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Women, Violence and Law: An Intimate Interrogation Open Distance Paradigm (Set of 2 Volumes)

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Item Code: HAS811
Author: Edited By Kajal De, Chandan Basu, Srideep Mukherjee
Publisher: Netaji Subhas Open University, Kolkata
Language: English
Edition: 2016
ISBN: Vol.-1: 9789382112242
Vol.-1: 9789382112259
Pages: 649
Other Details 9x6 inch
Weight 750 gm
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Book Description
About The Book

Women in India have historically been at the receiving end of both overt and covert violence in public and private spheres of life. Such violence has as its target not just the female body, but is often virtually an assault of sorts that turns mental and psychological, thus having long standing effects. This phenomena may be read in terms of social, economic, cultural, physical and psychological fall-out of a patriarchy driven crude urge for domination. Sociologically, 'patriarchy' could be used as a metaphor to imply varied kinds of authoritarian domination over women by powers that have the agency to perpetrate. Such transgression, as indicated earlier, is not mere momentary exploitation; it is often a protracted ploy to marginalise women and annihilate them as a social-historical and moral-intellectual category. 'Modernity' in Indian society has indeed addressed certain such issues under a wide umbrella, but on the flip side, it has also given various new forms to such exploitation; and it is all a matter of grave concern. We believe that the platform of an educational institution with open learning pedagogy has the potential of a wide outreach that can foster an environment of awareness, resistance and proactive modalities to counter such negative gender bias. The Indian law makers, the intelligentsia, the feminist critics, activists and thinkers on contemporary culture, women's organisations - in a word, the public domain - has long felt that serious study of the nature of violence against women is urgently needed. At the same time, stringent laws and social consciousness are required to stem the continuous onslaught on women, across the class spectrum. The state of India has framed a number of laws in this regard. The present effort primarily aims at exploring the nature of violence and possible role of legislation in this field; and to create general awareness about it. Secondly, it is hoped that interrogation with laws and violence will highlight the areas of lacuna and limitations of the present framework of laws. Simultaneously, representations of both facets - exploitation and resistance to it in different forms by the culture industry will also be in focus. These volumes may enlighten both the academic community and the activists about the possibility of more stringent reformulation of laws.

About the Editors

Kajal De is Professor of Mathematics and presently the Director, School of Sciences of Netaji Subhas Open University. After graduation with first class from Presidency College, Kolkata, she did her master's, M.Phil and Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from the University of Calcutta. Her areas of research are Information Theory, Operations Research, Fuzzy Graph theory. She has authored a number of research papers in reputed peer-reviewed international journals. She has also co-edited Gender Sensitisation, Women Empowerment and Distance Education: History, Society and Culture (Kolkata: 2014) along with Chandan Basu and Srideep Mukherjee. She served a long span of about fifteen years at Vidyasagar University before joining NSOU ten years back. She was the chairperson of Women Harassment Redressal Cell of Vidyasagar University; and is now the Chairperson of Women Harassment Prevention Cell (WHPC) & Presiding Officer of Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) of Netaji Subhas Open University. She is also Director of Internal Quality Assurance Cell (IQAC) of NSOU.

Chandan Basu is currently Officer-in-Charge of the School of Social Sciences and Associate Professor of History, Netaji Subhas Open University. He did his Ph. D. in the Department of History, Jadavpur University. His area of interest is the social history of leftist ideology and politics in West Bengal. His past publications include The Making of the Left Ideology in West Bengal: Culture, Political Economy, Revolution, 1947- 1971 (Delhi: 2009) and Radical Ideology and 'Controlled Politics': CPI and the History of West Bengal, 1947 -1964 (Kolkata: 2015). He has also co-edited Gender Sensitisation, Women Empowerment and Distance Education: History, Society and Culture (Kolkata: 2014) along with Kajal De and Srideep Mukherjee. Apart from monographs and edited volume, he has published number of research papers in the various referred journals. He is a member of both Women Harassment Prevention Cell (WHPC) & Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) of Netaji Subhas Open University.

Srideep Mukherjee is Assistant Professor of English in the School of Humanities, Netaji Subhas Open University. His M.Phil dissertation from Rabindra Bharati University was on 'Reading Vijay Tendulkar: Gender and Violence'; presently he is pursuing his Ph.D from DEOMEL, VBU on 'Representations of the Dalit in Select Indian Drama in English and in English Translations from Tagore to Karnad. He has also co-edited Gender Sensitisation, Women Empowerment and Distance Education: History, Society and Culture (Kolkata: 2014) along with Kajal De and Chandan Basu. His areas of interest include New Literatures, Postcolonial Theory, Culture Studies and Literary Theory. He is a member of Women Harassment Prevention Cell (WHPC) of Netaji Subhas Open University.


I am glad to note that the Women Harassment Prevention Cell (WHPC) of Netaji Subhas Open University (NSOU) has taken initiative to publish edited volumes titled 'Women, Violence and Law: An Intimate Interrogation'. It is a Two-Volume Set on a theme that deserves meticulous attention not simply for academic interest but also for the cause of a better society.

It is difficult to deny that a section of our society is, though not always overtly, still hostile to the notion of women empowerment, gender equality and other related rights of women. The most blatant attitude of a male dominated society is both the open and undercover violence towards women; such type of violence could be physical as well as psychological in order to establish hegemonic control over them with the ulterior aim to legitimise the discourse of violence. Violence against women is the way of curbing any independent attempt or will to stand in favour of women's right. It is the crudest form of eliminating any possible question, doubt, proximity and even sympathy towards the woