxiety surrounding women’s sexuality also manifested itself in the manner in which romantic relations between male and female Naxalites were policed. Thus, the party bureaucracy monitored love by insisting on marriage if an undesirable interaction between a man and a woman was discovered; decisions about proper relationships were made by local area committees, usually consisting of three men.15 By drawing on the activism of three middle-class Naxal women who took up arms—Krishna Bandyopadhay (Krishna B), Joya Mitra, and Ajitha Narayanan—and locating their participation within the general cultural context of Naxalite politics and women, I illuminate the contested position of politicized femininity in this version of muscular nationalism.16

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Krishna B’s memoir begins with a melancholic acknowledgment of her awareness that women’s political agency was neither encouraged nor celebrated, “[The] line of action that the party [Communist Party of India— Marxist-Leninist] had chosen ultimately left no room for women’s decision-making.”17 She goes on to claim, “We were asked to offer shelter to revolutionaries, give them tea, and carry letters and documents from one place to another. And we had one more responsibility. This was to undergo training as nurses so that we could tend to our injured male comrades and nurse them back to health. . . . We began to feel very insignificant. Was there really much difference between my pishima and these people?” 18 It was to resist this feeling of insignificance that Krishna B eagerly responded to the party’s call to go into the villages to organize. As she writes: Even though the party had issued no such directive, women too [had] left their homes for good, and gone to work as whole timers in the villages. Women such as Nirmala Krishnamurti, Sampurna, Saraswati Amma and many others fought shoulder to shoulder with men in the armed struggles. . . . When my name was given to the police I too had to leave home. I decided that I would go to the villages.19

When she arrived in the village, the party leader of that area, Dron Ghosh, ordered her to organize militant peasant women to “annihilate” the local landowner. Not very comfortable with the idea of organizing murder, the nineteen-year-old Krishna protested this order as top-down political leadership, Dron told her not to give into her “middle class instinct for self preservation.” So Krishna organized the first women’s annihilation squad in the district.20 However, it was clear that her presence was complicated by the ever-present threat of her sexual body. She was expected to suppress her needs and become a platonic comrade; however, the reality of political life and her own desire complicated her realization of the asexual woman warrior. A relationship developed between Dron and herself, but she became frustrated by his denial of sexuality: I wanted to Dron to come and kiss me on my lips. . . . I thought Dron would surely now come near me. Yes Dron did; he called me softly. Without opening my eyes, I waited silently for his touch. “Come let us read Chiner Krishaker-

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Sreni Bishleson (Class Analysis of the Chinese Peasantry).” I could have cried, so much resentment and anguish did I feel at the moment. I told myself I would not be part of the revolutionary movement from the next day.21

Krishna soon realized the need for her to represent a chaste façade: “he used to love the vision of him and me fighting side by side with guns in our hands for the sake of the revolution. Perhaps the notion of two people becoming intimate went against his idea of revolution.”22 However, although Dron refused to “sexualize” their relationship, Krishna and Dron were romantically linked in the mind of the party. Indeed, after his death, her activism seemed to be downplayed, and she was expected to inspire male revolutionaries as the martyr’s chaste wife. When she rebelled against this rigid expectation of an asexual life by embarking on a new relationship, she was severely chastised. This focus on chastity also served to erase women’s experience with sexual assault. Indeed, given the focus on the working class and on the peasant (male) revolutionary as the basis of muscular politics, when Naxal women complained of sexual harassment, they were admonished for their middleclass behavior: “So if a woman, even while taking shelter with a peasant or a worker was forced to keep awake night after night by his lecherous behaviour, one could not complain. We would be told, ‘You are losing your capacity to view things from the class perspective, comrade.’”23 Krishna’s frustration was shared by two other female activists: I can talk about women—where they were staying—they could have been victims of rape at any shelter. There was no political analysis of these kinds of difficulties. . . . In some cases the men shelter-givers behaved badly and [the] party did not take notice of that.24 You know, when a young woman is alone and when she is travelling and living alone, . . . there will be problems. . . actually, then for a woman, human beings are far more dangerous than wild beasts.25

Although many women suffered these indignities in silence, Krishna B narrates an incident at a party meeting where the participants were deliberating a complaint of sexual harassment made by a woman activist against a male comrade. Both women and men at the meeting saw this as an unusual incident, a rare violation of the discipline required of a “new man,” and demanded that the

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punishment be annihilation. Krishna was horrified at this decree, as well as by the hypocrisy that saw this behavior as rare: “The anger that was sweltering inside me suddenly burst out and I blurted, ‘Then there are several others here who should also be finished off.’ Addressing the male comrades, I said, ‘All of you, can you . . . swear that none of you have ever behaved indecently with a female comrade by your side?’”26 Her anger becomes a symbol of the contested dynamic between a sexual woman and a political ideology’s resolute inability to accommodate politicized femininity. This tense silence around sexual harassment in the Naxalite movement centered the contested location of womens’ bodies in muscular nationalism. Despite a desire for asexual, chaste female comrades (represented by Dron’s treatment of Krishna), the physical reality of women kept emerging to challenge muscular nationalism. Women like Krishna, who dared to speak up either to protest sexual harassment or to express desire, revealed the asexual revolutionary to be a woman, making explicit the movement’s grave discomfort with the physicality of female bodies. Ajitha, a Naxal activist in the state of Kerala, who had been captured in 1968 and who served nine years in prison for her revolutionary activism, further supports this dynamic between armed femininity and muscular nationalism shaped by expectation of female chastity. Born to parents who were known Leftist radicals, Ajitha Narayanan took to radical politics at an early age. In November 1968, while her father, Kunnikal Narayanan, led three hundred armed guerrillas against a police station, eighteen-year-old Ajitha commanded another attack against a neighboring station.27 Both attacks were unsuccessful, and Ajitha was captured and imprisoned. This armed assault coordinated by a woman captured the popular imagination. She was seen in the local press and in the minds of young Naxalites as a famous revolutionary who was said to have left an imprint of her bloody hand on the walls of the police station she attacked. It was in prison, she reports in her memoirs, that, aghast at the ill treatment of women prisoners, she began to revaluate the role of women in the Naxal movement.28 She later elaborated on this realization in an interview with an Indian news organization: The women were always in an inferior position in the movement. I was highly disturbed by the loss of opportunities on account of being a woman. The men either showed a protective approach towards women or treated them as a sexual commodity. They considered the support revolutionar-

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ies got from their wives and mothers as their duty. They did not realize that these innocent women had to suffer a lot because of their actions. The police and authorities constantly harassed them. They also failed to appreciate our intellectual capacities and human feelings. Marriage was prohibited for revolutionaries as the party felt it hinders freedom. Later, however, the party allowed marriages approved by it. If anybody fell in love with those who did not like the party, it acted like a feudal lord.29

In contemporary radical peasant politics, which has built on the Naxalite movement, this concern with female sexuality continues. For example, women Naxalites, in an open letter addressed to the revolutionary (male) leadership at a 2004 gathering of various radical left parties in Andhra Pradesh, condemned the unwavering expectation that female combatants always needed to prove their virtue. The women activists also expressed their concern that this focus on chaste femininity had led to unwarranted policing of their romantic lives by the leadership.30 Contemporary Naxal women who do protest these expectations of chaste femininity are frequently labeled loose or immoral by male leadership.31 In addition to the social anxiety generated by feminine sexuality and desire, women’s role as mother also troubled this movement shaped by the image of a new man and an elite fraterinity. On one hand, activists seemed to accept a mother’s sacrifice for or support of her adult male son’s involvement in the armed movement (represented by the maternal figure in Hazaar Chaurashi ki Ma), but female activists who were concerned about their young children (even if the father was an imprisoned male Naxalite) were chastised for prioritizing their child’s needs. Indeed, glorious revolutionary femininity demanded the sacrifice of one’s children to the revolution: Women like Lina who married fellow comrades and ended up having children received no support from the Party. On the contrary, male Party ideologues proclaimed her maternal feelings to be “counterrevolutionary.” In the tradition of Telengana and other armed struggles, a true revolutionary consciousness meant the ability to sacrifice your child for the sake of a “just” cause. . . . Glorificatory histories of Naxalbari are . . . replete with images of women who left their children or even lost them to the revolutionary cause as exemplary of a heroic femininity.32

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It is interesting to note that, in this particular interpretation of muscular nationalism, women’s role as mother worked only in relation to her support for an adult male revolutionary. This interpretation of “revolutionary motherhood” is in keeping with “the long tradition of mothers who fought unwilling husbands to shelter fugitive [male] revolutionaries at the risk of their own safety and at the cost of the household.”33 However, in the Naxalites’ particular interpretation of the figure of the revolutionary, “politicized femininity” and “motherhood” could not be reconciled. The female revolutionary remained suspect, because her body (with its possibility of pregnancy) distracted her from the path of struggle with issues of “self-interest,” which, according to Charu Majumdar’s speech, had to be overcome. This complicated dynamic between a Naxal woman’s politics and her role as mother emerges in the prison memoirs of Joya Mitra. Like Krishna B, Mitra entered the movement when she was very young: In 1968, I was barely eighteen when I left my family and college to move into the village, along with several of my generation. In the villages we sought to give up all our urban habits and practices and get used to living in the villages, particularly in the manner in which the poorest of peasants lived.34

But her peripatetic political life was soon interrupted by an injury, and she was imprisoned. “After more than a year spend in hiding villages and city slums I was arrested in September 1970 from a city hideout when I was laid low with a spinal injury. For four years I remained imprisoned without a trial, and was shifted from prison to prison within the state.”35 In her memoirs, she underlines the difficult lives of both her fellow woman prisoners and the prison guards (who were former prisoners). Her sympathetic narrative powerfully depicts how women seen as “value-less” (usually because they had violated norms of chastity; these women included low-caste sex workers, poor women discarded by their family as impure because they were raped or because their husbands tired of them, and a few political prisoners like Joya herself ) negotiated a difficult and very oppressive system that showed little compassion for their lives. A major tension discussed by Mitra is the ambivalent connection between female prisoners and their children, who were allowed to remain with them until they were five or six and who were then sent to a state

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orphanage. Her text reveals a sophisticated analysis of the social construction of motherhood, emphasizing the manner in which caste and class intersect to disseminate public ideals underlying images of good and bad mothers. As the reader navigates her discussion, it remains unclear whether Joya herself is a mother, for she rarely reveals personal details about her life. However, in a rare deviation from her political exegesis, Joya does refer to her maternal role. Indeed, she mentions her feelings about her child only twice in her memoirs. In the first instance, she writes, “My days here are reasonably happy. Only, I never want to think about the potbellied, blue-eyed, one-and-a half year old daughter I left behind at home.”36 This statement hints at her ambivalent maternal emotions. One wonders if her reticence is shaped by her suspicion that perhaps politicized femininity and motherhood cannot be reconciled and if, like Charu Majumdar, she fears her political determination will collapse because of “self-interest.” Joya’s daughter surfaces again some pages later: My mother came to see me, with my little daughter. She was the only who enjoyed the farce we had to endure. We were surrounded all the time by various people, guards, the Deputy Jailor and sitting between my mother and me was a man from the Intelligence Branch writing down every word I spoke.37

After this reference, Joya’s role as mother disappears in the narrative. Other than these two brief allusions to her daughter, Joya remains silent about her maternal emotions. It is hard not to interpret this silence as rooted in the troubled dynamic between politicized femininity and motherhood in Naxal muscular nationalism. To sum up, since the woman as armed revolutionary could never be a proper representation of Naxal masculinity (Charu Majumdar’s new man), the image of an unfettered asexual female comrade surfaced to accommodate women within this vision. However, this accommodation was troubled by women whose lives were not neatly contained by this gendered construct, specifically in terms of their sexuality and maternal role. A similar context of social anxiety and suspicion of armed femininity surrounded the involvement of women in the Irish Republican Army which was rejuvenated in 1969 in the wake of a civil rights movement that began the long period of what is known as the “troubles” in Northern Ireland.

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Women and Muscular Nationalism in Ireland: The Woman Warrior An image of young Irish woman with long, flowing brown hair, dressed in a green miniskirt, and aiming a gun at an unseen target is only one of the many colorful murals lining the streets of Belfast. Several streets down, on the side of a house, the Cumann na mBan’s symbol, a silhouette of a gun drawn against the Irish flag, draws the eye toward a powerful depiction of armed femininity. Portraits of slain republican women encircle a group of women (presumably members of the Cumann na mBan) wearing black berets and marching with flags, while on the right side of this elaborate painting a woman with a machine gun stands guard.38 While modern clothing locates these feminine figures in a contemporary context, several other images remind the local populace of their turbulent anticolonial history. Thus, on Berwick Road in Belfast, the Easter Uprising is delineated in the dramatic colors of the Irish flag, while, on Hawthorn Street, a dramatic black-and-white painting of the armed members of the Cumann na mBan is flanked by portraits of Winifred Carney (a member of CB who ran for office in the 1918 election) and Nora Connolly (daughter of James Connolly, signatory of the Proclamation of the Republic), while the year 1916, written below the mural, reminds passers by of the birth of the modern Irish republic.39 These images focus on women as political actors and apparently locate them within the historical legacy of Pearsian muscular nationalism. These images mostly produced during a time period (1969–1998) when a rejuvenated IRA was most active in modern Northern Ireland indicate that this legacy was quite vibrant in the late twentieth century. Therefore, women who participated in the modern armed struggle against the British were doing so against a historical backdrop of muscular nationalism shaped by Pearse’s view of the muscular Gael, the Gaelic Athletic Association’s (GAA) salute to the athletic Irishman, and Irish Volunteer action in the War of Independence. However, as earlier in the twentieth century, women who joined the armed struggle in its later decades had to deal with floating signifiers of suffering republican motherhood that stood in dynamic tension with women warriors such as Mairead Farrell, a militant IRA member who was killed in a shootout in Gibraltar in 1988. Her words “I’ve always believed we had a legitimate right to take up arms and defend our country and ourselves against British occupation” frame a particular mural that reminds us that Mother Ireland is

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still an eloquent gendered image in modern republican nationalism. In this particular mural, a seminaked man, ribs protruding, lies on the ground after being killed. A grieving woman holding an infant toward the dead man, arms extended, looks down at him; next to her, a young man in determined military posture strides away.40 Obviously, the baby has grown up to be a warrior and is determined to avenge his father’s death. In republican culture, as articulated by this mural, men embody active resistance, while national suffering is displaced onto female bodies. Indeed, mater dolorosa, or grieving mother, is commonly used to articulate a nation’s lament. This figure is enshrined in a memorial garden on Falls Road, where, in an artistic homage to the fallen soldiers of the republican movement, there stands a Pieta-like statue of a mother cradling her adult son in her arms, mourning his death. However, as the words of Mairead Farrell and the celebration of the Cumann na mBan indicate, the complex of motherhood exists in a cultural tension with the concept of women warriors, women who inscribe their suffering on their own bodies, actively resist, and represent neither a male republican warrior nor a suffering Mother Ireland. As in the Naxal case, female sexuality and women’s maternal role troubled politicized femininity in republican muscular nationalism.

Northern Ireland and the Troubles After the partition of Ireland, parliament (Stormont) opened on June 1921 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Political and economic discrimination against Catholics were institutionalized in the Northern Irish state in the determining of electoral boundaries, housing allocation, and public employment. Discrimination was rife in the public sector, also. Further, the state supported a heavy security apparatus, which included the regular police, the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), and part-time voluntary forces (B-Specials). The Civil Authorities Act of 1922 gave police the authority to arrest and intern people without trials, conduct house searches without warrants, and impose censorship. In 1967, the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association was formed by students—the first group of working-class Catholics to receive a college education—at Queen’s University. The group focused on protesting housing discrimination and demanded that the boundaries of the electoral districts be redrawn, claiming that the existing boundaries had been gerrymandered to ensure Protestant majorities.41

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In 1969, at a critical IRA meeting, the organization split, with a vocal minority forming the Provisional IRA (or PIRA). In 1969, the PIRA published the following statement, clearly drawing on the legacy of Pearse: “We declare our allegiances to the 32-county Irish Republic proclaimed at Easter 1916, established by the First Dail Eireann in 1919, overthrown by the force of arms in 1922 and suppressed to this day by the existing British-imposed six-county and twenty six county partition states.”42 In the months that followed, a series of disturbances culminated in the suspension of the Stormont parliament, the imposition of direct rule from London, and the arrival of the British army. In August 1969, a loyalist parade passing through the republican Bogside area of Derry sparked two days of rioting. Protestant mobs and police attacked and burned houses in this predominantly Catholic district of Derry, as well as in the Catholic lower Falls road area of Belfast. The British government sent the army into Northern Ireland. Between 1971 and 1975, nearly two thousand people were arrested (interned) and held without trial on suspicion of involvement in terrorism.43 In 1972, in Derry, a protest march against interment was fired upon by British troops, and thirteen people were killed. In the aftermath of “Bloody Sunday,” many Catholics felt that this incident effectively ended their hope that constitutional means could be used to achieve their goal of a united Ireland. Recruitment to PIRA increased, and Northern Irish Catholics withdrew their consent from the Protestant-dominated Unionist government. Edward Heath, the British prime minister, suspended rule from Stormont and introduced direct rule from Westminster.44 From the very beginning, women joined the struggle as members of the Cumann na mBan. This changed, however, when the IRA was split into the Officials and Provisionals. Women were inducted into the Officials, but the PIRA retained the Cumann na mBan. Officials declared a permanent ceasefire and ceased to function as a paramilitary organization in 1972. After that time, women joined the PIRA. As the decade passed, women became more and more involved, not just as couriers or intelligence gatherers but as combatants. Between 1977 and 1978, the CB was disbanded and its members absorbed into the IRA.45 However, as the figures of the passive Kathleen ni Houlihan and the suffering mother, continued to frame republican images of nation, women in the IRA still negotiated a complicated path in the terrain of armed struggle, and

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the woman warrior needed to contend with stringent notions of heteronormative chastity. A major consequence of this adherence to a chaste womanhood was the notion that an IRA woman lost her “innocence” (read: purity) because of her use of violence and that this loss was further exacerbated if she had been imprisoned. This tension was articulated by Mairead Farrell: “In the prison, we used to slag, and say ‘Mother Ireland, get off our backs.’ Because it just didn’t represent what we believed in. Maybe at one time. But not now. We’ve been through all that and we’re not going back. We’re going forward.”46 But Mother Ireland is hard to dislodge, and when women attempted to do so, especially through violence and imprisonment as a result of their militant politics, they came up against expectations of “proper” womanhood based on notions of chaste and virtuous conduct and the fear that their presence would emasculate the revolution. These two discourses merged on the body of a woman warrior in provocative ways. For example, a male IRA member made the following comment: Prison would be hard on a woman, more so than a man. If you are in the Ra [IRA] and end up in prison you’re lucky. When I first joined the Ra they said, “You’ll either be maimed or killed and if you’re lucky, just have to spend your life in prison.” I think prison saved my life. It didn’t age me at all. But it hurts the women. They’re not the same. The women in the Ra are a little wild to begin with, but they can become rude when they’re on the outside. They are good girls, just wilder than most women [my emphasis].47

Female IRA activists were clearly aware of the social suspicion surrounding their roles as warriors for the cause: The people here definitely view us differently than they do the men. For instance there is always a big party for a man when he gets out of prison. A hero’s return. I didn’t have such a welcome home. It was as if, “Thank Jesus that’s over, now I can get my dinner on the table.” They also look at us differently than other women. First off, if we were in prison we weren’t having wee ones which is what we were supposed to be doing. I think if my husband could have got me pregnant in jail he would have, because that was what he was supposed to be doing. A lot of men think I’m wild because I

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did my whack, because women aren’t supposed to be doing the same thing that the men are in this war [my italics].48

These extracts echo the “frenzied furies” image unleashed by the social anxiety caused by female activism in the Cumann na mBan. Women of the IRA are depicted as “wild,” and, although this is not specified, this notion of wildness turns on the idea of female virtue and chastity. Put another way, imprisonment and the use of political violence have sullied their “chaste” bodies. As the female activist quoted claims, “if we were in prison we weren’t having wee ones which is what were supposed to be doing”; another asserted that she needed to repress her sexual desires when she came out of prison, whereas male sexual desire was acknowledged and satiated triumphantly: Aye men think I’m wild because I was in prison. My marriage broke up when I was in prison. When the men get out of prison women line up to welcome the men back from his years of celibacy. Those women, who would go off for the night with the men weren’t wild, but I was, because I came back from prison just as horny as any of the men [my italics].49

Again, we see that the image of armed femininity cannot accommodate explicit female sexuality and that women who are located in the borderlands between martial man and chaste woman are viewed as wild because they are transgressing the boundaries of proper womanhood. This notion is emphatically endorsed by another republican female prisoner, “You’re sexless in jail. . . . So you literally become sexless. The vulnerabilities that would have made you female no longer exist. You push them out of the road as quick as humanly possible to survive, literally just to survive. Jail did that to me. It strips you of your femaleness, it really does.”50 But the image of the sexless woman prisoner was frequently destabilized not only by her sexuality but also by her maternal role. Like Joya Mitra and other Naxalite women who struggled with their maternal concerns, IRA women also grappled with the contradictions that can arise between their roles as glorious revolutionary and as mother. Many of the imprisoned women, such as Mairead Farrell, were not mothers or wives, so this enabled the fiction of a desexualized female comrade. But others straddled the borders between political woman and mother in complicated ways:

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My husband was already interned, and I had children of my own and foster children. So that was seven kids left. My sister was already in jail at this point. There was nowhere for them. My brother-in-law took them in.51 I remember even when I got out and was sitting talking with my sister. One asked me, “what do you reckon about the kids?” I said, ”I’m going to say something sounds really terrible, but I deliberately didn’t think about the kids.” If I had thought about the kids I would have been broke, I would have broke like a plate.52 I could not accept I was a mother. I had my own independence in jail, looked after number one, or else the girls [other prisoners]. Then all of a sudden, sitting there with two children, “what am I supposed to do here?”53

The first activist reveals her difficulties with finding caregivers for her children, the second, like Joya, shut her mind to maternal emotions, while the last was not able to accept her role as mother upon her return. All of these perspectives underline the tense dynamic between the figure of a sexless comrade and the reality of femininity in muscular nationalism. To sum up, the troubling dynamic between the female body and the legacy of Pearsian images of chastity and virtue complicated the position of women in the IRA’s struggle. This social contestation surrounding militant political femininity is most dramatically illustrated by the Armagh dirty protest, where the body itself became the tool of activism in the landscape of muscular nationalism.

Armagh Women By 1972, there were 236 women political prisoners in Northern Ireland.54 In early 1974, women prisoners in Armagh prison, north of Belfast, organized themselves along paramilitary lines, indicating their determination to construct themselves as warriors for the nation: “We had parades in the yard, because before we went on the ‘no-wash,’ we were allowed out for a couple of hours of association. That was keeping your Republican identity. We had our Easter parades and other commemorations on the Republican calendar. We used to practice marching and drilling for weeks and weeks.”55 After 1976, the British government removed the women’s political status and the prison conditions that went with that status for incoming prisoners

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in an attempt to define IRA members as “terrorists” and “criminals,” rather than soldiers in an anticolonial war. This also meant that paramilitary influences and structures were dismantled and not recognized by prison authorities. Thirty-two women sentenced after March 1976 embarked on a campaign of noncooperation by refusing to engage in compulsory prison work, withdrawing from educational programs, and refusing to conform to prison discipline. This led not only to the removal of privileges, such as letters and visits, but also to increased use of physical intervention and control. Noncooperating prisoners were moved to a segregated wing and, following a disturbance on February 7, 1980, were locked in their prisons without access to toilets or other facilities. These events precipitated the dirty protest.56 Women mostly in their early twenties refused to wash or use toilets, wear clean clothes, or accept clean bed sheets. They smeared excrement and menstrual blood on the cell walls. As a punishment, they were locked in their cells for twenty-three hours and allowed only an hour for exercise.57 One of the prisoners, Rosemary Callaghan, described the origins of the protest as follows: At around 3.45 p.m. on Thursday 7th Feb. numerous male and female screws [prison guards] invaded my cell in order to get me down to the governor. They charged in, in full riot gear equipped with shields. I sat unprotected but aware of what was going to happen as I had heard my comrades screaming in pain. I was suddenly pinned to the bed by a shield and the weight of a male screw on top of me. Then my shoes were dragged off my feet. There followed so much confusion that it is really hard to describe the full extent of my ordeal. I was just bodily assaulted— thumped, trailed and brutally kicked. I was then trailed out of my cell, and during the course of my being dragged and hauled from the wing, both my breasts were exposed to the jeering and mocking eyes of all the screws (male and female)—there must have been about twenty of them. While being carried, I was also abused with punches to the back of my head and stomach. The whole episode for me was totally embarrassing and degrading. I was eventually carried into the governor—my breasts were still exposed. While I was held by the screws the governor carried out the adjudication and I was then trailed back and thrown into the cell.58

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Mairead Farrell, the commanding officer of the women in Armagh, offered the following depiction of the conditions in the prison cells when the dirty protest was at its zenith: It is six weeks now since we were forced onto the no-wash protest, six weeks since we last washed, six since we have changed our clothing. . . . There are 32 here on A wing all protestors. . . . The cells are filthy, excrement covers the walls, the floors no longer visible through the lumps of fluff, dust and dirt. The stench of urine and excrement clings to the cells and our bodies. No longer can we empty the pots of urine and excrement out the windows, as the male screws have boarded them up. Little light or air penetrates the thick boarding. . . . For 23 hours a day we lie in these cells, we have one hour’s exercise each day.59

This action taken on by the women prisoners complicated the position of armed femininity in muscular nationalism in several ways. First, women, by picking up arms and organizing around paramilitary lines, had effaced their sexuality, becoming desexualized warriors. Like Margaret Skinnider and Countess Markievicz, women like Mairead Farrell occupied a shadowy space between normative masculinity and femininity. I hesitate to argue that they had become gender neutral, but certainly their womanhood had receded to the background. However, with the appearance of menstrual blood on the walls of Armagh, female sexuality came to the foreground. Second, given the common cultural association of menstruation with pollution, this symbol of femininity was deeply transgressive within the contours of muscular nationalism. Women publicly smearing menstrual blood on their cell walls certainly did not fit the image of a pure, model Irish woman. On August 22, 1980, the journalist Nell McCafferty wrote in The Irish Times, “There is menstrual blood on the walls of Armagh Prison in Northern Ireland. The 32 women on dirt strike there have not washed their bodies since February 8th, 1980; they use their cells as toilets; for over 200 days now they have lived amid their own excreta, urine and blood.”60 Given the almost iconic status of Nell McCafferty’s article in feminist discussions of the protest, her explicit reference to a bodily function associated only with women was a pivotal moment in the gendering of modern republican muscular nationalism.

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When women used their bodies as a tool during the dirty protest, the blood explicitly sexed them, and the fiction of a desexualized female warrior could not be maintained; the warrior had, unequivocally, become a woman. However, the physicality of politicized femininity was hard to accept: “Sinead Moore who served seven years for possessing revolvers, explained: ‘The movement said, “Poor girls, it is bad enough for them to be in prison, they shouldn’t have to take part in the no wash”’”61 This social discomfort is further demonstrated by the observations of Tim Coogan, a journalist for The Irish Times, about the Armagh women: “‘The Dirty Protest is bad enough to contemplate when men are on it, but it becomes even worse when it is embarked on by women, who, apart from the psychological and hygienic pressures which this type of protest generates, also have the effects of menstrual cycle to contend with.’”62 It is interesting to note that the “effects of the menstrual cycle” are separated out from general “psychological and hygienic pressures” and categorized as a unique physical marker. Since only women menstruate, this clearly underlines an underlying dis-ease with female bodies and revolutionary politics. Further, it should be noted that the dirty protest, whether undertaken by male or female bodies, was a radical reappropriation of the British conception of the Irish as barbaric and uncivilized. The “simianization” of the Irish found in British political cartoons during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries was not merely a part of distant history at the time of the Amargh protest. As soon as the British troops entered Northern Ireland and Stormont was suspended, the Irish, who had been forgotten over the past fifty years, re-entered British political culture: “In 1977. . . the Sunday Times summed up the prevailing attitude, announcing that, ‘The notorious problem is how a civilised country can overpower uncivilised people without becoming less civilised in the process.’”63 Such comments were punctuated with cartoons depicting the familiar simianized figures emanating either menace or irrational buffoonery.64 The London press used the Armagh protest to delegitimize the entire republican campaign by representing it as hysterical, attention seeking, and trivial, using the common trope of the “dirty” Irish to describe the Armagh women as “the effluent brigade which has tried to prove something or other for Mother Ireland . . . by sitting in its own excrement.”65 In this context, the dirty protest remained a provocative challenge to the denigration of Irish bodies in the British media.

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After ten months spent in gruesome conditions and under complete lockdown, the women in Armagh stepped up their actions when Mairead Farrell, together with two women, joined the men who had been on a hunger strike since October for the reinstatement of five demands: no prison work, the right to wear their own clothing, freedom of association, access to educational and recreational facilities and to visits and letters, and restoration of remission. These women took their decision in the face of IRA leadership disapproval. The hunger strike was halted on October 3, 1981, following the deaths of ten male prisoners by starvation.66 To sum up, in the period known in Irish political history as the “troubles,” the legacy of Pearsian muscular nationalism was a vital part of the political context. Women in the IRA expressed a politicized femininity that existed in uneasy juxtaposition with the politics of modern Irish republicanism structured around the figures of a muscular male warrior and a suffering mother. The male body denoted action, while colonized Ireland’s suffering was displaced onto the passive female body. However, female warriors like Mairead Farrell and the rest of the Armagh women disrupted this dichotomy by resisting actively and refusing to suffer quietly. Within the politics of muscular nationalism, politicized, even armed femininity retained a contested status as the physicality of women’s bodies—expressed by their sexuality and maternal role—disrupted the binary of martial male versus chaste woman that underlay the vision of women’s bodies as border guards for the nation.

Conclusion Armagh and Naxal women left home, became politically active, and frequently picked up arms to join their male comrades in the fight for a specific vision of imagined community. However, both these interpretations of muscular nationalism, still haunted by a historical legacy of chaste womanhood, could not seamlessly accommodate such an expression of female political activism. Politicized femininity troubled rigid dichotomies of gender based on images of chaste and virtuous wives and mothers who were to support and/or be protected by male warriors. A major source of the “gender trouble” they sparked centered on a dis-ease with explicit female sexuality and motherhood. Krishna Bandyopadhayay and the anonymous female IRA activist both attested to the complicated role of female desire, while Joya Mitra,

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together with various IRA prisoners, emphasized their troubled relationship with motherhood. However, in Ireland, the appearance of menstrual blood on the walls of Armagh unequivocally constructed IRA warriors as women. When republican women explicitly illustrated their feminine embodiment, republican muscular nationalism was forced to accept the entire physical fact of women as warriors. A similar dynamic, although one perhaps not as dramatic, occurred when Krishna Bandhyopadhyay demanded that her comrades accept the fact of female sexual harassment in the Naxalite movement. This demand exploded the myth constructed by male activists like Dron that the comrades were gender neutral and brought to the fore the physicality of female bodies. Women will always maintain a contentious relationship with martial prowess, especially in muscular nationalism. However, both the Naxalite and the Armagh women traced a provocative political path to both reveal and destabilize this dynamic.

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Who Is a Proper Woman i n t h e N at i o n ? Femininity in the Roop Kanwar Immolation and the 2004 Irish Citizenship Referendum

O

n September 4, 1987, in the town of Deorala, Roop Kanwar, an eighteenyear-old widow, burnt to death on the funeral pyre of her husband, Maal Singh. While no pictures or reliable eye witness accounts of her death are available, according to journalistic reports, village lore claims that she walked calmly to her death, dressed in wedding finery. She had been married for eight months and had spent only a few weeks of her wedded life with her husband, an ailing young man with reported mental problems. Many celebrated Kanwar’s death as sati, in which a woman demonstrates her purity, or sat, by mounting her husband’s funeral pyre as evidence of pativrata, or husband devotion. The religious power of the performance stems from the awesome spectacle of a woman’s ability for sacrifice based on her dedication to certain normative values of virtue. In terms of muscular nationalism, this death could be interpreted as signifying both a nation’s honor and its moral borders. About two decades later, in June 2004, citizens of the Republic of Ireland voted overwhelmingly in favor of a referendum restricting Irish citizenship by birth to children who had at least one parent who held or was entitled to hold Irish citizenship. Public debates leading up to this historic vote centered on the meaning, value, and embodiment of “Irishness.” Although this was not explicitly stated, Pearsian muscular nationalism intersected with notions of whiteness to construct the black female body as a threat to the Irish nation. Put another way, black women and their Irish-born children interrupted the prominent position of white womanhood as national border guards and therefore destabilized a historical interpretation of Irish identity tied to Pearse and the women of the Cumann na mBan. Roop Kanwar’s death and the referendum, although separated by time, geography, and cultural context, drew on common notions of women’s role •

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as border guards in postcolonial muscular nationalism. By unpacking these two events, this chapter illuminates the location of chaste femininity in the moral economy of the nation from a perspective slightly different from that assumed in the previous chapters. Rather than focusing on the political action expressed by female bodies, it highlights the manner in which the chaste feminine body expresses the moral boundaries of the nation. Indeed, the social anxiety surrounding politicized femininity derives in large part from the role of women as border guards of the nation. Roop Kanwar’s immolation unfolded in the context of a muscular nationalism that fused the concept of a Hindu India with armed masculinity. Put another way, the community that defined India was constructed with a reverence for Hindu divinities, epics, and myths. A popular slogan used by proponents of this view of India puts it succinctly: Jo Hindu hit ki baat karega, wohi desh pe raj karega [Those who speak of Hindu rights / Shall take the throne of might]. This idea of Hindu nation or Hindutva is animated by an idea of manhood associated with martial prowess, muscular strength, and toughness. This contemporary Hindu interpretation of muscular nationalism and the associated ideas of womanhood are found in the ideological discourse of a group of organizations, including the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (Sangh or RSS) and the Viswa Hindu Parishad (or VHP), as well as popular political parties such as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiv Sena. Although these groups have ideological differences, it would not be unreasonable to posit that an armed male body and associated ideas of female virtue delineating national boundaries are centrally located in all their interpretations of Hindutva.1 Further, this notion of Hinduness and masculinity privileges the upper castes, as, explicitly or implicitly, feminine virtue is seen as embodied best by high-caste women, Roop Kanwar’s Rajput background and the notion that her performance of virtue shored up a declining caste prestige eloquently articulate the caste discourse, as does the fact that Hindutva leadership and organizational membership are usually dominated by the upper castes. Public discussions leading up to the 2004 citizenship referendum in the Republic of Ireland unfolded in a political context that had seemingly moved away from Pearsian muscular nationalism and that faced very little challenge to its tolerant secularism. However, as this chapter illuminates, echoes of this legacy shaped the debates that constructed the fertile female black body as

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symbolizing a threat to the Irish nation. These two events do not provide an elegantly symmetrical comparison, but they do illustrate the multiple ways in which a legacy of muscular nationalism can literally construct women’s bodies as the canvas for a certain vision of the postcolonial nation. Although the socioeconomic contexts have changed since the early twentieth century, the focus on the virtuous woman as the border guard of the nation lingers on. In the Indian context, Roop Kanwar’s death was an eloquent articulation of this focus.

Roop Kanwar and Modern Hindu Muscular Nationalism In the Hindutva articulation of muscular nationalism, ideas of manhood are animated not so much by an effeminate Other but rather by a fear of a hypermasculine enemy that necessitates the recovery of a lost manhood to resist the erosion of Hindu political presence, even dominance, in India. Put another way, Hindutva ideologues repeatedly link the decline of Hindu glory to a decaying martial spirit. According to this perspective, Hindus were conquered first by Muslim rulers and then by the British—both articulated variously as mighty warriors and/or sexual predators—because of the erosion of manhood (read: muscular strength and military might). For example, when asked about his views on the atrocities committed in the riots against Muslims in the 2002 Ahmedabad riots, Haraeshbhai Bhatt, the central vice president of the Bajrang Dal (an ardent proponent of what I term Hindu muscular nationalism and the youth wing of another Hindu nationalist organization, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, or VHP) and a key founding member of the Dal in Gujarat, replied: There was no rioting. This was just an expression of the way the majority community [Hindus] has felt. For years, Hindus have been pushed around. There is no outcry when Amarnath pilgrims are murdered or Hindus are massacred in Kashmir. . . . How is it that when innocent men, women and children are burnt alive in a train in Godhra there is no outrage but when Muslims die in riots there is such a hue and cry?  .  .  . The Hindu samaj [society] is reacting here. . . . We have our ways. But it all revolves around Hindu anger.2

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This extract implies that Hindu deaths have not been sufficiently mourned or avenged because Hindus have become weak and passive (read: effeminate). Consequently, it is time for Hindu society to push back by unleashing an anger mediated through male bodies representing aggression and martial prowess. Therefore, in an attempt to resist perceived humiliation over time, Hindutva ideology centers the retrieval of manhood. In conjunction with the realization of a lost masculine ethos, Hindu muscular nationalism highlights the role of women as border guards of the nation. Indeed, the masculine is reliant on the virtuous woman. In short, Hindu male martial spirit loses some of its value if female chastity fails to be a dominant symbol of the national community. This is eloquently articulated in the following texts circulated by the Dal. The first is a pamphlet outlining the Dal’s goals, and the second is a tract that appeared during the 2002 riots in Gujarat. To protect the country i.e. mother India To raise a loud voice against people criticising Hindu society To protect religion and culture To work for the protection of Hindu women (sister and daughter) To fight against anti-national elements To crusade against cow-slaughter To conduct an awareness campaign against trapping of Hindu girls by Muslims and anti-national activities of Christian missionaries Bajrang Dal means national power—Hindu power World creator mother Jagdamba, she is Durga mata, she is Bharatmata.3

The volcano which as inactive for years has erupted . . . We have untied the penises which were tied till now . . . We have widened the tight vaginas of the “bibis” [term for married Muslim women].4

Both these texts assume the notion of women as border guards. Note that the first explicitly argues that the goal of the Bajrang Dal is to protect the honor (measured by chastity) of Hindu women (mainly defined as mother, sister, and daughter), while the second, with its reference to “untied penises” and “tight vaginas,” assumes that Hindu masculinity is shored up

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by the rape of Muslim women. Put another way, the enemy of the Hindu nation is dishonored by an attack on the chastity of their—Muslim— women. Further, the notion of untying again refers to the notion that Hindus were meek and effeminate until recently and have finally retrieved their manhood. This idea of manhood was eloquently captured by the image of a male Hindu activist holding a staff, his face distorted in anger, depicted on the cover of the March 11, 2002, issue of Outlook, an Indian news magazine. Further, the reconfiguration of the Hindu deity Ram as an aggressive masculine warrior also illustrates this emerging masculinity. Artistically, most traditional Indian statuary of Ram depicts him as androgynous and unmuscled, displaying curves that could be considered feminine and hence unacceptable to muscular nationalism. Recently, in Hindutva iconography, Ram has been transformed to reflect armed masculinity. In the Hindutva posters that covered the walls of Indian cities during an agitation for a Ram temple in Ayodhya, the divine icon’s muscles rippled as he towered over a Hindu temple, protecting it against aggressors.5 This image of armed masculinity does not exist in isolation but also draws meaning from claiming a dynamic reciprocity with female virtue. The following extract from a leader of Durga Vahini (a women’s group associated with the VHP) illustrates this image of femininity: “If a woman in a mother’s role is not samskarsheel [of a good moral character and adhering to the values of Hindu dharma] no section of the society can be virtuous. Good character of a woman is very essential for the well-being of society.”6 In the logic of Hindu muscular nationalism, armed manhood and chaste femininity express a cultural dualism that shapes the imagined Indian community. It is important to stress that this view of nation did not emerge in a material vacuum. instead, it unfolded against a context of political and economic anxiety that may have heightened the salience of armed masculinity and models of female behavior rooted in notions of chastity and purity. Failing industries, political stagnation, increasing unemployment, and growing inequities have created this anxiety as common folks saw their quality of life suffering while the state failed to renew infrastructure and provide services. Against this context, armed masculinity denoting action, resolution, and, most important, the willingness to strike back and seize one’s rightful share of the benefits was an extremely powerful cultural construct. While male Hindu warriors resisted political and economic decay, their women, pure and chaste,

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were with them in the fray. An emphasis on the chastity of women (read: control of female sexuality) during times of social uncertainty can be interpreted as a form of resistance to uncontrollable external changes. Certainly, scholars have argued that regulation of female sexuality occurs in a context in which patriarchal authority structures are being challenged as economic changes enable the entry of women into the labor force and facilitate the rise of female-headed households.7 So it is not unreasonable to surmise that this form of control becomes a form of resistance to political decay situated in a national discourse in which women’s bodies and womanhood represent the nation and define national boundaries. Consequently, controlling women and womanhood may be read as a metaphorical control of the nation. However, as the following discussion of Hindu muscular nationalism and women demonstrates, these normative ideals of aggressive manhood and chaste femininity do not construct passive women but reveal a rather more complicated position for women in the politics of Hindutva.

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has been the most consistent and articulate institutional voice of Hindutva in India. Founded in 1925 by Dr. Keshav Baliram Hedgewar, it remains a dominant advocate of this perspective, efficiently disseminating its ideology through local centers of activity known as shakhas. Although Hedgewar remains revered as the founding father, it was actually the second sarsanghchalak, or supreme head, of the RSS, M. S. Golwalkar, who synthesized and consolidated its ideology in various texts, the most famous being Bunch of Thoughts, first published in 1966. This section draws on this publication to reveal the location of “manhood” as a dominant metaphor ordering the RSS’s vision of nation.

Shakha and Masculinity Every morning, night, and evening, young men and boys gather in open spaces in rural and urban India to participate in the daily activities of the RSS shakha. There are about forty thousand shakhas, with between ten and eighty volunteers each, scattered throughout the country.8 Golwalkar’s description of shakha routine reveals an almost elegaic celebration of a unified, disciplined

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brotherhood.9 The shakhas provide the public fora in which boys and men are taught the proper ideals of manliness necessary for creation of the true patriot: discipline, martial prowess, and loyalty to the collective, in this case, the nation imagined as Mother India. In other words, “being a man” is necessary for national glory: “Today, more than anything else, Mother needs such men—young, intelligent, dedicated and more than all virile and masculine.”10 Manliness indicates the nation’s resolve to overcome the internal effeminacy that remains the greatest threat to its strength and never to allow an external aggressor to subjugate its people: After all, nations can stand only upon the solid foundation of their organized strength. . . . Then, what are the qualities required of individuals who will form the living limbs of such an organized strength? . . . The first thing is invincible physical strength. We have to be so strong that none in the whole world will be able to overawe and subdue us. For that, we require strong and healthy bodies. . . . Swami Vivekananda used to say, “I want men with muscles of iron and nerves of steel.” He himself was like that. Finding that some co-disciples were always sitting down and shedding tears, he would thunder, “That is not bhakti [faith]. That is nervous weakness. Don’t sit down and weep like little girls.” What do we see today when we look at ourselves in a mirror? Do we find any sign of manliness and strength? . . . Without an able body, we cannot achieve anything. Even to see God, a healthy and strong body is required. God is not for the weak.  .  .  . The present-day fashion of our young men of decorating the skin and discarding the sinews must be given up and they should, with proper exercises and healthy habits, develop strong bodies capable of . . . undergoing all the hardships of life with good cheer.11

By acknowledging his debt to Vivekananda, an ardent advocate of manliness, he reinvigorates ideas of masculine Hinduism within the RSS brand of Hindutva. On one hand, he admits that Hindu manhood should move beyond physical prowess and martial ability to incorporate self-sacrifice, service, restraint, and displine; on the other hand, for example, writing during Indian actions during the 1965 Indo-Pakistan war, he conflates masculinity and might:

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Our valiant Jawans have given lie direct to that mischievous propaganda and proved that every son of soil inherits the blood of those peerless ancestors. They have projected before the world the real mighty image of Bharatmata with Her millions of arms raised to strike down evil forces on the face of the earth.12

This selection, rich in imagery and icons, weaves together various strands of cultural imagination to create the tapestry that reflects Golwalkar’s and, as a consequence, the RSS’s image of Hindu manhood. The valiant jawans, or foot soldiers of the Indian army, are glorified. “Jawan” also means young and muscular; although it is not necessarily gender specific, it usually connotes a male body. Further, the jawans, according to Golwalkar, both protect Bharat Mata (Mother India) and signify her martial power. To sum up, masculine Hinduism, interpreted in terms of physical strength and martial ability, is the center of RSS muscular nationalism. However, as for the Irish Volunteers and the Anushilan Samiti, warriorhood is wedded to celibacy and asceticism, indicating that female sexuality remains a threat to a brotherhood united in its pursuit of a Hindu muscular nation. The role of pracharak, an important position, in the RSS hierarchy draws on Vivekananda’s vision of the warrior monk. Pracharaks, men who have dedicated their life to the RSS, are celibate and ascetic. It seems logical that women would be marginal to these interpretations of Hindu muscular nationalism, but women of the Rashtriya Sevika Samiti (hereafter Samiti), as well as those associated with the VHP, the BJP, and Shiv Sena, have seized a robust political space in this view of nation, negotiating a complicated path in the political terrain and balancing activism and virtue. Indeed, as the following pages reveal, women enter the space of muscular nationalism by relying on their embodiment and advocacy of chastity and virtue.

Women of the Rashtriya Sevika Samiti, the Bharatiya Janata Party, and Shiv Sena Founded in 1936 by Lakshmibai Kelkar, the Samiti was established as the women’s wing of the Sangh. Kelkar’s original demand was for women to join the RSS, but, faced with Hedgewar’s refusal, she came up with an equal but complementary compromise, illustrated by the creation of the Samiti.13

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The Samiti women I have met over the years have been articulate women who cleverly negotiate their way in a patriarchal society (although they may not describe their society as such).14 It is also worth mentioning that all have been welcoming and very eager for me to understand and appreciate the ideology and rationale of their organization. In a way, my interaction with them was an interesting negotiation through an ideology centered on women’s role as mother. This is reflected by my conversations with a number of Samiti women. I spoke to Radhaji, a pracharika, or full-time Samiti activist, based in New Delhi, who described the Samiti’s work among young women as centered on weekly meetings and annual camps. In these arenas, young women participate in physical exercise, learn about Hindu myths, and join group discussions. When I asked her about the topics of discussion, she looked at me and asked, “What do Canadian women speak of?” I answered, “They discuss juggling home and work, being mothers and workers.” “Then Canadian women,” answered Radhaji, “are not so different from us.”15 Motherhood emerged in other conversations. For example, Mitaji, a lawyer and active member of the Samiti, assured me that her work outside the home did not detract from her duties as wife or mother.16 Lataji, who is a retired schoolteacher and who has spent forty years as an active Samiti member, reiterated these ideas. Her daughters, one a college professor and the other a computer programmer, also voiced their support for the need to prioritize maternal responsibilities over all others.17 However, not all women of the Samiti work outside the home. I met women, such as Neetaji, who were stay-at-home wives and mothers. Neetaji avidly read the daily newspaper, disseminated her ideas through letters to the editors, and led weekly local Samiti meetings. She made it clear that she chose to stay at home because, according to Hindu tradition, being a good wife and mother represents the highest ideal for a woman.18 In April 1998, I attended a large meeting of the Samiti in Mumbai, India. My visit to the Samiti shakha was coordinated by Kamalatai, Hematai, and Sheelatai, three older women who had been involved in the Samiti for many years. All three were strong, articulate women dedicated to the Samiti. The Mumbai meeting took place in a local school. At the back of the room where we met, a large poster depicted a beautiful woman superimposed onto a map of India. This was the Devi Ashtabhuja, or the eight-armed goddess, embodying the Indian nation. I watched young girls go through a series of calisthen-

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ics and then brandish wooden daggers while striking aggressive poses. The girls ranged in age from eleven to twenty-one years of age. All were in school, ambitious and self-confident. I spoke to a young married woman who had just begun a master’s program in education. She informed me that all was going well because her husband and in-laws approved of her decision to study, and, furthermore, she made sure that her household duties were not neglected. A group of young girls gathered around us to listen. They, too, referred to the necessity of privileging the roles of wife and mother over all other roles a middle-class woman can choose to play in contemporary Indian society. It is worth mentioning that many of the participants in this Samiti event were of upper-caste background (usually Maratha or Brahmin). But their martial performance introduced a certain perspective on motherhood. The juxtaposition of India imagined as a warrior goddess with young Indian women wielding daggers embodies a particular way in which women can enter the terrain of Hindu muscular nationalism. The immediate reason given for a woman’s need to protect herself is the fear of rape (read: sullying of virtue) by unknown assailants in public spaces.19 The Samiti claims that women must embody traits of armed masculinity—martial prowess and physical hardiness—not only to protect Mother India but also to prevent non-Hindu foreigners from attacking her daughters. The Samiti is very aware that its program for the sevikas (Samiti activists), comprising physical training, long periods of absence from home, and discussions aimed at creating able decision makers, may be perceived as disrupting norms within the Hindu family and as requiring improper behavior for bodies (read: women) that function as border guards of a moral nation. The radical implications of these ideas is contained by a familiar model of female behavior—one not threatening to the landscape of muscular nationalism—motherhood.20 The Samiti defines its mission as the creation of Hindu mothers who are involved in economic decision making as well as being politically active. This interpretation of motherhood was not constructed in a social vacuum. Under Kelkar’s leadership, the Samiti acknowledged that social and economic forces were changing the Indian landscape and women’s roles within it. Clearly, the Samiti was becoming aware that, whether by choice or because of economic need, middle-class women were leaving the home to earn a living, and this movement brought with it a new set of social considerations.21

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The Samiti circumscribes the radical potential of woman in her guise as mother or wife by using the ideological discourse of virtue. Full-time Samiti activists or pracharikas have to take a vow of celibacy. The figure of the asexual woman is linked to a harmonious, idealized view of the Hindu family intended to counteract any apprehension that an active female presence in Hindu nationalism will dilute masculine Hinduism and seduce men away from their duty. This idealized family is used adroitly to both explain and resist charges of male dominance in Indian society. It seems that the existence of such a traditional, uncomplicated view of family, alongside the more complex and dynamic view of women and their roles in the family within the Samiti discourse, highlights the organization’s reluctance to deal with social complications—domestic violence, incest, sexual assault—that arise from focusing too closely on the multiplicity of women’s lives and their roles in the family. Indeed the issue of male dominance and violence in a Hindu woman’s life is skillfully linked to women’s glorious role as mother: “we come across numerous cases of high handedness, rape, dominance of males on females in a house and giving inferior status to women. . . . To protect our society from all these vices, glory based on morality will have to be addressed, and let us rest assured that the concept of Mother Power will serve as panacea for all social ills.”22 Thus, woman’s role as mother becomes a form of resistance against patriarchal oppression, implying that if a woman embodies motherhood in a proper and chaste manner, no one dare challenge this awesome maternal power through harassment or violence. One can only assume that, according to this line of logic, if patriarchal injustices continue, this can be explained by women not having expressed their power of motherhood (via chaste behavior) in a robust manner. This valorization of maternal power and its links to a heteronormativity anchored in virtuous womanhood, with its focus on husband devotion, was a topic of discussion I avoided challenging in my interaction with Samiti members, as it was seemingly an important foundational assumption that undergirded their role in muscular nationalism. This dynamic between motherhood and activism was also echoed at a BJP women’s rally I attended in Nashik that same year. I negotiated a similar path between agreement with the challenge women face in finding a balance between work and private life and the contextual background of chaste femininity in muscular nationalism. Nishigandha Mogal, elected from a constituency in Nashik and a member of the Maharashtra assembly, chaired this

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women’s meeting. Given that most of the women were married and had children, the fact that they were present at an evening political forum after the work day was over indicated that they had some freedom in terms of their activities in the public sphere. When encouraged by Mogal, I asked them what issues were most important for their lives. Most of the women at the meeting declared that attempting to juggle full-time jobs (as teachers, journalists, government clerks, or bank tellers) and their domestic duties was their major preoccupation. At the same time, the discussion quickly turned to the importance of motherhood and wifehood in a woman’s life and the idea that women should let these roles determine their lives, no matter the cost. Lest I see them as feminist (i.e., as challenging women’s duty as wife and mother in the Hindu family), the women repeatedly assured me of their devotion to their husbands and children. As with the Samiti women, I avoided querying too closely the consequences of the conflation of chaste femininity and the power of motherhood within the context of Hindutva. The interesting negotiation undertaken by both Samiti and BJP women between political agency and the ideas of proper femininity that informed their role as border guards is reflected in the words of the activist from the VHP’s Mahila Vibhag (or women’s wing): “We have to awaken women. We do not want women’s liberation but nari shakti [female power]. We want that as a mother or as a wife a woman should have power—nari shakti.”23 Put another way, in the terrain of muscular nationalism, power derived from women’s roles as wives or mothers assuages any social anxiety arising from a strong female presence in the political arena, and these normative gendered roles still maintain women’s chastity as border guards. Suspicion of women’s political agency can be further heightened if women use violence as an entry point into Hindu muscular nationalism. This includes both female incitement of male violence and women’s active participation in destruction of life and property. Interestingly, both these actions are centered on a concern with female virtue and chastity. For example, violence against the enemy becomes a sign of manhood (a need to protect national honor), and women shame men by effeminizing them either through symbolic action (e.g, offering them bangles) or verbal abuse.24 The weakness that shapes this effeminacy is rooted in an inability to protect Hindu women and children. This link between violence and femininity within Hindutva is most emphatically expressed by women in the politics of Shiv Sena.

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It should be noted that women of the Shiv Sena although not as well organized as the Samiti, also do not interpret motherhood and wifehood as passive roles in the nation. Women shiv sainiks (literally, warriors of Shiva) participated in the sectarian violence that shook Mumbai in 1992 in the wake of the destruction of the Babri mosque in Ayodhya and vandalized movie theaters in 1998 to protest screenings of the Canadian filmmaker Deepa Mehta’s film Fire. The story of this film revolves around the attraction between two sisters-in-law, Sita and Radha, married to two brothers, Jatin and Ashok. The Shiv Sena’s moral outrage against the film centered on the depiction of samesex love. Meena Kambli, local leader of the party’s women’s wing (mahila aghadi), led the attack in two theaters in Mumbai; after the violence, which included extensive property damage, ended, Kambli explained the motives behind such an extreme form of political protest: “Films like Fire have a bad influence on Hindu culture. The majority of women in our society do not even know about things like lesbianism. Why expose them to it?”25 Meena Kulkarni, another Shiv Sena member, claimed, “If women’s physical needs get fulfilled through lesbian acts, the institution of marriage will collapse, reproduction of human beings will stop.”26 In terms of muscular nationalism, it is interesting to note that the women shiv sainiks justified their involvement in the Fire protests by claiming that their goal was to police female virtue. In other words, any social anxiety emerging from the sight of women throwing chairs and smashing glass display cases in the foyer of urban film theaters should have been allayed by the fact that such behavior was necessary in order sustain the power of mothers and wives, derived from their embodiment of chastity, in Hindu patriarchal families. It is also worth mentioning that, on the basis of my interviews with the Samiti and BJP women, I conclude that those who participate in Hindutva female activism are Hindu, middle-class, upper-caste, fairly well-educated women. Such a view of womanhood, even within a monolithic Hindu nation, is fraught. Caste and class hierarchies in the interpretation of Hinduism and women’s position in Hinduism are erased. Obviously, the perspectives of poor Dalit women on virtue and chastity and on their role in family differ considerably from those of middle-class women, as do their views on the types of obstacles women face in public. Marginalized Dalit women who usually take on manual labor (e.g., as construction workers or domestic servants), vulnerable to the sexual predations of middle-class employers, have concerns that

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differ from those of middle-class, educated, upper-caste women who face discrimination as professors or doctors. This upper-caste context was played out in Kanwar’s case in terms of her location within the dominant Rajput caste. In conclusion, for the Samiti, members of the BJP, and Sena women, the roles of wife and mother are not passive; rather, they provide a way of ordering women’s lived experiences as they attempt to juggle the duties of wife and mother in a rapidly changing socioeconomic context. Motherhood or mother power assuage any social anxiety arising from a strong female presence in the political arena of muscular nationalism, and women’s maternal role maintains their chastity as border guards; female virtue and motherhood have been conflated in this discourse. It is important to acknowledge that motherhood or wifehood attains its power in this discourse only through the realization of chaste femininity. Put another way, the figures of wife and mother become the metaphors for virtue.

Roop Kanwar: Muscular Nationalism and Womanhood The women of the Samiti and Sena form an interesting juxtaposition to Roop Kanwar’s immolation. These cases illuminate two faces of chaste women in muscular nationalism. In the first case, women justify their politicization through actions and thoughts that defend and build on female virtue as it defines the borders of the nation; in the second, a chaste woman’s body literally becomes the canvas on which a community’s honor and identity are depicted. The material reality of her suffering disappears, and abstract ideas such as “chastity” and honor remain. Roop Kanwar’s death becomes a tragic illustration of Jean Elshtain’s ideas of women as passive, beautiful souls representing the nation. This is eloquently expressed by a Hindi daily’s interpretation of the immolation: By sacrificing her life, an eighteen-year old woman, Roop Kanwar, has reenacted the spectacle of sati, a tradition written in golden letters in the history of virtuous Rajput women devoted to their husbands. Steeped in the glorious Rajput tradition, this brave girl has moved the common people by following the Indian cultural tradition of sati even forty years after independence.27

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An editorial in the popular Hindi daily Jansatta echoed this reverence for a woman’s ability to sacrifice in the name of husband devotion: Roop Kanwar did not become a sati because someone threatened her. . . . [S]he purposely followed the tradition of sati which is found in the Rajput families of Rajasthan. Even among Rajasthan’s Rajputs sati is no ordinary event. Out of hundreds of thousands of widows perhaps one would resolve on a sati. It is quite natural that her self-sacrifice should become the centre of reverence and worship. This therefore cannot be called a question of women’s civil rights or sexual discrimination. It is a matter of society’s religious and social beliefs.28

After her death, the embers of the funeral pyre were not allowed to die down, and shifts of armed Rajput youths ensured that this symbol of her virtuous sacrifice was well protected. In a further celebration of this perceived honorable act, Kanwar’s in-laws’ house became a temporary shrine to this young woman’s performance of feminine virtue. The shrine was built around an enlarged photo of the couple, decorated with flowers, while wreaths of incense smoke encircled the portrait. Her husband’s family raised funds to build a temple to the sati, and, within a short time, collected three million rupees. A photographer from Jaipur made money by superimposing the faces of the dead couple onto a burning pyre: “Roop Kanwar sits upright on the pyre, smiling . . . her husband’s head on her lap, as hand-painted flames engulf them. In the sky above, the goddess Durga throws her shaft of light towards the heroic couple.”29 This depiction of Roop Kanwar, the portrait at the center of the shrine, as well as the newspaper accounts, valorize her body’s representation of communal honor, female virtue, and divine approval, while erasing the pain and suffering endured by a woman who burns to death. Roop Kanwar’s immolation took on an unexpected cultural resonance because her death came at a point in time (1987–1988) when Doordarshan, India’s state-controlled TV monopoly, ran a televised version of the immensely popular Hindu epic the Ramayana. Ram, the semidivine hero of this complicated and multilayered story, is exiled by his father for various complex reasons. He is accompanied by his brother Lakshman and his wife, Sita, when he leaves the pleasures of the royal palace for the arduous life of a

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poor nomad. The epic focuses primarily on his adventures, as well as on the massive battle that ensues when Ravana kidnaps Sita and locks her up in his kingdom of Lanka. A central tension of this story lies in what is recognized in India as Sita’s agnipariksha, or trial by fire. After rescuing Sita and returning to his throne, Ram is unable to live with a wife who had been kidnapped by another man, even though there is ample evidence that Sita never capitulated to Ravana’s amorous or material lures. He demands that she walk through fire to demonstrate her purity. In Indian folklore, this trial ends in various ways; in one of the more common versions, the god of fire, Agni, himself walks out with Sita in his arms, rebuking Ram for suspecting his chaste and pure wife. In another popular interpretation, Sita, unable to stand such public humiliation, calls on Mother Earth to take her away. Whatever the chosen ending, it is clear that this story attempts to deal with the ambivalent position of woman (even a privileged queen) as wife in a society that defines ideal femininity through norms of sexual chastity.30 The narrative of Sita’s agnipariksha in a popular rendition of the Ramayana provided a culturally charged context for the discourse surrounding the immolation in Deorala. The ritual of sati is, of course, central to the cultural meaning assigned to Roop Kanwar’s representation of sexual purity and its association with Rajput (even Hindu) honor. However, this form of immolation is not an immutable fixture within Hindu society. Indeed, the origin, implication, and historical frequency of sati are hotly debated in scholarship. But, for purposes of this argument, it is the cultural and popular significance of this ritual that is primary. In the nineteenth century nationalist movement, women’s bodies within this custom literally became the space on which various political agendas expressed by the British colonial government, Indian male reformers, and British missionaries jostled with each other. The woman’s body became the canvas on which colonial abolitionists, Hindu reformers who opposed sati as a barbaric ritual, and orthodox Hindu leaders who viewed it as an expression of authentic Hindu identity depicted their various perspectives.31 Women’s voices or opinions were not significant. Indeed, the spectacle of a woman burning to death in an expression of sexual purity was revered by many Hindu leaders. The novelist Bankimchandra Chatterjee, who, in many of his nationalist novels, created strong female characters, was one of the prominent leaders dazzled by this ritual:

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I picture the burning pyre and in the midst of rising flames, the virtuous woman lovingly holding to her bosom her husband’s feet. Opening out slowly, fire embraces one portion of her body and moves towards the other. The fire-gripped woman thinks of her master’s feet, and, in between, exhorts the assemblage to chant the name of Hari. She betrays no trace of physical pain. Her face is joyous. . . . Blessed her love! Blessed her devotion! When I think that, until a while back, the delicate women of my country could court death in this manner, a new hope courses through my mind.32

Even Gandhi, although condemning the pain suffered by the woman, was not immune to the cultural resonance of this image of female virtue. For example, when responding to a letter from a woman correspondent who sought his opinion on this Hindu tradition, he wrote: It follows from this that a sati would regard marriage not as a means of satisfying the animal appetite but as a means of realizing the ideal of selfless and self-effacing service by completely merging her individuality in her husband’s. She would prove her satihood not by mounting the funeral pyre at her husband’s death but she would prove it with every breath that she breathes from the moment she plighted her troth to him . . . by her renunciation, sacrifice, self-abnegation and dedication to the service of her husband, his family and the country.33

Put another way, the essential notion of women’s sacrifice and chastity remains in this extract; however, Gandhi saw sati as an extreme and inappropriate manner of expressing this feminine trait. Thus, Roop Kanwar’s death was located among a dominant cultural mythology rooted in the power of women’s chastity; when expressed in terms of husband devotion, the power of this myth was exacerbated by simultaneous narration of Sita’s trial by fire on television. Given the extreme physical pain women were supposed to endure in the name of virtue, it is ironic that women’s voices were marginal to this conversation until the debate surrounding Roop Kanwar’s death by fire. Several Rajastani women’s groups were dismayed by the manner in which Hindu muscular nationalism entered this debate through the idea of martial valor and honor. As one feminist critic pointed out:

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Take the family that committed this murder. They are Rajputs. They pride themselves on their tradition of chivalry and valour. In villages throughout Rajasthan, the Rajputs were once the main landowners. Now there is little opportunity for deeds of chivalry, the government has taken away much of their land, and so the Rajputs are in search of an identity. A sati by a woman of the Rajput caste was a tremendous boost to their moral image.34

Rajput men’s pride in their history of martial prowess is buttressed by their women’s ability to sacrifice their lives (usually by fire) if the threat of enemy occupation is imminent. Even today, a wall by the entrance to the huge Rajput fort located in the city of Jodhpur is decorated with the handprints of women throughout the history of this fort who immolated themselves rather than be captured and dishonored by the enemy. A yellow marigold garland decorates these prints. In the Roop Kanwar incident, a robust feminist protest attempted to disrupt this view of sexual purity in the nation. The intervention of women’s groups and several sympathetic journalists sparked a public discussion focused on the meaning of sati in Hindu India. Unfortunately, instead of unpacking the relevance and consequence of this ritual in terms of womanhood and ascendant Hindu muscular nationalism, this debate became mired in the issue of women’s right to choose ways of expressing their religious identity—even if such expression included self-immolation—and the state’s right to regulate religious customs.35 To an extent, this focus is unavoidable because legal intervention remains the only practical weapon available to feminist organizers, and this requires a focus on the issue of choice. However, there is no satisfying way to gauge whether or not a sati was voluntary, since the rhetoric of self-sacrificing female virtue and the popularity of images of Hindu womanhood disseminated by organizations such as the Samiti make it difficult to uncover the authenticity of choice. Nor is it possible to prove coercion, in the legal sense, without solid evidence, which would be hard to obtain. However, it is my intention not to debate the merits of legal intervention but to underline that virtuous women’s bodies yet again are used in this case to define the boundaries of muscular nationalism. Roop Kanwar’s representation as a devoted Hindu wife animated various strands of Hindu muscular nationalist activism building on ideas of Rajput chivalry, signified by male

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martial prowess and female chaste heroism. Her body literally became the space on which Hindu muscular nationalism staked its claim. It is unlikely that legal intervention could actually challenge this discourse. Further, it is significant that she was Rajput, a fact that acts to further the conflation of chastity and virtue with upper-caste bodies. To sum up, Roop Kanwar’s body was located in a matrix created by a dynamic that linked Hinduism, nation, and virtuous womanhood in the Indian context and signified the boundaries of a moral Hindu nation. Ultimately, she represented the proper female body in a Hindu nation. Although articulated in quite a different manner, the debate surrounding the 2004 Irish Citizenship referendum also centered on the definition of the proper woman in the nation. Gender norms shaped the debate through notions of whiteness, nation, and femininity.

Proper Bodies in the Nation? The 2004 Citizenship Referendum in Ireland On June 2004, the Irish electorate ratified, through an overwhelming majority vote, the following constitutional amendment: “Nothwithstanding any other provision of this Constitution, a person born in the island of Ireland which includes its islands and seas, who does not have, at the time of birth, of that person, at least one parent who is an Irish citizen or entitled to be an Irish citizen, is not entitled to Irish citizenship or nationality, unless provided for by law.”36 Contextualizing both the ratification and the debate surrounding the clause against modern Ireland’s troubled relationship with its history of colonial racialization and Pearsian muscular nationalism reveals yet another facet of the complex relationship between women’s bodies and national borders.

Racialization in Modern Ireland In a fascinating study of the dynamic between the nation and popular cultural spectacle, Hazel Carby writes, “The last decade of the 20th century was a particularly interesting conjunctural moment between the global production of blackness and Irishness.”37 Her unpacking of the national vision disseminated by the step-dance productions Riverdance and Lord of the Dance pro-

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vides a complex interpretation of racialization and Irish national identity. For the purposes of this book, it is worth emphasizing two points that anchor her analysis. First, she contexualizes the national vision constructed by these two cultural productions against the economic narrative of Ireland as the “Celtic Tiger,” a success story in the new Europe. Second, this particular location of Ireland requires that the colonial past, with its story of racialization and poverty, needs to be expunged. Hence, the vision of Irish immigration to the United States put forth by the director Michael Flatley, who created Riverdance and Lord of the Dance, celebrates joy and anticipation, while “Irish pain is displaced onto black suffering.”38 Put another way, in his musical drama, the pain and poverty that shaped the migrant experience is expressed by black bodies. Through this artistic move, “Riverdance consistently disassociates Irishness from its past racialization.”39 Given the enthusiastic response in Ireland to the performances of this musical, it seems reasonable to assert that the national story shaping Michael Flatley’s vision found considerable resonance there. In an attempt to illuminate the full affect of Carby’s observation, I present the following opinion expressed by Kevin Myers, an influential journalist who writes for The Irish Times: There is nothing wrong with exulting in race, provided it is not done at the expense of another race. We would be importing the banal fallacies of a perverted multiculturalism if we deny the genetic truths of traditional Irishness. We will, of course, have to start redefining generous and inclusive Irishness for the incoming races which will lay claim to Irish identity. But that should never prevent us from celebrating the traditional characteristics of the Irish race; not prevent Hiberno-Caribbeans from one day celebrating the dark skin and Bantu noses of their Dahomeyan ancestors [my emphasis].40

The columnist Mary Kenny continues with the racial undertones of Myers’s words by writing, “Some genetic researchers claim that Irish are the whitest people in Europe, that is, less mixed with darker skinned races than any other.”41 These texts are not unique but are symptomatic of a national focus on “whiteness” as a defining feature of Irish identity.42 Given the colonial legacy of simianization that was used by the British to indicate their belief that the

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Irish had a lower capacity for civilization, this desire to capture white privilege in modern Ireland is not surprising. Further, this book has emphasized Ireland’s location in the borderlands of empire, neither completely the colonial Self nor the colonized Other. This ambiguous position enabled a trajectory in Irish nationalism that argued for home rule and independence based on Irish racial superiority (read: white privilege) by distancing Ireland from other territories in the British empire inhabited by the “dark” races. Moreover, the muscular nationalism expressed by Pearse was premised on “natural, mystic, and spiritual” ties.43 Put another way, in Pearse’s vision, the Irish nation was primordial, stretching back into the mists of time (when the heroes of ancient Ireland, the model for Pearse’s muscular Gael, expressed a martial creed), and hence only the descendants of these ancient ones were truly Irish. There can be no doubt that such a primordial vision assumes the proper Irish body to be white. The Gaelic Athletic Association shared Pearse’s primordialism, and even today Gaelic games performed under its aegis remain a repository of racialized Irishness.44 When this primordial definition of nation fuses with the desire to reject colonial racialization, it is not surprising that an anxiety about whiteness surfaces as a part of modern Irish identity. Further, given the growing number of asylum seekers and migrants from African countries, this emphasis on whiteness is shored up by a strategic rejection of and disassociation from racial “blackness.”Although Sinn Fein does not have a substantial political presence in the Republic, it is worth mentioning that, until 2001, this political party espoused and advocated for a Pearsian national identity. It was only with publication of its antiracist pamphlet Many Voices, One Country that Ireland’s changing demographics and complexities of competing identities were publically acknowledged.45 Further, in the Republic of Ireland, political parties such as the Fianna Fail have had to address challenges posed by several antiracist organizations to the implicit yet invisible link between Irishness and whiteness.46 Thus, in an increasingly multiracial and multiethnic Ireland, the response to query “Who is a proper Irish woman or man?” is quite contested. However, in postcolonial Ireland, whiteness and the traits of domestic motherhood remain integral to a vision of proper womanhood. As mentioned in chapter 3, on the Cumann na mBan, women’s bravery in the Easter Uprising and the War of Independence did not easily translate into political and economic equality based on a robust, multifaceted view of womanhood.

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In the constitution of 1937, the conflation of womanhood and motherhood in the nation became a part of the juridical structure of the state itself. The text of the constitution celebrated the patriarchal, heteronormative nuclear family as the cornerstone of the state and equated women, womanhood, and home. It also restricted the right of women to work outside the home.47 Religion provided the ideological justification for the nation-state’s interest in domesticating women and encouraging reproduction. Women’s groups of the time protested against the adoption of a constitution that glorified women as mothers and restricted their roles in society, whatever their role in the revolution.48 An important part of this celebration of women as reproducers of the nation was Ireland’s long-standing ban on abortion: The ban on abortion is nationalist both in the sense that it represents Irishness as a cultural identity and in the sense that it is seen to be a necessary mechanism for protecting a national resource—people. The legal campaign occurred against a cultural backdrop in which nationalist imagery and history were used to identify abortion as a threat to the Irish nation, both physically and culturally.49

As my discussion has underlined, the reproduction of the Irish nation has become a racialized affair, premised on the reproduction of native Irish whiteness. This view was quite obvious during the debates leading up to the citizenship referendum, but it was anticipated in an earlier political protest. In 1992, just before a national referendum on the ratification of the Maastricht treaty was to take place, conservative groups urged a “No” vote, fearing that if Ireland became a part of the European Union, it would signal national ruin. In their protest, “ruin” was interpreted as the erosion of Ireland’s constitutional ban on abortion; it was feared that entry into the European Union would weaken Ireland’s autonomy in legal affairs. Thus, women’s reproductive functions were explicitly conflated with nationhood as an expression of the moral economy of the nation.50 In this particular debate, the foreigners who would dilute Irishness were not necessarily racialized as “black,” but they were certainly not racially Irish. It is clear that in nation’s production of the “Other” or “enemy,” skin color is but one of a variety of traits, including language, geographical territory, and religion, that can be used distinguish “us” from “them.” In this case, the treaty was ratified, and appeals to the erosion

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of Irishness were obviously not appealing in an Ireland poised to exploit the economic advantages flowing from the European Union’s economic policies and marking its maturity as an European (white?) nation. It also helped that the European Union had no jurisdiction over Ireland’s right-to-life provision in the constitution. Twelve years later, the public debate surrounding yet another national referendum was constructed around views of Irishness. Women’s reproductive functions, linked to their role as border guards of the nation was activated in this debate, with the black female body constructed as a threat to Irishness, read as white. When proponents of the citizenship ban conflated Irish identity and whiteness, this view of identity struck a chord in an Ireland with a historical memory of British simianization and Pearsian muscular nationalism. Before I go on to unpack the public debates surrounding this referendum, I would like to briefly discuss the long shadow that Pearse casts over the Irish nation.

Pearse’s Legacy In 2000, a debate was played out in the pages of The Irish Times on the role of Pearse in Irish history. The letters debated whether Pearse was an honorable republican patriot or a conservative fanatic. Kevin Myers launched this debate with a provocative interpretation of Pearse’s role in history: “What else did Pearse achieve which has lasted? He achieved nothing—other, that is, than to create a diseased and enduring culture of murderous conspiracy and blood sacrifice. He was a fanatic who knew nothing about democracy and cared even less about it.”51 This unleashed a number of letters that protested this characterization of Pearse. Brian Murphy responded to Myer’s critique by emphasizing Pearse’s respect for democracy and his belief that violence was to be used as a last resort.52 Two weeks later, another writer claimed that “the legacy of Pearse is the Celtic Tiger. . . . We owe an enormous debt to Pearse and his comrades for the undemocratic sacrifice which they made for their country.”53 These are but a few excerpts from the long and extended debate in the pages of this newspaper; the volume of the correspondence, along with the fact that the letters would have continued if the editor had not stopped the debate, indicates Pearse’s troubled relationship with (in) Irish history.54 Further, it is also worth noting that Ireland’s then prime minister, Bertie Ahern,

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speaking at the ancestral Pearse home, now restored as a museum, celebrated the fact that Pearsian nationalism was still relevant in the modern Republic.55 Further, the political act that is most associated with Pearse—the 1916 Easter Uprising—has a similar contested location in the Republic’s history. Until the 1970s, the Uprising was celebrated through military marches and fanfare. Indeed, the Republic of Ireland organized several celebrations centered on the fiftieth anniversary of the Uprising, in 1966; this anniversary was seen to signify the Republic’s emergence on the global stage as a mature nationstate.56 Note that military action, although unsuccessful, is interpreted as the measure of national maturity. It is, of course, not the success or failure of the armed action that is salient but rather the fact of a masculine expression of martial prowess. But this vision of muscular nationalism became politically inconvenient; when the IRA claimed kinship to the 1916 rebellion, public ceremonies acknowledging and valorizing this event were halted. However, Prime Minister Ahern’s government revived the commemoration of the uprising, and, in 2006, 120,000 spectators, including Ahern and President Mary McAleese, watched 2,500 soldiers and army veterans parade up O’Connell Street in Dublin.57 The restoration of the Dublin parade became a lightning rod in the following months for debate over the Easter Uprising. The debate centered on the location of violence in Irish nationalism. Some saw Pearse and his compatriots as heroic patriots, while others interpreted their actions as rooted in deluded, bloodthirsty fanaticism. Modern Irish literature also questions the manner in which the Easter Rising has been mythologized in the national memory. Roddy Doyle’s novel A Star Called Henry is an excellent example of this cultural debate. Doyle’s protagonist, Henry Smart, barely fourteen, has grown up in dire poverty and amid shocking suffering. He falls into the Easter Rising by chance, inspired not by dreams of freedom and patriotism but by desperation, and remains to fight because he has nothing left to lose. Further, in the midst of the Rising, when the violence is at its zenith, Henry, instead of standing side by side with his male comrades against the British bombardment, has sex with Kitty O’Shea in the basement of the Dublin General Post Office, where the rebellion began. This female figure’s rebelliousness and her energetic enjoyment of sex distance her from the chaste figures of Mother Ireland and Kathleen ni Houlihan. However, even in the late twentieth century, armed femininity is still viewed with suspicion. In the novel, Kitty O’Shea’s involvement in the

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rebellion and her desire to fight for her freedom are viewed with increasing dis-ease, and the leaders of the uprising label her a “holy terror” and decide to eliminate her.58 Even from the distance of several decades, we can see that the image of women rebels as “unmanageable” or “frenzied furies” lingers on. The Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) is also dealing with a similar contested legacy. On one hand, based on articles in The Irish Times, it seems that the GAA continues to play an important role in hegemonic Irish culture.59 For example, on May 29, 2007, a special summer pullout titled “Cul4Kidz” and thus addressed to a youthful audience lauded the GAA’s role in the Irish nation, while letters to the editors on March 5 and February 24 debated the attitude of GAA founder Michael Cusack toward rugby. However, like those of Pearse and the Easter Uprising, the GAA’s central role in Irish culture is being challenged by many observers. On October 2005, the popular newsmagazine Magill published an attack on the feminist author Nuala O’Faolain, who had criticized the association as being hostile to new immigrants to Ireland and as largely irrelevant in a new urban, globalized nation. The attack, written by a GAA supporter, suggested: “If Ms. O’Faolain and the rest of our improvers are allowed to deodorize, lattefy and improve the GAA  .  .  . [then]we will end up with an association run by lawyers which will be legally obliged to have Gay and Lesbian curtain raisers on All-Ireland Final day and racial/traveler quotas.”60 The reference to “Gay and Lesbian curtain raisers” and “racial/traveler quotas” clearly envisions an Irish institution (which was closely associated with Pearsian muscular nationalism) under attack by an “Other” (not white, not heterosexual). Although the author does not mention manhood, one might assume, given the GAA’s history, that any destabilization of heteronormativity and whiteness would be read as effeminization. Indeed, a visit to the GAA’ s museum in Croke Park, Dublin, can only strengthen this cultural reading. Photographs of well-muscled young men, representing both Ireland’s resistance to imperial rule and its present maturity as an independent nation, narrate the story of Ireland’s fight for national liberation. Members of the GAA fought in the failed 1916 uprising against British imperial rule and the Irish War of Independence in 1919–1921. In the GAA’s historical memory, the women of the Cumann na mBan are absent. Although women are now a part of the GAA, as is an all-woman Irish sport, Camogie, the exhibition underlines clearly that Pearse’s hegemonic masculinity remains a cornerstone of its vision. It would not be farfetched to imagine

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that any racial or sexual dilution of this white, normative vision would be seen as effeminization. However, as the comments of the author of the Magill article, the debate in The Irish Times, and Roddy Doyle’s literature indicate, Pearsian nationalism—which includes celebration of the GAA and the Easter Uprising in postcolonial Ireland—while highly visible, is also contested. The attempts to destabilize Ireland’s link to both the GAA and Pearse is informed by Ireland’s status as the “Celtic Tiger.” No longer primarily a land of emigrants, in the past decade, the Republic’s integration into the Euro economy, which resulted in a rapidly growing prosperity had, made it an attractive destination for immigrants from Eastern Europe, Africa, and Asia. This demographic shift has certainly brought the question of “Irishness” to the forefront. Antiracist feminists such as O’Faolin, along with other activists, saw an uncritical acceptance of Pearse, the Cumann na mBan, and the GAA as problematic within an increasing multiracial Ireland.61 These demographic changes occurred in conjunction with economic prosperity. Economic development through globalization suddenly generated such substantial growth rates that Irish employers had to recruit workers from abroad.62 Further, this prosperity, together with Ireland’s location within the European Union, constructed Ireland as an appealing destination for those fleeing economic or political oppression. Thus, the number of individuals seeking asylum in Ireland rose from fewer than one hundred a year in the early 1990s to almost twelve thousand in 2002.63 Asylum seekers are neither legal immigrants nor refugees but people who enter the country by some means and then end up seeking residence for a plethora of reasons. Usually marginalized citizens of third-world countries (in Ireland, the largest numbers tend to be from Nigeria), they as a group provide the greatest challenge to an imagined community’s vision of “us.” Given this book’s focus on women’s roles as border guards, it is interesting to note that the debate surrounding the role of “the Other” in the nation became articulated in specific gendered terms. (Ireland’s recent precipitous economic collapse and high employment will certainly shape racism in this country and provides a vital avenue of social research. However, this book focuses on the 2004 incident, which was embedded in a different context.) The bodies of female asylum seekers became the contested terrain of Irish citizenship, and this intersection of race, gender, and nation was most noticeably articulated in the debate surrounding the June 2004 referendum on Irish

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citizenship, which imposed restrictions on the constitutional right to citizenship by birth.64 In 1998, following the Belfast Agreement, a series of constitutional adjustments both north and south of the border guaranteed that anyone born on the island of Ireland would be granted citizenship.65 Another important legal ruling occurred earlier, in 1989, when the Supreme Court decided, in the Fajujonu case, that having a child born in Ireland entitled nonresident parents to residence (not citizenship) in Ireland. However, in January 2003, the Supreme Court challenged the Fajujonu case, overturning its own earlier ruling and holding that having children born in Ireland did not automatically confer the right of residence on nonresident parents. In June 2004, a referendum was held to amend the constitution and restrict the entitlement to citizenship for children born to nonnational parents. By a majority of almost four to one, the electorate ratified this constitutional amendment and consequently removed the right to birthright citizenship for children who could not prove that they had generations of belonging to the Irish nation.66 An important component of the debate leading up to this electoral result was the perception that “foreign” women were having babies to obtain citizenship. Bertie Ahern, then Taoiseach, or prime minister, of Ireland, said in a BBC interview: Well you know the historical question in Ireland and her position was that for 150 years, in the time of the great famine in Ireland, our emigration was the issue. Every decade of the census in Ireland the population dropped. It has only been in the last decade or so, slightly more than now, that we’ve seen an increase in population. . . . In some of our counties, in some of our areas, of Ireland we only have in recent years an increase in population. So for us now to have immigration from Eastern Europe, from the United States—many Irish people returning—. . . .I think they’ve 60,000 Chinese students in the United States at the moment, in Ireland we’ve 38,000. So we’re a very small country. Can you imagine the effect of that? Proportionately we’ve the highest number of Nigerians when we entered the Community coming to Ireland. So it’s been a huge change for us. . . . You have to tighten up on our residency, you have to tighten up. . . . We had an abuse of our constitution where people were coming to Ireland, having a baby, some of them leaving immediately and then claiming EU citizenship in other countries.67

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Ahern’s comments occupy an interesting ideological space in this genealogy of muscular nationalism in light of the fact that he is a known advocate of the Pearsian nation, indicated by the fact that Patrick Pearse’s portrait hung in his office and that it was his administration that resuscitated the festivities commemorating the 1916 Easter Rebellion in Dublin.68 Ahern’s coupling of abuse of the Irish constitution and pregnancy placed women’s bodies in an interesting tension with nationalism, as did the fact that these were racialized women’s bodies, specifically the bodies of black Nigerian women. Whether or not Nigerian women actually made up the majority of women seeking residence through the birth of their children before 2004, is not vital, what is important is the fact that their bodies were the ones used to represent the racialized Other that threatened, in a way, the Ireland of Pearse and Cumann na mBan. For example, anti-immigration activist, Aine Ni Chonaill, founder of the Immigration Control Platform, declared that Ireland was becoming a maternity ward for West Africa and that West Africans were “invading” Ireland. In her speeches, she linked the dilution of Irishness to African criminals who benefited from bringing pregnant women to Ireland.69 On June 30, 2003, migrant parents of citizen children demonstrated outside the Dail (the Irish parliament) to protest the impending deportation of migrant parents of Irishborn children. Although most of the demonstrators were “white” migrants from Eastern Europe, the press chose to represent the entire demonstration with the picture of a black African baby.70 This fear of the black female body draws, I would argue, on the relationship Carby posits between blackness and Irishness, but in a particularly gendered way. Historically, in the Western world, black women’s bodies have been associated with uncontrolled sexuality, barbarity, disorder, and chaos. When Sarah Baartman, the “Black Venus” from South Africa, was exhibited in England and France between 1810 and 1815, the public’s eagerness to view her and scientists’ desire to study the sexual organs of this African woman highlighted this particular interpretation of a black woman’s body.71 Ireland, with its ties to England, was very much a part of the gendered and raced discourse that constructed the curiosity about Baartman. In short, the public debate on racialized women’s sexuality and reproductive ability that preceded the 2004 referendum was haunted by this history, as inauthentic black immigrant mothers were contrasted with authentic white Irish mothers.

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While the white women of the Cumann na mBan and the IRA threatened the moral economy of the nation by disrupting the tropes of virtuous suffering mother and patient wife through their association with the “taint” of violence, Nigerian women, through the very somatic expression of “blackness,” destabilized women’s roles as border guards of the nation.72 If white Irish women’s bodies define and reproduce the nation, how will this nation accommodate Nigerian women and their children? The result of the referendum indicates that one response to this query is exclusion. The simianization and racialization of the Irish under British eyes, Ireland’s implication in empire, and the legacy of Irish muscular nationalism provide a provocative backdrop to a discourse in Ireland in which “black” mothers are abusing the Irish system by having babies who are at birth Irish citizens. The construction of fecund racialized mothers who abuse Irish generosity and apparently dilute “Irishness” leads us to conclude that the proper (white) bodies representing heroic mothers, chaste wives, and celibate warriors assumed by Pearse and the Cumann na mBan are still haunting perceptions of Ireland’s imagined community. Women’s bodies become the representation of national boundaries; white, middle-class, pure women’s bodies symbolize the boundaries of an orderly Ireland, while immigrant, poor, black female bodies transgress these boundaries to hint at national chaos.

Conclusion The death of Roop Kanwar and the 2004 Irish Citizenship referendum demonstrate the salience of chaste women’s bodies as border guards within two different postcolonial national discourses. Hindu muscular nationalism circulated by the RSS shaped Kanwar’s immolation through the specific expression of Rajput martial honor. The purity of a devoted wife within this interpretation of nation defined the boundaries of the Rajput community and signified the persistence of female virtue in an India where the RSS brand of muscular nationalism has become increasingly ascendant. Notions of female virtue, illustrated not by female activism but by a passive embodiment of virtue through suffering deemed to rescue national honor, existed in uneasy juxtaposition with the politically active women of the RSS, the BJP, and Shiv Sena. However, active or passive, women in Hindu muscular nationalism derived power and legitimacy by representing chaste femininity and its

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link to national honor. Finally, virtue was clearly linked to caste. Samiti, BJP, and Shiv Sena women were upper caste, and in their discussions it was clear that lower-caste and Dalit Hindu women had no place in the moral economy of Hindutva. This bias was poignantly defined by the use of Roop Kanwar’s death to underline the chaste femininity of upper-caste Rajput women. In the Irish case, fertile black female bodies were used to reveal a fear that Irish national boundaries were being breached by improper expressions of family and femininity. Although the referendum was not linked with explicit muscular nationalism (as was the case with Hindutva in India), Pearsian muscular nationalism and its associated feminized signifiers of nation—Mother Ireland and Kathleen ni Houlihan—cast a shadow over the public debates on proper bodies in the Irish nation. Not all women are deemed proper border guards of the nation; as became clear in the discussions leading up to the referendum, black women’s bodies were not (indeed, could not be) appropriate expressions of the Irish nation. Like the black figures in the spectacle created by Michael Flatley, Nigerian women’s bodies represented what the Irish nation was not or did not wish to be (poor, uncivilized) and thus became the focus of national anxiety. Their bodies could not be the proper guards of the nation, a task reserved for and expressed by authentic white mothers expressing the proper feminine virtue.

C o n c lu s i o n Women and Muscular Nationalism: Some Final Thoughts

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hile researching this book, I came across an electronic photo essay profiling female combatants involved in the contemporary Nepali Maoist movement, which draws on the legacy of Naxal politics. This pictorial narrative juxtaposed images of women in army fatigues with those of women clad in traditional skirts, shawls draped around their heads. Whether in camouflage or in long skirts, these combatants were armed, embodying various offensive stances. In the early 1980s, political posters created by the Sandinistas in Nicaragua showed a woman with a gun on one arm and a baby cradled in the other, while the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE) circulated recruiting posters depicting a desexualized armed woman, occasionally cradling a baby.1 A central tension in these images is the juxtaposition of the female body with weapons of violence. Put another way, femininity (despite the presence of warrior goddesses) is not assumed to have an affinity for violent action, and society seems to find images of armed femininity jarring. However, the erasure of visible markers of sexuality and a vigorous policing of female chastity are presumed to tame femininity so that social anxiety around violent women is somewhat abated. Taking this social anxiety around women actively involved in politics, most dramatically illustrated by the discomfort with female combatants, as a point of departure, this book has used the concept of muscular nationalism to theorize politicized femininity in two cultural contexts. As the female militant body occupies a contested location on the borderlands between normative visions of masculinity and femininity, an important response to this social anxiety has been concern with women’s sexuality and the need to ensure that political women exhibit proper chaste behavior. Society’s troubled relationship with the seemingly unnatural vision of women running guns, drilling and marching like soldiers, and wielding weapons, shaped by •

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a suspicion that such behaviors transgress chaste femininity, has been the organizing theme in the narrative of muscular nationalism and femininity in the colonial and postcolonial contexts that are the subject of this book. Patrick Pearse’s and Vivekananda’s glorification of muscular nationalism and their celebration of motherhood as a metaphor for female activism, along with the presence of organizations like the Irish Volunteers and Anushilan Samiti, which drew on this cultural context to articulate a very masculinized national space shored up by a strong reliance on pure mother and virtuous wife, created a complicated context for politicized femininity. Eamon de Valera’s famous condemnation of the Cumann na mBan women as “wild and unmanageable revolutionaries” and the silence of the women about their role in that organization indicate that, somehow, by joining the fray, female combatants had violated the norms of proper, chaste feminine behavior. Similarly, women of the Bengal terrorist movement constantly had to justify their “purity,” and I have argued that Preetilata Wadedar’s mysterious suicide can be located within a tension between the need to embody “chaste” behavior and the impropriety of dressing in men’s clothes and detonating bombs in public spaces. The fraught location of politicized femininity continued with the discourse surrounding female participation in postcolonial movements. Republican and Naxal women picked up arms to join their male comrades in the fight to attain a specific political vision. However, both these interpretations of muscular nationalism, still haunted by floating cultural signifiers of motherhood and chastity, could not seamlessly accommodate such an expression of female political activism. In the Indian context, economic and political factors enabled the presence of middle-class women in the labor force and educational institutions, while, in Northern Ireland, feminist pressure on Sinn Fein and the IRA brought women’s demand for political equality to the forefront of politics. Despite these contextual shifts, politicized femininity troubled a politics still shaped by dichotomies of gender based on images of chaste and virtuous women who were to support and/or be protected by male warriors. A major source of the gender trouble they sparked centered on a dis-ease with the explicit physicality of the female body, whether mediated through a fear of female desire or through maternal responsibilities, both of which were seen as having the potential to dilute a women’s commitment to the movement. The Naxalites set up area committees to police romance and silenced women

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who complained of sexual harassment in urban and rural shelters. In both instances, the fear was that female sexuality would detract from the image of the disciplined and dedicated “new” man at the center of Naxal politics. Republicans continued to either ignore women’s sexuality or construct the experience of being imprisoned as tainting female innocence and, in the process, creating “wild” women. Both the Naxalites and the IRA struggled to reconcile women’s role as mother with her role as revolutionary. Joya Mitra’s reticence in musing about her maternal role, as well as the variety of emotions expressed by republican women, ranging from deliberate denial of to bewilderment with motherhood, underlines the contested position of the maternal when it is uncoupled from its role as signifier of national honor. However, no matter how attractive the symbolic value of female chastity to muscular nationalism, the physicality of womanhood is impossible to suppress. The appearance of menstrual blood on the walls of Armagh and Naxal women’s demand that their sexual harassment be taken seriously unequivocally constructed these seemingly asexual comrades as women. The female body will always maintain a contentious relationship with the gender binary of martial man versus chaste woman in muscular nationalism. In the case of the Cumann na mBan, Bengali terrorist, Naxalite, and republican women, this dynamic was situated within a social anxiety around physical embodiment, armed femininity, and their link to proper feminine behavior. In the postcolonial context, both Naxal and republican women interrupted the seamless unfolding of this nationalist vision. Bodies that express politicized femininity have in the past maintained and in the present still maintain a fraught relationship with muscular nationalism. Recent feminist research that unpacks the discourse surrounding female suicide bombers and the role of women fighters in the still active LTTE indicate that this social suspicion of women as agents of politics, especially political violence, will not disappear any time soon.2 The social anxiety surrounding politicized femininity, I have argued, flows from the moral economy of nationalism that situates women’s bodies as border guards within the nation. The cultural debates centered on the immolation of Roop Kanwar and the 2004 Irish referendum revealed particular expressions of this moral economy. Further, the expression of gender in these two incidents, when juxtaposed with the actions of Naxal, Armagh, and even Hindutva women, clearly reveal the dynamic relationship between

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the multiple images of womanhood circulating in a context shaped by muscular nationalism. Roop Kanwar’s body represented Rajput honor within an upper-caste Hindu nationalism ascendant in an increasingly politically and economically fractured India, while bodies of Nigerian mothers in the Irish context symbolized the threat to the pure Irish nation in a context in which migration patterns stimulated by globalization were introducing racial and ideological diversity. What should be noted is that, in both cases, women’s bodies defined nation. Roop Kanwar’s virtue, representing Rajput honor, explicated an imagined upper-caste Hindu nation perceived to be destabilized by “Others” (usually Muslims), while Nigerian mothers threatened a white Irish nation and its memories of Kathleen ni Houlihan and Mary Pearse as the grieving republican mother. The logic of muscular nationalism as it unfolds is not innocent. By focusing on the gendered dynamic articulated by the binary of martial man versus chaste woman in muscular nationalism, I uncovered the power of masculinities that use the process of effeminization to subordinate bodies. This process has real consequences for men and women. The effeminization and simianization of Irish and Bengali men under the British gaze illustrate the manner in which imperial authority used this power to justify political presence. Expectations of chastity and virtue disseminate a narrative that constricts women’s lives by imposing certain norms of modesty and virtue. Indeed, most of the female political lives discussed here express the difficulty of engaging with these norms. The triangular relationship of power circulating through the bodies of the Englishman, the Indian man, and the white woman and the lives of the nationalist women of Ireland and India, Armagh and Naxal women, and of Roop Kanwar and the migrant women in Ireland all illuminated the various ways in which women’s bodies complicate the role of chaste women as border guards within muscular nationalism. Yet, this book has underlined that women actors have constantly disrupted the political passivity associated with chaste femininity linked to Elshtain’s idea of the beautiful soul. Whether as the khaki-clad member of the Cumann na mBan, the gunwielding terrorist of Bengal, the asexual comrade of the Naxalite movement, or the IRA combatant in Armagh jail, female figures disrupted the masculinized space of muscular nationalism. Additionally, the location of the Irish on the borderlands of empire and the relationship between India and Ireland

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within colonial and postcolonial contexts indicate the crucial role race plays in this process of effeminization. I would emphasize that the analysis of the dynamic relations between masculnitiy and femininity presented in this book worries gendered categories, enabling the possibility of a political vision of women and womanhood that transcends the binary of martial man versus chaste woman. The unpacking of politicized femininity and its contested relationship to the gendered binaries in muscular nationalism remains a powerful tool in exposing the manner in which armed masculinity unleashes a political vision of a nation that is destructive for bodies that are space invaders.3

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Notes

I ntroduc t ion 1. Nagel, Race, Ethnicity, and Sexuality, 20–21. 2. Chowdhury, Frail Hero and Virile History, 1. 3. Ireland was partitioned by the Anglo-Irish Treaty in 1922. Six of the thirty-six counties remained part of the United Kingdom and are referred to in this book as the “North,” while the remaining thirty counties became the Irish Free State and later the Republic of Ireland; they are referred to as the “Republic.” Further, Irish republicanism is the movement launched by mainly Catholic activists (although several Anglo-Irish Protestants were part of this movement) to achieve independence from the United Kingdom. Present-day republicans hope for a unification of the original thirty-six counties. 4. Youngs, “Feminist International Relations,” 75–87. 5. Youngs, “Feminist International Relations,” 78; Enloe, Bananas, Beaches, Bases; Globalization and Militarism; Nimo’s War, Emma’s War. 6. De Alwis, “Moral Mothers and Stalwart Sons”; Elshtain, Women and War; Goldstein, War and Gender; Sjoberg and Gentry, Mothers, Monsters, Whores; Stiehm, Women’s and Men’s Wars; Tickner, Gender in International Relations; Gendering World Politics. 7. Youngs, “Feminist International Relations,” 79. See also the pioneering issue of Women’s Studies International Forum 5(3/4) (1982), edited by Judith Stiehm, as well as the section on war and gender in Perspectives on Poltics 1(2) (June 2003). 8. Connell, Masculinities. 9. Hooper, Manly States, 47. 10. Hooper, Manly States, 65. 11. Snyder, Citizen-Soldiers and Manly Warriors, 24. 12. Mosse, The Image of Man. 13. Blom, Hall, and Hagemann, eds., Gendered Nation; Derne, Movies, Masculinity, and Modernity; Enloe, Bananas, Beaches, Bases; Maneuvers; Nimo’s War, Emma’s War; Jayawardena, Feminism and Nationalism; Kaplan, Alarcon, and Moallem, eds., Between Woman and Nation; McClintock, Imperial Leather; “No Longer in a Future Heaven; Mayer, ed., Gender Ironies of Nationalism; Yuval-Davis, Gender and Nation. 14. Mosse, The Image of Man, 4. 15. Enloe, “Gender Is Not Enough,” 95. 16. Sofos, “Inter-Ethnic Violence,” 76. 17. Lake, “Mission Impossible.” •

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18. Enloe, Nimo’s War, Emmas’s War. 19. For a similar analysis of the Iraq war, see Enloe, Nimo’s War, Emma’s War, and Walter, “Where Are the Women? Men Dominated Saddam’s Iraq. Worryingly, They Are Also Taking Control of Its Future,” http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/ story0,3604,943175,00.html. 20. Mosse, The Image of Man, 69. 21. Mayer, Gender Ironies. 22. Massad, “Conceiving the Masculine,”473. 23. Massad, “Conceiving the Masculine,” 479. 24. See Massad, “Conceiving the Masculine,” 480-483 for a discussion of this process of masculinization. However, alternative views of masculinities are emerging to challenge muscular nationalism. See Laurence McKeown and Simona Sharoni, “Formations and Transformations of Masculinity in the North of Ireland and in Israel-Palestine,” unpublished paper (2002). But the fact remains that muscular nationalism still seems to dominate the narratives of many nations. 25. Youngs, “Feminist International Relations,” and Enloe, “Gender Is Not Enough.” 26. Anderson, Imagined Communities, 9. 27. Enloe, Bananas and Beaches; Yuval-Davis, Gender and Nation. 28. Aretxaga, Shattering Silence; Banerjee, Make Me a Man!; Blom, Hall, and Hagemann eds., Gendered Nation; Boehmer, Stories of Women; Bose, Organizing Empire; Chowdhury, Frail Hero; Derne, Movies, Modernity, and Masculinity; Enloe, Bananas and Beaches; Nimo’s War, Emma’s War; Mayer, ed., Gender Ironies of Nationalism; Ray, Engendering India; Stoler, Carnal Knowledge and Imperial Power. 29. Elshtain, “On Beautiful Souls,” 342. 30. Bjokert-Thapar, Women in the Indian National Movement. 31. For example, Kumar, History of Doing, 85, reveals his extreme distress when sex workers took part in certain political demonstrations organized by the Bengal Congress Committee. The distress stemmed from his view of their bodies as impure and hence not worthy of taking on the role of nurturing the nation’s moral soul. Additionally, all women in his ashram were required to be particularly vigilant regarding their behavior, careful not to enflame the passion of the men around them. 32. Artexaga, Shattering Silence; Banerjee, Make Me a Man!; Enloe, Bananas and Beaches; McClintock, Imperial Leather; Nagel, Race, Ethnicity, and Sexuality. 33. Puwar, Space Invaders, 8. 34. Mosse, Nationalism and Sexuality, 90. 35. Mosse, The Image of Man, 7. 36. Mosse, Nationalism and Sexuality, 9. 37. Ruddick, Maternal Thinking. 38. Nagel, Race, Ethnicity, and Sexuality, 146. 39. Anzaldua, Borderlands, 3. 40. Bjorkert-Thapar and Ryan, “Mother India/Mother Ireland,” and Holmes and Holmes, eds., Ireland and India.

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41. Kiberd, Inventing Ireland, 5. 42. Bender, “The Imperial Politics of Famine”; Bose, Organizing Empire; Cook, Imperial Affinities; Jeffrey, ed., An Irish Empire?; Lennon, Irish Orientalism; Nagai, Empire of Analogies; Peatling, “Race and Empire”; Silvestri, Ireland and India; Wright, Ireland, India, and Nationalism. 43. Nagai, Empire of Analogies; Wright, Ireland, India, and Nationalism. 44. See Ignatiev, How the Irish Became White (New York: Routledge, 1995), and David Roediger, The Wages of Whiteness: Race and the Making of the American Working Classes (London and New York: Verso, 1991), for excellent discussions of whiteness and Irish identity. 45. Of course, since the global economic crisis, the Republic of Ireland can no longer claim such status. Its rapid economic growth came to an abrupt halt, and the Republic had to be rescued by foreign capital. However, for the time period that forms the background of my discussion, Ireland was still perceived to be an attractive destination for investors and migrants in search of work. It remains to be seen whether the economic downturn will actually decrease the flow of migrants from countries in Africa, specifically Nigeria. 46. Wright, Ireland, India, and Nationalism, 16. 47. All figures are from the CIA World Factbook (www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook). Indian literacy figures are drawn from the 2001 census. This comparison is complicated by the fact that, in the aftermath of the global economic downturn, India continued to grow while Ireland was forced to accept a bailout from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. 48. Halberstam, Female Masculinity, 13. 49. Alter, “Celibacy, Sexuality, and the Transformation of Gender”; Banerjee, Make Me a Man!; Chowdhury, Frail Hero; Sinha, Colonial Masculinity; Rosselli, “The Self-Image of Effeteness.” 50. Curtis, Apes and Angels. 51. Curtis, Apes and Angels, 15–25.

Ch ap ter 1 1. Brookes, Manliness: Hints to Young Men, 150. 2. Alderson, Mansex Fine; Banerjee, Make Me a Man!; Chowdhury, Frail Hero; Dawson, Soldier Heroes; Hall, “Muscular Christianity”; Phillips, Mapping Men and Empire; Roper and Tosh, Manful Assertions; Rutherford, Forever England; Sinha, Colonial Masculinity; Vance, The Sinews of the Spirit. 3. Said, Orientalism, 207. 4. Inden, Imagining India, 17. 5. Green, Dreams of Adventure, 204–214. 6. Bose, Organizing Empire, 35. 7. Bose, Organizing Empire, 60.

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8. Bose, Organizing Empire, 61. 9. Silvestri, India and Ireland, 177. 10. Bose, Organizing Empire, 59. 11. Bose, Organizing Empire, 37–38. 12. Sharpe, Allegories of Empire. 13. Bose, Organizing Empire, 69. 14. Stoler, Carnal Knowledge. 15. Cooper and Stoler, “Tensions of Empire,” 610–615. 16. Stoler, Carnal Knowledge, 42. 17. Stoler, Carnal Knowledge, 1. 18. Burton, “The White Woman’s Burden”; and Ramusack, “Cultural Missionaries, Maternal Imperialists.” 19. In Make Me a Man! I have more fully explored this development specifically in relation to the British empire in India. 20. Hall, “Muscular Christianity.” 21. Religious Tract Society, Christian Manliness, 95. 22. Religious Tract Society, Christian Manliness, 28. 23. Henry Lawrence, Essays, Political and Military, 43. 24. Smiles, Self-Help, 5. 25. Religious Tract Society, Christian Manliness, 146. 26. Vance, The Sinews of the Spirit, 10. 27. Caplan, “ “Bravest of the Brave.” 28. Alderson, Mansex Fine; Hall, “Muscular Christianity”; Roper and Tosh, Manful Assertions. 29. Faulkner, “The Confidence Man.” 30. Alderson, Mansex Fine, 26. 31. Phillips, Mapping Men and Empire. 32. Darby, Dressed to Kill. 33. Hall, “‘From Greenland’s Icy Mountains . . . to Afric’s Golden Sand.’” 34. Curtis, Apes and Angels, 2. 35. Curtis, Apes and Angels, 18. 36. Curtis, Apes and Angels, 20. 37. Innes, The Devil’s Own Mirror, 20. 38. Cairns and Richards, Writing Ireland; Cullingford, “Thinking of Her as Ireland”; Innes, The Devil’s Own Mirror; “Virgin Territories and Motherlands.” 39. Cullingford, “Thinking of Her as Ireland,” 6. 40. Punch or Indian Charivari, May 16,1873, 165. 41. Punch, or The Indian Charivari, March 20, 1874, 66. 42. Alter, “Celibacy, Sexuality, and the Transformation of Gender”; Chowdhury, Frail Hero; Rosselli, “The Self-Image of Effeteness.” 43. Punch or Indian Charivari, November 15, 1872, 9 44. Punch or Indian Charivari, November 15, 1872, 205.

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45. Duff, The Indian Rebellion, 286. 46. Valente, “The Myth of Sovereignty,” 190–191. 47. Innes, The Devil’s Own Mirror, 11. 48. Peatling, “Race and Empire in Nineteenth Century British Intellectual Life,” 167. 49. Peatling, “Race and Empire in Nineteenth Century British Intellectual Life,” 168. 50. Bartlett, “The Irish Soldier in India,” 15. 51. Bartlett, “The Irish Soldier in India,” 21. 52. Bartlett, “The Irish Soldier in India,” 22. 53. Silvestri, India and Ireland, 180. 54. Richards, Old Soldier Sahib, 142–143. See Silvestri, India and Ireland, 113–200, for an interesting discussion of the Connaught Rangers uprising in Indian and their location in modern Irish commemorative history. 55. Bartlett, “The Irish Soldier in India,” 25; Silvestri, India and Ireland, 194–195. 56. Nagai, Empire of Analogies, 17–20. 57. Doyle, The Green Flag, 19–20. 58. Lennon, Irish Orientalism, 174. 59. Lennon, Irish Orientalism, 183–189. 60. Maher, “Irish Missionary Links.” 61. Lennon, Irish Orientalism, 183. 62. Lennon, Irish Orientalism, 177. 63. Peatling, “Race and Empire in Nineteenth Century British Intellectual Life,” 178. 64. Silvestri, “‘The Sinn Fein of India,’” 459. 65. Silvestri, “‘The Sinn Fein of India.’” 66. Silvestri, India and Ireland, 188. 67. Sinha, “‘Chathams, Pitts, and Gladstones in Petticoats.’” 68. Sharpe, Allegories of Empire, 91. 69. Atkinson, Curry and Rice. 70. Procidia, Married to the Empire. 71. Eve Trout Powell describes a particular expression of this power dynamic via Egyptian colonized male, English male colonial officers, and bodies of Sudanese slave women in her provocative study, A Different Shade of Colonialism: Egypt, Great Britain, and the Mastery of the Sudan. Berkeley (University of California Press, 2003). 72. In addition to the references already given, there is an emerging corpus of work on women and empire, including Nupur Chaudhuri and Margaret Strobel, eds., Western Women and Imperialism (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1992); Ruth Roach Pierson, Nupur Chaudhuri, and Beth McAuley, eds., Nation, Empire, Colony: Historicizing Gender and Race (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1998); Phillipa Levine, ed., Gender and Empire (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007); Julia Smith

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Clancy and Frances Gouda, eds., Domesticating the Empire: Race, Gender, and Family Life in French and Dutch Colonialism (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 1998); Catherine Hall and Sonya Rose, eds., At Home with the Empire: Metropolitan Culture and the Imperial World (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006); and Clare Midgley, ed., Gender and Imperialism (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1998). 73. Curtis, Apes and Angels, 22. See also Darby, Dressed to Kill; Lebow, “Images of Ireland”; and Valente, “The Myth of Sovereignty.” 74. Lebow, “Images of Ireland,” 45–58. 75. Curtis, Apes and Angels, 45–58. 76. Innes, “Virgin Territories and Motherlands,” 14. 77. Wright, Ireland, India, and Nationalism. 78. Wright, Ireland, India, and Nationalism, 64–71. 79. Brasted, “Indian Nationalist Development and the Influence of Irish Home Rule,” 43.

Ch apt er 2 1. “The Muscular Sinn Fein,” Sinn Fein, June 13, 1908. 2. “Nation Building and Body Culture,” Sinn Fein, October 6, 1906. 3. McDevitt, “Muscular Catholicism,” 262. 4. Mandle, The Gaelic Athletic Association, 15-16. 5. The Fenians or Irish Republican Brotherhood had been founded in 1858 in the wake of the failure of agrarian reform and parliamentary forms of nationalism. The movement was devoted to the overthrow of British rule by the force of arms, and its sole aim was political independence. 6. Benton, “Women Disarmed,” 153. 7. “Oisin’s Address to his Clann,” Sinn Fein, May 14, 1910. 8. “Letters to Nora,” Sinn Fein, May 19, 1906. 9. “Women—A National Asset,” Sinn Fein, January 18, 1910. 10. “Na Fianna Revived,” Irish Freedom, November 1910. 11. Benton, “Women Disarmed.” 12. Benton, “Women Disarmed,” 155. 13. Ap Hywel, “Elise and the Great Queens of Ireland,” 27–30. 14. Ap Hywel, “Elise and the Great Queens of Ireland,” 28. 15. Cullingford, “Thinking of Her as Ireland”; Martin, “The Practice of Identity”; Valente, “The Myth of Sovereignty.” 16. “To the Boys of Ireland,” Irish Freedom, February 1914. 17. Unless otherwise indicated, the writings of Patrick Pearse were downloaded from the Corpus of Electronic Texts maintained by University College Cork, www. ucc.ie/celt/. See also Pearse, “The Coming Revolution,” 91. 18. Pearse, “The Coming Revolution,” 97.

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19. Pearse, “The Coming Revolution,” 98. 20. Pearse, “The Coming Revolution,” 99. 21. Sisson, Pearse’s Patriots. 22. Pearse, Political Writings and Speeches, 40. 23. Pearse, Political Writings and Speeches, 23. 24. Pearse, How Does She Stand?, 17. 25. Sisson, Pearse’s Patriots, 86. 26. Sisson, Pearse’s Patriots, 82–85. 27. Ryan, ed., The Story of a Success by P. H. Pearse, 9. 28. Ryan, ed., The Story of a Success by P. H. Pearse, 41. 29. Sisson, Pearse’s Patriots, 123. 30. Pearse, “To the Boys of Ireland,” 112. 31. Pearse, Political Writing and Speeches, 116. 32. Ryan, ed., The Story of a Success by P. H. Pearse, 76. 33. Ryan, ed., The Story of a Success by P. H. Pearse, 77. 34. Ryan, ed., The Story of a Success by P. H. Pearse, 2. 35. Pearse, The Spiritual Nation, 4. 36. Condren, “Work-in-Progress: Sacrifice and Political Legitimation.” 37. Condren, “Work-in-Progress: Sacrifice and Political Legitimation,” 169. 38. Whelan, “Women and the Struggle for Independence,” 82. 39. Rosselli, “The Self-Image of Effeteness,” 130. 40. Majumdar, “Tom Brown Goes Global.” 41. Majumdar, “Tom Brown Goes Global,” 809. 42. Majumdar, “Tom Brown Goes Global,” 812–815. 43. www.mohunbaganac.com/SEPT08/History//History-1910-1919.html, accessed February 8, 2011. 44. Jyotirmayananda, ed., Vivekananda: His Gospel of Man-Making, 29. 45. Majumdar, “Swami Vivekananda and Man-Making Education,” 491, 46. Jyotirmayananda, ed., Vivekananda: His Gospel of Man-Making, 129. 47. Sil, Swami Vivekananda, 117. 48. Chowdhury, Frail Hero, 126. 49. Jyotirmayananda, ed., Vivekananda: His Gospel of Man-Making, 52. 50. Jyotirmayananda, ed., Vivekananda: His Gospel of Man-Making, 53. 51. Chowdhury-Sengupta, “Reconstructing Hinduism,” 98. 52. Banerjee, Make Me a Man!, 123–129. 53. Ray, Engendering India, 25–28. 54. Jyotirmayananda, ed., Vivekananda: His Gospel of Man-Making, 63. 55. Mukherji, The Philosophy of Man-Making, 186. 56. Baumfield, “Science and Sanskrit.” 57. Vivekananda, Our Women, 11–12. 58. Vivekananda, Our Women, 26–27. 59. Chowdhury, Frail Hero, 134.

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60. Vivekananda, Our Women, 37. 61. Vivekananda, Our Women, 3. 62. Sil, Swami Vivekananda, 117–126. 63. Chowdhury, Frail Hero, 133. 64. Vivekananda, Our Women. 65. Sil, Swami Vivekananda, 26. 66. Sil, Swami Vivekananda, 116–117. 67. Sil, Swami Vivekananda, 115. 68. Chatterjee, Pather Dabi, 208. 69. Mukherjee and Mukherjee, Sri Aurobindo’s Political Thought, 149. 70. Mukherjee and Mukherjee, Sri Aurobindo’s Political Thought, 29. 71. Sarkar, Hindu Nation, Hindu Wife. 72. “The Civilizing of India,” Irish Freedom, December 10, 1910, 8. 73. Irish Freedom, September 1911, 6. 74. Sinn Fein, March 30, 1907. 75. Quoted in Bose, Organizing Empire, 137. 76. Quoted in Silvestri, “The Sinn Fein of India,” 469. 77. Bean na hEireann, October 1909, 13–14. 78. “Black Troops in Europe,” The Irish Citizen, May-June 1920, 95. 79. “Ireland Helps India,” The Irish Citizen, September 1917.

Ch apt er 3 1. For a discussion of Inghinidhe na hEireann and Cumann na Mban, see Ward, Unmanageable Revolutionaries, andMcCoole, No Ordinary Women. For Saraladebi Chaudharani, see Bharati Ray, Early Colonial Feminists (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2002), and Saraladebi, The Scattered Leaves of My Life, edited and translated by Sikata Banerjee (New Delhi: Women Unlimited, 2011). 2. Ward, Unmanageable Revolutionaries, 41. 3. Ap Hywel, “Elise and the Great Queens of Ireland,” 25. 4. Valiulis, “Power, Gender, and Identity in the Irish Free State,” 117. 5. These are the last lines of Patrick Pearse’s famous oration over the grave of O’Donovan Rossa. They are widely quoted. www.libraryireland.com/HullHistory/ Appendix2b.php, accessed March 6, 2011. 6. Cullingford, “Thinking of Her as Ireland.” 7. Whelan, “Women and the Struggle for Independence,” 820. 8. Inghinidhe na hEireann, Annual Report, 1901, pamphlet no. 16, National Library of Ireland, I 94109, 1. All pamphlets related to IE, as well issues of the organization’s paper, Bean na hEireann, were accessed in the National Library of Ireland. 9. Ward, Unmanageable Revolutionaries, 48–51. 10. “Irish Women’s Duty,” Bean na hEireann, January 1909. 11. Quinn, “Cathleen ni Houlihan Writes Back,” 41.

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12. Bean na hEireann, April 1909, 1. 13. “Editorial Notes,” Bean na hEireann, February 1909. 14. “Sinn Fein and Irish Women,” Bean na hErieann, November 1909. 15. “Letters to the Editor,” Sinn Fein, April 2, 1911. 16. Ward, In Their Own Voice, 29. 17. Ward, Unmanageable Revolutionaries, 74. 18. Benton, “Women Disarmed.” 19. Ward, In Their Own Voice, 40–41. 20. The Irish Citizen, September 5, 1914, 127. 21. Ward, Unmanageable Revolutionaries, 88. 22. Ward, In Their Own Voice, 45. 23. McCoole, No Ordinary Women. 24. Ward, In Their Own Voice, 86. 25. McCallum, “And They’ll March with Their Brothers to Freedom,” 69. 26. McCarthy, Cumaan na mBan and the Irish Revolution, 111–112. 27. McCarthy, Cumaan na mBan and the Irish Revolution, 113. 28. McCarthy, Cumaan na mBan and the Irish Revolution, 131. 29. McCallum, “And They’ll March with Their Brothers to Freedom,” 68. 30. McCarthy, Cumaan na mBan and the Irish Revolution, 118. 31. McCarthy, Cumaan na mBan and the Irish Revolution,163–164. 32. Bjorkert-Thapar and Ryan, “Mother India/Mother Ireland,” 310. 33. Martin, “The Practice of Identity and an Irish Sense of Place,” 106. 34. McCoole, No Ordinary Women, 15. 35. McCoole, No Ordinary Women, 38. 36. Kiberd, Inventing Ireland, 182. 37. “The Ethics of the Sinn Fein,” National Library of Ireland, I 94109 P10, Pamphlet no. 6, September 1917. 38. “The Ethics of the Sinn Fein.” National Library of Ireland, I 94109 P10, Pamphlet no. 6, September 1917. 39. Benton, “Women Disarmed,” 155–157. 40. McCarthy, Cumaan na mBan and the Irish Revolution, 136–139. 41. Ryan, “‘Furies’ and ‘Die-Hards,’” 267. 42. Ryan, “‘Furies’ and ‘Die-Hards,’” 270. 43. “The Future of Irish Women,” The Irish Citizen, October 23, 1915. 44. Ward, In Their Own Voice, 32. 45. “The Future of Irish Women,” The Irish Citizen, October 23, 1915. 46. Steele, Women, Press, and Politics, 132; Weihmann, “Doing My Bit for Ireland,” 236–237. 47. Skinnider, Doing My Bit for Ireland, 6. 48. Skinnider, Doing My Bit for Ireland, 20–23. 49. Skinnider, Doing My Bit for Ireland, 124. 50. Skinnider, Doing My Bit for Ireland, 124.

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51. Weihmann, “Doing My Bit for Ireland,” 236–239. 52. Mosse, The Image of Man, 76. 53. Weihmann, “Doing My Bit for Ireland,” 247. 54. Ward, In Their Own Voice, 156. 55. Kiberd, Inventing Ireland, 183. 56. Sarkar, Hindu Nation, Hindu Wife. 57. Chowdhury, Frail Hero and Virile History, 80. 58. Cover page, Stri-Dharma, December 1928. 59. Sharma, “Power v. Representation,” 3. 60. Ray, Early Feminists of India, 12. 61. Saraladebi, The Scattered Leaves of My Life, 126. 62. Saraladebi, The Scattered Leaves of My Life, 136. 63. Bhattacharya and Sen, eds., Talking of Power, 10. 64. Saraladebi, “Foreign Blows versus Native Fists.” 65. Saraladebi, The Scattered Leaves of My Life, 127. 66. Saraladebi, The Scattered Leaves of My Life, 142. 67. Saraladebi, The Scattered Leaves of My Life, 128. 68. Saraladebi, The Scattered Leaves of My Life, 143. 69. See Banerjee, Make Me a Man!, 111–140. 70. Saraladebi, “The Battle Song,” 983–987. 71. Ray, Early Feminists of Colonial India, 66. 72. Saraladebi, “A Woman’s Movement.” 73. Chirol, Indian Unrest, 94. One and a half lakh equals 150,000. 74. Sharma, Easter Rebellion in India. 75. Kumar, The History of Doing, 86. 76. Bose, Organizing Empire, 149–159. 77. Dutt, Chittagong Armoury Raiders, 16. 78. Kumar, The History of Doing, 86. 79. Sharma, Easter Rebellion in India, 263. 80.Sharma, Easter Rebellion in India, 266. 81. Sharma, Easter Rebellion in India, 272. 82. Mukherjee, “Scaling the Barrier.” 83. Kumar, The History of Doing, 86. 84. Kumar, The History of Doing, 88. 85. Bose, “Engendering the Armed Struggle,” 160. 86. Mukherjee, “Scaling the Barrier,” 69.

Ch apt er 4 1. See Sikata Banerjee, “Civic and Cultural Nationalism in India,” in Competing Nationalisms in South Asia: Essays for Asghar Ali Engineer, ed. Paul R. Brass and Achin Vanaik, 59–82 (New Delhi: Orient Longmans, 2002).

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2. Aretxaga, Shattering Silence, 154. 3. Banerjee, India’s Simmering Revolution, 27. 4. Banerjee, India’s Simmering Revolution, 177. 5. Banerjee, India’s Simmering Revolution, 178–182. 6. Dasgupta, “Towards the ‘New’ Man Revolutionary Youth and Rural Agency in the Naxalite Movement,” 1921. 7. Charu Majumdar quoted in Banerjee, Simmering Revolution, 153. 8. Dasgupta, “Towards the ‘New’ Man Revolutionary Youth and Rural Agency in the Naxalite Movement,” 1922–1923. 9. Omvedt, Reinventing Revolution, 41. 10. Sinha Roy, “Speaking Silence,” 212–214. 11. Dasgupta, “Towards the ‘New’ Man Revolutionary Youth and Rural Agency in the Naxalite Movement,” 1924. 12. Roy, “The Everyday Life of Revolution.” 13. Roy, “The Everyday Life of Revolution,” 194. 14. Roy, “The Everyday Life of Revolution,” 197–203. 15. Roy, “Revolutionary Marriage,” 102. 16. Sources, particularly primary sources in English, that outline the Naxalite movement’s gendered dynamics are few and far between. Two major primary sources are works by Krishna Bandyopadhyay and Joya Mitra. I have consulted both. For reasons of space, I could not include a discussion of other sources that would further buttress my argument. For example, there are several films made by Naxalite sympathizers (e.g., The Naxalite, directed by Khwaja Ahmed Abbas). In this film, the character of Ajitha, inspired by the life of an actual revolutionary(discussed in this book), expresses the asexual female comrade accommodated by the muscular politics of Naxalism. It is also worth mentioning that I lived in Calcutta during those crucial years of the political movement and, more important, many of my young relatives, male and female, were Naxalite 17. Bandyopadhyaya, “Naxalbari Politics: A Feminist Narrative,” 53. 18. Bandyopadhyaya, “Naxalbari Politics: A Feminist Narrative,” 54. “Pishima” is the Bengali term for paternal aunt. Earlier in this piece, Krishna B mentions her pishima, who routinely denigrated the value of women and girls, even claiming that girls were not fully formed human beings. 19. Bandyopadhyaya, “Naxalbari Politics: A Feminist Narrative,” 54. 20. Bandyopadhyaya, “Naxalbari Politics: A Feminist Narrative,”54–55. 21. Bandyopadhyaya, “Naxalbari Politics: A Feminist Narrative,” 56. 22. Bandyopadhyaya, “Naxalbari Politics: A Feminist Narrative,” 56. 23. Bandyopadhyaya, “Naxalbari Politics: A Feminist Narrative,” 57. 24. Sinha Roy, “Contesting Calcutta Canons,” 220. 25. Sinha Roy, “Contesting Calcutta Canons,” 221. 26. Bandyopadhyay, “Naxalbari Politics: A Feminist Narrative,” 58. 27. Dasgupta, “Towards the ‘New’ Man Revolutionary Youth and Rural Agency in the Naxalite Movement,” and Rajgopal, “The Legacy of Ajitha.”

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28. Rajgopal, “The Legacy of Ajitha.” 29. “Rediff Interview with Ajitha,” www.rediff.com/news/1999/jan/12keral1.html, accessed February 4, 2009. 30. Kannabiran, Volga, and Kannabiran, “Women’s Rights and Naxalite Groups,” 4875–4876. 31. Bandyopadhyay, “The Revolutionary Patriarchs.” 32. Roy, “The Everyday Life of Revolution,” 197. 33. Roy, “The Everyday Life of Revolution,” 200. 34. Mitra, Killing Days, x. 35. Mitra, Killing Days, xii. 36. Mitra, Killing Days, 12. 37. Mitra, Killing Days, 98. 38. I saw the murals I refer to this chapter while in Belfast, but for a proper citation see Rolston, Drawing Support 3, 18. 39. Rolston, Drawing Support 3, 28–29. 40. Aretxaga, Shattering Silence, 50. 41. Aretxaga, Shattering Silence, 30–35. 42. Arthur, “Reading Violence: Ireland,” 258; Whaley-Eager, From Freedom Fighter to Terrorist. 44. Arthur, “Reading Violence: Ireland,” 265. 45. Talbot, “Female Combatants, Paramilitary Prisoners,” 132–138. 46. Lyons, “Feminist Articulations of the Nation,” 110. 47. Male activist quoted in Dowler, “‘And They Think I’m Just a Nice Old Lady’: Women and War in Belfast, Nothern Ireland,” 169. 48. Female activist quoted in Dowler, “The Mother of All Warriors,” 82. 49. Female activist quoted in Dowler, “The Mother of All Warriors,” 82. 50. Corcoran, Out of Order, 221. 51. Corcoran, Out of Order, 109. 52. Corcoran, Out of Order, 217. 53. Corcoran, Out of Order, 217. 54. Gallagher, “Women Imprisoned as a Result of the Struggle,” 53. 55. Corcoran, Out of Order, 126. 56. Corcoran, “‘We Had to Be Stronger,’” 119. 57. Weinstein, “The Significance of the Armagh Dirty Protest,” 11–13. 58. Women Against Imperialism, Women Protest for Political Status in Armagh Gaol, 22. 59. Women Against Imperialism, Women Protest for Political Status in Armagh Gaol, 24. 60. “It Is My Belief That Armagh Is a Feminist Issue,” The Irish Times, August 22, 1980. 61. Macdonald, Shoot the Women First, 152. 62. Macdonald, Shoot the Women First, 114.

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63. Curtis, Nothing but the Same Old Story, 77–78. 64. Curtis, Nothing but the Same Old Story, 69–86. 65. MacDonald, Shoot the Women First, 178. 66. Corcoran, “‘We Had to Be Stronger,’” 122.

Ch ap ter 5 1. Bacchetta, Gender in the Hindu Nation; Banerjee, Make Me a Man!; Bannerji,“Attired in Virtue”; Bhatt, Hindu Nationalism. 2. Bhusan, “Thy Hand, Great Anarch,” 28. 3. Katju, Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Indian Politics, 138. 4. Jaffrelot, “The 2002 Pogrom in Gujarat,” 185. 5. Kapur, “From Diety to Crusader.” 6. Katju, Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Indian Politics, 89. 7. Chhachi, “Identity Politics, Secularism, and Women,” and Derne, Movies, Masculinity, and Modernity. 8. MacDonald, “Physiological Patriots?,” 351. 9. Golwalkar, Bunch of Thoughts (Bangalore: Sahitya Sindhu Prakashan, 2000), 393. 10. Golwalkar, Bunch of Thoughts, 448. 11. Golwalkar, Bunch of Thoughts (Bangalore: Jagarana Prakashan, 1981), 66. 12. Golwalkar, Bunch of Thoughts (Bangalore: Sahitya Sindhu Prakashan, 2000), 317. 13. Menon, “Herstory: Symbolic Power of Jijabai.” 14. My interviews with the Samiti and BJP women happened in two separate time periods (of about a month and a half each): 1998 and 2002. In total, I talked to between ten and fifteen Samiti women. But the large meetings in 1998 (Samiti and BJP) included about forty or fifty women each. The first visit was financed by a research grant from the University of Lethbridge, Canada, and the second by funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. The interviews were semistructured but very informal. I would contact the women about whom I had learned through word of mouth. Most of them invited me to their homes, and I would spend between thirty and forty minutes chatting about their lives and politics. Although I did not have a formal list of questions, I tried to ask each woman similar types of questions. Indeed, when I visited the BJP leader Nishiganda Mogal in Nasik, I spent the entire day with her before accompanying her to the BJP women’s meeting. 15. Personal Interview, New Delhi, India February 15, 2002. 16. Personal Interview, New Delhi, India, March 5, 2002. 17. Personal Interview, New Delhi, India, February 22, 2002. 18. Personal Interview, New Delhi, India, Februrary 16, 2002. 19. Rai, Life Sketch of Vandaniya Mausiji.

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20. Rai, Life Sketch of Vandaniya Mausiji, 45. 21 Rai, Life Sketch of Vandaniya Mausiji, 66. 22. Rashtriya Sevika Samiti, Awakening among Women, 11. 23. Katju, Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Indian Politics, 91. 24. Banerjee, Make Me a Man!, 105. 25. Swami, “Furore over a Film.” 26. Mehra et. al., “What’s Burning?” 27. Sen, Death by Fire, 6. 28. Oldenburg, “The Roop Kanwar Case, Feminist Response,” 381. 29. Sen, Death by Fire, 7. 30. Zacharias, “Gender, Power, and Citizenship in the Narratives of the Nation,” 44–45. 31. Mani, “Contentious Traditions.” 32. Major, Sati: A Historical Anthology, 239. 33. Major, Sati: A Historical Anthology, 240. 34. Oldenburg, “The Roop Kanwar Case, Feminist Response,” 387. 35. Vanita and Kishwar, “The Burning of Roop Kanwar.” 36. “Referendum: All You Need to Know,”The Irish Times, June 10, 2004. 37. Carby, “What Is This ‘Black’ in Irish Popular Culture?,” 329. 38. Carby, “What Is This ‘Black’ in Irish Popular Culture?,” 331. 39. Carby, “What Is This ‘Black’ in Irish Popular Culture?,” 334. 40. Garner, Racism in the Irish Experience, 71. 41. Garner, Racism in the Irish Experience, 71. 42. Garner, Racism in the Irish Experience, 69–72. 43. Garner, Racism in the Irish Experience, 135. 44. Garner, Racism in the Irish Experience, 145. 45. Maillot, New Sinn Fein: Irish Republicanism in the Twenty-First Century, 119–123. 46. Fanning, Positive Politics. 47. Luddy, “A ‘Sinister and Retrogressive’ Proposal.” 48. Fletcher, “Reproducing Irishness: Race, Gender, and Abortion Law.” 49. Fletcher, “Reproducing Irishness: Race, Gender, and Abortion Law,” 383. 50. Martin, “Death of a Nation.” 51. An Irishman’s Diary,” The Irish Times, July 20, 2000. 52. Distorting The Legacy of Pearse,” The Irish Times, August 2, 2000. 53. Letters to the Editor,” The Irish Times, August 15, 2000. 54. See for example, “The Irishman’s Diary,” The Irish Times, January 31, 2006, and a series of letters discussing this issue on February 1, 2006, and April 29, 2006, in The Irish Times, as well as “Repackaging and Sanitising the Rising: An Impossible Task,” The Irish Times, February 4, 2006. 55. “Republicanism Still Relevant Says Ahern at Pearse Opening,” The Irish Times, July 15, 2000.

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56. Higgins, “Projections and Reflections.” 57. “Irish Revive Rites for Easter Revolt, and Debate its Merits,” The New York Times, April 17, 2006, www.nytimes.com/2006/04/17/world/europe/17ireland.html (accessed June 23, 2008). 58. Farquaharson, “Sexing the Rising: Men, Sex, Violence and Easter 1916,” 69–71. 59. “GAA Continues to Spread the Word,” The Irish Times, July 31, 1999. 60. Drennan, “Pure Mule,” Magill, October 2005, 37. 61. Lentin and McVeigh, eds., Racism and Anti-Racism in Ireland. 62. Luibheid, “Sexual Regimes and Migration Control.” 63. Garner, “Babies, Bodies, and Entitlement.” 64. Lentin, “Strangers and Strollers.” 65. Garner, “Babies, Bodies, and Entitlement.” 66. Garner, “Babies, Bodies, and Entitlement.” 67. Ahern, Bertie. 2004. “Ask Bertie Ahern,” http//:news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/talking_point/3626759.stm (accessed February 15, 2006). 68. Gregg, “How Green Is My Valley?,” Magill, October, 2005, 20–23. 69. Luibheid, “Sexual Regimes and Migration Control,” 339. 70. Lentin, “Strangers and Strollers.” 71. See Tracey Sharpley-Whiting, Black Venus, Sexualized Savages, Primal Fears, and Primitive Narratives in French (Durham: Duke University Press, 1999), for an excellent discussion of Sarah Baartman. 72. Of course, when blackness and armed femininity fuse, this threat to the nation becomes even more potent.

Conclu sion 1. De Alwis, “Moral Mothers and Stalwart Sons”; De Volo, “Drafting Motherhood.” 2. Allison, Women and Political Violence; Bloom, “Female Suicide Bombers”; and Ness, “The Rise in Female Violence.” 3. This work has focused on women, but, as the discussion of the simianization and effeminization of male Irish and Indian bodies has illustrated, male bodies not seen to be proper “men” are also marginalized within this discourse. But that is a topic for another work.

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index

Abortion, ban on, 154–55 Abscondence, 104 Act of Union (1800), 42 Acton, Lord, 35 Advaita Vedanta, 57 Afghanistan, 6 Agni (god of fire), 148 Agnipariksha (trial by fire), 148 Ahern, Bertie, 155–56, 159–60 Ahimsa (nonviolence), 8 Ahmedabad riots, 135 All India Women’s Conference, 70, 93 Amritsar, 24 Anandamath (Chatterjee, B.), 60–61, 65 Anarchy, 31 Anderson, Linda, 1–2, 7 Anderson, Sir John, 23 Anglo-Irish Treaty (1922), 169n3 Anglo-Saxon race, 28–29, 30–31, 38 Annihilation, 112, 115, 117 Anushilan Samiti (revolutionary group), 17, 57, 67; terrorism and, 55, 99–100 Anzaldua, Gloria, 11–12 Apurba (fictional character), 65–67, 103 Armagh dirty protest (1980, Northern Ireland), 10, 13, 18, 106, 126–30 Armed femininity, 61, 80, 99–105 Armed masculinity, 4, 10, 50, 112, 134, 137 Arnold, Matthew, 31–32 Artexga, Begona, 12 Asceticism, 59, 61, 63, 140 Atkinson, George Francklin, 40 Australian nationalism, 5

Baartman, Sarah, 160 Babu, Bengali, 15, 32–34, 67 Bajrang Dal, 135–36 Bandemataram (nationalist paper), 67–68, 70, 112 Bandyopadhayay, Krishna, 18, 114–17, 130–31 Bangabashi (daily), 96 Bartlett, Thomas, 36 Battle of Gallipoli (1915), 5 Bean na hEireann (IE newspaper), 70, 71–72, 78–80 Beautiful soul, 8, 146, 166 Beddoe, John, 31, 36 Belfast Agreement, 159 Bengal: Vivekananda, muscular nationalism and, 55–57; Wadedar and armed femininity in, 99–105. See also Naxal movement Bengalee (newspaper), 39 Bengalis: Bengali babu, 15, 32–34, 67; weak, 32–36 The Bengali (nationalist daily), 56 Benton, Sarah, 87 Besant, Annie, 93 Bharati (fictional character), 66–67, 68, 103 Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), 134, 143– 46, 181n14 Bharatmata (Mother India), 68 Bharat Stree Mahamondal (women’s organization), 98–99 Bhatt, Haraeshbhai, 135 bin Laden, Osama, 6 Birashtami festivals, 96



199

200



Index

Bjorkert-Thapar, Suruchi, 12 BJP. See Bharatiya Janata Party Black and Tans, 37, 81 Black female body, 18, 133, 155, 160–62 Blackness, 153, 160–61, 183n72 “Black Troops in Europe” (The Irish Citizen), 72–73 Blair, Tony, 107 Blood sacrifice, 67–68, 85, 112–13 Bloody Sunday, 123 Boer War, 29, 49 Boland’s Mill, 86 Border guards, women as, 7–8, 10, 13– 15, 17–19, 24–26, 40–43, 64, 136 Bose, Babu Bhuggobutty (fictional character), 33–34 Bose, Purnima, 13, 24, 100 Boy’s Scouts, 29, 49, 51. See also Na Fianna Eireann “The Boys of Ireland” (The Irish Freedom), 49 Breen, Dan, 71 Bridie, Aunt, 85 Britannia, 31, 32–33 British policy toward Ireland and India, 12–16 Brookes, John, 21, 28 Bunch of Thoughts (Golwalkar), 138 Butler, Mary E., 76 “Buy a Revolver Speech” (Markievicz), 89 Caird, John, 27 Calcutta Review, 27 Callaghan, Rosemary, 127 Cama, Madam, 70 Camogie (Irish sport), 157 Carby, Hazel, 151–52, 160 Carney, Winifred, 121 Castes, 14, 111, 134, 145–46; Rajput, 134, 146–48, 150–51, 161–62, 166

Catholicism, muscular, 16–17, 46 CB. See Cumann na mBan Celibacy, 62–63, 87, 140, 143 Celts: Anglo-Saxons and, 30–31, 38; simianized, 30–32 Chaste femininity, 7–12; Mosse on, 11; Pearse, P., on, 52–53; tension between politicized femininity and, 18–19 Chaste woman: as boundary between Self and Other, 24; martial man versus, 7, 9, 17, 75, 105, 125, 130, 165, 167 Chatterjee, Bankimchandra, 55, 67; Anandamath, 60–61, 65; on sati ritual, 148–49 Chatterjee, Kamaladebi, 93 Chatterjee, Saratchandra, 64–67, 103 Chaudharani, Saraladebi, 17, 75, 92, 93; “Foreign Blows versus Native Fists,” 95; life of, 94–99 Chaudhury, Rambhuja Datta, 94 Children’s Patriotic Treat, 78–79 Chirol, Valentine, 69 Chittagong raid, 100, 101 Chonaill, Aine Ni, 160 Choudhury, Suniti, 100, 103, 105 Chowdhury, R. C., 95 Christianity, muscular, 16, 26, 28, 60 Christian manliness, 26–30, 86 “Christian Manliness: A Book of Examples and Principles for Young Men” (Religious Tract Society of London), 26–27 Christian Manliness: A Sermon (Caird), 27 Civil Authorities Act (1922), 122 “The Civilizing of India” (The Irish Freedom), 69 Class and effeminacy, 28–29 “The Colonel’s Wife” (Atkinson), 40 Colonialism: imperialism and, 14;

Index

legitimacy of, 24–25; marriage as metaphor for, 42–43; race and, 25– 26; whiteness and colonized Other, 36–39; Wright on, 14, 42 Colum, Mary, 82 Columbia Exposition, 60 Comerford, Maire, 83–84 “The Coming Revolution” (Pearse, P.), 49–50 Communist Party of India–Marxist Leninist (CPI-ML), 108, 110, 111, 113 The Complete Indian Housekeeper and Cook (Steel), 41 Connaught Rangers, 36–37, 71 Connolly, James, 54, 77 Connolly, Nora, 91, 121 Conscription, 81 Coogan, Tim, 129 Cosgrave, President, 88 Cousins, Margaret, 70, 73, 92 CPI-ML. See Communist Party of India–Marxist Leninist Crawling order, 24, 34 “Cul4Kidz” (The Irish Times), 157 Cumann na mBan (Irish Women’s Organization, CB), 54, 74, 164; contextualizing, 75–78; Easter Uprising and, 82–83, 85–88, 153; IRA and, 84; Irish Volunteers and, 17, 81, 83, 86–87, 91; Irish War of Independence and, 81–88, 153; logo of, 82, 121; Manifesto of, 81–82; PIRA and disbanding of, 123; preamble to constitution of, 83 Curtis, L. P., 30, 42 Cusack, Michael, 46–47, 157 Dail Eireann (Irish parliament), 88, 90–91 Dalit women, 145, 162 Dark Rosaleen, 48



201

Das, Bina, 103–4, 105 Dasi, Girindramohini, 95 de Valera, Eamon, 76, 86, 87–88, 164 Devi Ashtabhuja (goddess), 141 Devonshire, Duke of, 29 Dhinghra, Madan Lal, 71–72 Disraeli, Benjamin, 35 Doyle, Roddy, 156–57 Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan, 37–38 Durga (warrior goddess), 68, 96–97, 99 Durga Vahini (women’s group), 137 Dutt, Kalpana, 100–101 Dyer, Reginald Edward Harry, 22–24, 39 Easter Uprising (1916), 13, 71; CB and, 82–83, 85–88, 153; Irish flag and, 121; Markievicz and, 17, 88–89; Pearse, P., and, 52, 53, 156, 160; Skinnider and, 17, 90–91 East India Company’s troops, 30, 36 Economic crisis: impacts of global, 171n45, 171n47; Naxal movement and, 110, 111, 113 Education: Bharat Stree Mahamondal and, 98–99; fosterage system of, 51, 62, 74; Naxal movement and, 111, 113; Pearse, P., and, 49–54, 61–62; Vedic system of, 62; Vivekananda on, 57, 61–63, 111 Effeminacy: class and, 28–29; of England, 45; of Indian men, 15, 32– 35, 58–59, 66–67, 92, 166, 183n3; of Irish men, 16, 31–32, 166, 183n3; manliness, childishness and, 28 Elshtain, Jean, 8, 146, 166 Emmet, Robert, 72 Empire: Christian manliness and, 26–30; four archetypes of English manliness in, 22; hegemonic masculinity and, 21–23 Engineer, 22

202



Index

England: effeminacy of, 45; four archetypes of English manliness, 22 Enloe, Cynthia: on hegemonic masculinity, 3–4; on U.S. war in Iraq, 5–6 Eugenic scientists, 16 European Union, 154–55, 158 Explorer, 22 Fajujonu case, 159 Farrell, Mairead, 121–22, 124, 128, 130 Female activism: morality and, 8, 170n31; motherhood as metaphor for, 164; violence and, 2 Female agency, 69, 91 Female menace, 9–10, 91 Female suicide bombers, 165 Female virtue, 161; male savagery versus, 24, 40; metaphors for, 146 Femininity: armed, 61, 80, 99–105; cutting off hair as symbol of, 87; masculinity compared to, 2, 4, 9–10, 28–29; menstruation as symbol of, 128, 131, 165; and muscular nationalism in Ireland, 75–91; violence and, 10–11, 163. See also Chaste femininity; Effeminacy; Politicized femininity; Women Feminist international relations, 3 Feminization of Orient, 21 Fenians, 174n5 Fianna Fail (political party), 153 Fire (film), 145 Flatley, Michael, 152, 162 “Foreign Blows versus Native Fists” (Chaudharani), 95 Forster, E. M., 43 Fosterage system of education, 51, 62, 74 Fraternal bonds, 96, 104 GAA. See Gaelic Athletic Association Gael, muscular, 16, 121, 153

Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA), 45–48, 121, 153, 157 Gaelic League, 48, 49–50; women in, 75–77, 79 Gaelic warrior pagan culture, 51 Gandhi, 8, 92, 93, 149 Gang Bang, Ulster Style (Anderson, L.), 1–2, 7 Gender: imperialism and, 22–26; race, imperialism and, 30 Geschlecht und Charakter [Sex and Character] (Weiniger), 6 Ghose, Aurobindo, 67–68, 71, 108, 112 Ghosh, Dron, 115–16, 131 Ghosh, Shanti, 100, 103 Golwalkar, M. S., 138–40 Gonne, Maud, 78 Goswami, Bijoykrishna, 94 Great Indian Mutiny of 1857, 37 “The Green Flag” (Doyle, A.), 37–38 Griffith, Arthur, 79 Gujarat riots, 136 Hair, cutting off, 87 Halberstam, Judith, 15 Hall, Catherine, 39 Halpin, Christy, 85 Hardy, George, 25 Hazaar Chaurashi ki Ma (The Mother of 1084, film), 108, 118 Heath, Edward, 123 Hedgewar, Keshav Baliram, 138, 140 Hegemonic masculinity: empire and, 21–23; four ideal types of, 3–4; race and, 15–16, 32; traits of, 21; values of, 5 Hibernia, 31, 33, 41, 48 Hinduism: masculine, 16–17, 18, 57–61; Western women compared to Hindu women, 63–64 “Hinduism and Political Assassination” (Bandemataram), 70

Index

Hindu nationalism (Hindutva), 109, 134; Irish republicanism compared to, 2, 10–17; Kanwar and, 135–38 Hobson, Bulmer, 51, 86 Holmes, Denis, 12 Holmes, Michael, 12 Home rule and Ireland, 43, 48, 80, 153 Hooper, Charlotte, 3–4 Houlihan, Kathleen ni, 48, 52, 53, 76, 123, 166 Hunter Commission report, 23, 39 Hurling, 46 Hypermasculinity, 50, 60 IE. See Inghinidhe na Eireann Ilbert Bill (1883), 40 Immigration and Ireland, 157–61 Immolation: of Kanwar, 13, 18, 133– 34, 146–51, 161–62, 165–66; self-, 102–3, 150 Imperialism: civilization and, 25; colonization and, 14; gender, race and, 30; gender and, 22–26; white femininity and, 40–43 Imperial masculinity, 22, 26, 29, 44 Inden, Ronald, 21 “Index of Nigrescence,” 31, 36 India: British policy toward Ireland and, 12–16; colonial officers in Ireland and, 23, 27; effeminacy of men in, 15, 32–35, 58–59, 66–67, 92, 166, 183n3; English women compared to Indian women, 43; global economic crisis impacts on, 171n47; Ireland compared to, 2, 10–17, 28–30; Irish women compared to Indian women, 73; muscular nationalism in Ireland and, 69–73; as Other, 14; whiteness and, 71–73. See also Hindu nationalism; Mother India Indian Easter Rebellion, 100 Indian Republican Army, 100



203

Indian Sociologist, 69 Indian Unrest (Chirol), 70 Indian War (1857), 24, 29, 36 Industrialization, 28, 29 Inghinidhe na Eireann (Daughters of Erin, IE), 53–54, 70, 77, 78–80. See also Bean na hEireann Inter-Parliamentary Committee on Physical Deterioration, 29, 49 Inventing Ireland (Kiberd), 12 IRA. See Irish Republican Army Iraq, U.S. war in, 5–6 Ireland: British policy toward India and, 12–16; as Celtic Tiger, 14, 152, 158; colonial officers in India and, 23, 27; effeminacy of men in, 16, 31–32, 166, 183n3; femininity and muscular nationalism in, 75–91; flag, 121; global economic crisis impacts on, 171n45, 171n47; home rule and, 43, 48, 80, 153; immigration and, 157–61; India compared to, 2, 10–17, 28–30; muscular nationalism in India and, 69–73; Other and, 14, 38, 158; partitioning of, 84, 122, 169n3; Pearse, P., muscular nationalism and, 45–49, 153; race and, 151–55; simianization of Irish, 30–32, 129, 152; universities in, 38; whiteness and, 71–73, 152–55. See also Celts; Mother Ireland; Northern Ireland; Republic of Ireland Irish Citizen Army, 77 Irish Citizenship referendum (2004), 10, 13, 18, 133, 151, 158–59, 161 The Irish Citizen, 70, 81; “Black Troops in Europe,” 72–73; Markievicz and, 88–89 Irish Civil War (1922–1923), 13, 84–85, 88 The Irish Freedom, 46, 48–49, 69–70, 80

204



Index

Irish Free State, 84–85, 169n3. See also Republic of Ireland Irish nationalism, 12, 71 Irish Parliamentary Party, 39 Irish Republican Army (IRA): CB and, 84; split of, 123; women in, 18, 107, 109, 121–26, 130–31 Irish Republican Brotherhood, 80; activism of, 32; founding of, 46, 174n5. See also The Irish Freedom Irish republicanism: goals of, 169n3; Hindu nationalism compared to, 2, 10–17 The Irish Times, 128–29, 152, 155, 157–58 Irish Volunteers, 48; Cumann na mBan and, 17, 81, 83, 86–87, 91 Irish War of Independence (1919– 1921), 13; Black and Tans during, 37, 81; CB and, 81–88, 153 Irishwomen and the Home Language (Butler), 76 “Irish Women’s Duty” (Bean na hEireann), 78–79 Irish Women’s Franchise League (IWFL), 70, 77, 80 Irish Women’s Worker’s Union, 77 Israeli-Palestinian conflict, 6 IWFL. See Irish Women’s Franchise League Jallianwala Bagh massacre (1919), 22–24; Hunter Commission report on, 23, 39 Jansatta (Hindi daily), 147 Jawans (foot soldiers), 140 Jews, 6 “The Judge’s Wife” (Atkinson), 40 Jugantar (revolutionary group), 67 Kali (warrior goddess), 68, 96–97, 99 Kambli, Meena, 145

Kanwar, Roop: Hindu nationalism and, 135–38; immolation of, 13, 18, 133–34, 146–51, 161–62, 165–66; muscular nationalism, women and, 146–51 Kashmir, 6 Kathleen ni Houlihan (Yeats), 52, 53, 76 Kelkar, Lakshmibai, 140, 142 Kenny, Mary, 152 Kiberd, Declan: Inventing Ireland, 12; on masculinization of women, 86, 91 Kingsley, Charles, 31 Kipling, Rudyard, 37, 43 Lake, Marilyn, 5 Land League agitations, 32 Larkin, Delia, 77 Lawrence, Sir Henry, 27 Leabhar mBan (paper), 84 “Letters to Nora,” 47 Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE), 163, 165 Lord of the Dance, 151–52 LTTE. See Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam Maastricht treaty, 154 Machiavelli, Niccolò, 4 Mackintosh, Daniel, 30–31 MacSwiney, Mary, 87–88 MacSwiney, Terence, 71, 84–85 Maeve (warrior queen), 86 Magill (magazine), 157, 158 Mahabharata (Indian epic), 65 Majumdar, Charu, 108, 111–13, 119–20 Manliness: effeminacy, childishness and, 28; empire and Christian, 26–30; four archetypes of English, 22 Manliness: Hints to Young Men (Brookes), 21, 28

Index

Many Voices, One Country (Sinn Fein), 153 Markievicz, Constance, 51, 75, 105–6, 128; Bean na hEireann and, 79; “Buy a Revolver Speech,” 89; Dail Eireann and, 88, 90–91; Easter Uprising and, 17, 88–89; The Irish Citizen and, 88–89 Martial and nonmartial race, 15, 32 Martial man versus chaste woman, 7, 9, 17, 75, 105, 125, 130, 165, 167 Martial prowess and physical strength, 60–61, 73–74 Martyrdom, 68, 76, 112 Masculine Hinduism, 16–17, 18, 57–61 Masculinity: armed, 4, 10, 50, 112, 134, 137; femininity compared to, 2, 4, 9–10, 28–29; masculinization of women, 86, 91; shakha and, 138–40. See also Hegemonic masculinity Mater dolorosa (suffering mother), 11, 122 Mayo, Katherine, 43 McAleese, Mary, 156 McCafferty, Nell, 128 McCoole, Sinead, 85 Mehta, Deepa, 145 Memsahib, 40, 42 Menstruation, 128, 131, 165 Missionary, 22 Mitra, Joya, 18, 114, 119–20, 125, 130–31, 165 Mogal, Nishigandha, 143–44, 181n14 Molony, Helena, 77 Moore, Sinead, 129 Moral economy of nationalism, 11, 67, 87, 134, 154, 161, 165 Morality: female activism and, 8, 170n31; muscular Christianity and, 28, 60; nationalist, 11 Mosse, George: on chaste femininity, 11; on female menace, 9–10, 91; on



205

hegemonic masculinity, 4; on Jews, 6 Mother and motherhood: forms of, 97; images of, 11, 97, 120; as metaphor for female activism, 164; Pearse, P., on, 53, 76; suffering, 11, 76, 85, 109, 122, 123; views of, 78–79, 84–85, 93 Mother India, 16, 60–61, 68, 97, 139 Mother India (Mayo), 43 Mother Ireland, 48, 87, 90, 121–22 “A Mother Speaks” (Pearse, P.), 53 Mukherjee, Ishanee, 102 Murphy, Brian, 155 Muscle Jew, 6 Muscular Catholicism, 16–17, 46 Muscular Christianity, 16, 26, 28, 60 Muscular Gael, 16, 121, 153 Muscular nationalism: and femininity in Ireland, 75–91; final thoughts on, 163–67; historical analysis of, 13; in India and Ireland, 69–73; Kanwar, women and, 146–51; Pearse, P., Ireland and, 45–49, 153; politicized femininity in postcolonial, 108–9; tension between politicized femininity and, 13; Vivekananda, Bengal and, 55–57; and women in India, 92–94 “Muscular Sinn Fein” (Sinn Fein), 45 Myers, Kevin, 152, 155 My Fight for Irish Freedom (Breen), 71 Na Fianna Eireann (Irish Boys Scouts), 49, 51–52 Nagel, Joane, 11 Naidu, Sarojini, 93 Narayanan, Ajitha, 18, 114, 117–18 Narayanan, Kunnikal, 117 Nation: Naxal movement and, 110–11; as warrior goddess, 68, 96–97, 99; as woman, 6, 47–48, 52–54, 64, 68–69, 74, 76

206



Index

“Nation Building and Body Culture” (Sinn Fein), 46 Naxal movement (1969-1972), 10, 13, 106; economic crisis and, 110, 111, 113; education and, 111, 113; films made by, 108, 179n16; nation and, 110–11; new man and, 112–20; sexual harassment and, 116–17, 131, 165; women in, 17–18, 107–20, 164–65 Nehruvian secularism, 109 Nepali Maoist movement, 163 New man, 112–20 Nivedita, Sister, 62 Northern Ireland: Armagh dirty protest, 10, 13, 18, 106, 126–30; as part of United Kingdom, 169n3; troubles in, 1, 120, 122–26 Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association, 122 O’Faolain, Nuala, 157, 158 O’Farrell, Agnes, 81 “On the Study of Celtic Literature” (Arnold), 32 Orientalist knowledge, 36, 38 Other: India as, 14; Ireland and, 14, 38, 158; Self contrasted with, 21, 24, 27, 39; whiteness and colonized, 36–39 Outlook (magazine), 137 “Over the Frontier” (Sinn Fein), 70 Owenson, Sydney, 42–43 Paddy: fighting Irish compared to, 29; racial epithets for, 42; as simianized Celt, 30 Paharatali European Club, 101, 104 Palestinian nationalism, 6 Pather Dabi (Chatterjee, S.), 64–67, 103 Pativrata (husband devotion), 93, 133 Patriotism, 28, 66, 72 Pearse, Mary, 53, 76, 84, 166

Pearse, Patrick: on chaste femininity, 52–53; “The Coming Revolution,” 49–50; Easter Uprising and, 52, 53, 156, 160; education and, 49–54, 61–62; execution of, 52; legacy of, 155–61; on motherhood, 53, 76; “A Mother Speaks,” 53; on muscular Catholicism, 16–17; muscular nationalism, Ireland and, 45–49, 153; on sacrifice, 52–53, 71, 85; The Singer, 53 Pearse, William, 76 The People of India (Risley), 32 PIRA. See Provisional IRA Pishima (paternal aunt), 115, 179n18 A Poem for Vijaya Dashami (anonymous), 1–2, 7, 34 Politicized femininity: in postcolonial muscular nationalism, 108–9; societal suspicion of, 2; tension between chaste femininity and, 18–19; tension between muscular nationalism and, 13; as transgressive, 9 Postcolonial muscular nationalism, 108–9 Powell, Sir Robert Baden, 29, 49, 51 Pracharaks, 140 Provisional IRA (PIRA), 123 “The Pujah and Patriotism” (Ghose), 67 Punch or Indian Charivari: political cartoons in, 32–35; “The Two Forces,” 31–32 al-Qaeda, 6 Quest for manhood, 16–17, 50, 57, 67, 69 Race: Anglo-Saxon, 28–29, 30–31, 38; colonialism and, 25–26; gender, imperialism and, 30; hegemonic masculinity and, 15–16, 32; Ireland and, 151–55; martial and

Index

nonmartial, 15, 32; simianized Celt and, 30–32. See also Blackness; Whiteness Rai, Lala Rajpat, 36 Rajput caste, 134, 146–48, 150–51, 161–62, 166 Rakhi ritual, 96 Ram (Hindu deity), 137, 147–48 Ramakrishna Mission, 57, 62–63 Ramayana (Hindu epic), 147–48 Rani of Jhansi, 62 Rape, 5, 142 Rashtriya Sevika Samiti, 140–46, 181n14 Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), 134, 138 Ravana (mythic figure), 93, 148 Religious Tract Society of London, 26–27 Renan, Ernest, 31–32 Republican News, 109 Republic of Ireland, 169n3 RIC. See Royal Irish Constabulary Richards, Frank, 36–37 Risley, Sir Herbert, 32 Riverdance, 151–52 Rowlatt Act, 23 Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC), 23, 83 Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), 122 RSS. See Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh RUC. See Royal Ulster Constabulary Ruddick, Sarah, 11 Rule of law, 23 Ryan, Louise, 12 Sabyasachi (fictional character), 65–66, 103 Sacrifice: blood, 67–68, 85, 112–13; Pearse, P., on, 52–53, 71, 85 Said, Edward, 21 St. Enda’s school, 49–51 “The Same” (Punch), 33



207

Samiti. See Rashtriya Sevika Samiti Sandinistas in Nicaragua, 163 Sarbaadhikari, Nagendra Prasad, 55–56 Sarkar, Tanika, 68, 92 Sarvarkar, V. D., 69 Sati ritual, 102, 133, 148–49 Savitri (mythic figure), 93 Saxon. See Anglo-Saxon race Scavenger methodology, 15 Science and Sanskrit, 62 Self, Other contrasted with, 21, 24, 27, 39 Self-Help (Smiles), 27, 28 Self-immolation, 102–3, 150 Self-rule, 25, 35, 43 Sen, Ela, 100 Sen, Surya, 100–103 Sepoys, rebellious, 24 Serbian nationalism, 5 Sevikas (Samiti activists), 142 Sexual harassment, 116–17, 131, 165 Shahadharmini (proper helpmeet), 92 Shakha and masculinity, 138–40 Shanti (fictional character), 61, 64, 68 Sharpe, Jenny, 40 Shattering Silence (Artexga), 12 Sherwood, Marcella, 24, 34 Shiva (god), 68 Shiv Sena, 134, 144–46 Simianization of Irish, 30–32, 129, 152 The Singer (Pearse, P.), 53 Singh, Maal, 133 Sinn Fein, 77, 80, 81, 86; Many Voices, One Country, 153 Sinn Fein (paper), 45–49, 70 “Sinn Fein and Irish-women” (Skeffington), 80 Sita (mythic figure), 93, 147–48 Skeffington, Hanna Sheehy, 77, 79–80, 82 Skinnider, Margaret, 75, 105, 128; Easter Uprising and, 17, 90–91

208



Index

Slavery, abolition of, 25 “The Slaves of the Slaves” (Republican News), 109 Smiles, Samuel, 27, 28 Soldier, 22 Space invaders, women as, 9, 12, 113 Spiritual conquest, 60–61 Sports and athleticism, 51, 55–57, 121 Sri Chaitanaya (saint), 58 Sri Ramakrishna, 57 A Star Called Henry (Doyle, R.), 156–57 Steel, Flora Annie, 41 Stoler, Anne, 25 Stormont parliament, 122, 123 Stri-Dharma (journal of Woman’s Indian Association), 92–93 Suffrage, women’s, 79–80, 92 Tagore, Abanindranath, 68, 97 Tagore, Rabindranath, 103 Tagore family, 55, 94 Terrorism, 75, 93–94; Anushilan Samiti and, 55, 99–100 “Thanks my friends of football renown” (The Bengali), 56 Times, 35 Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, 7 “The Two Forces” (Punch), 31–32 United Kingdom, Northern Ireland as part of, 169n3 Universities, in Ireland, 38 Unmanageable Revolutionaries (Ward), 85 Vaishnavas of Orissa, 58–59 Vance, Norman, 28 Vedic system of education, 62 VHP. See Viswa Hindu Parishad Violence: female activism and, 2; femininity and, 10–11, 163; toward women, 86–87

Viswa Hindu Parishad (VHP), 134, 135, 144 Vivekananda, Swami, 45, 93; on education, 57, 61–63, 111; influence of, 139; on masculine Hinduism, 16–17, 18, 57–61; muscular nationalism, Bengal and, 55–57; warrior monk and, 57–69, 92; on Western masculinity, 60; on women, 62–64 Wadedar, Preetilata, 17, 75, 92, 93; and armed femininity in Bengal, 99–105; suicide of, 101, 106, 164 Ward, Margaret, 82, 85 Warrior goddess, nation as, 68, 96–97, 99 Warrior-martyr, 54 Warrior monk, 57–69, 92 Warriors, women, 94, 102, 105, 121–30 Weiniger, Otto, 6 Western masculinity, 60 Western women compared to Hindu women, 63–64 Whiteness, 13–14; colonized Other and, 36–39; India and, 71–73; Ireland and, 71–73, 152–55; white femininity and imperialism, 40–43 White privilege, 39, 43, 153 Wild Irish Girl (Owenson), 42–43 Wives, 87 “Woman–A National Asset,” 47 Women: as border guards, 7–8, 10, 13–15, 17–19, 24–26, 40–43, 64, 136; control of, 138, 154; English women compared to Indian, 43; final thoughts on, 163–67; in Gaelic League, 75–77, 79; in IRA, 18, 107, 109, 121–26, 130–31; Irish women compared to Indian, 73; Kanwar, muscular nationalism and, 146–51; masculinization of,

Index

86, 91; and muscular nationalism in India, 92–94; nation as woman, 6, 47–48, 52–54, 64, 68–69, 74, 76; in Naxal movement, 17–18, 107–20, 164–65; power dynamic between native men and, 24, 26, 30, 41, 166, 173n71; social anxiety around, 54, 69, 85, 91, 92, 100–101, 106, 114, 118, 163, 165; as space invaders, 9, 12, 113; suffrage, 79–80, 92; support roles



209

of men compared to, 10; violence toward, 86–87; Vivekananda’s views on, 62–64; warriors, 94, 102, 105, 121–30; Western women compared to Hindu, 63–64 Women’s Indian Association, 70 Wright, Julia, 13, 14, 42 Yama (lord of Death), 93 Yeats, William, 52, 53, 76 Youngs, Gillian, 3

About the Author

Sikata Banerjee is Professor of Women’s Studies at the University of Victoria, Canada, and author of Warriors in Politics: Hinduism, Nationalism, Violence, and the Shiv Sena in India (Westview, 2000) and Make Me a Man! Masculinity, Hinduism, and Nationalism in India (SUNY, 2005).

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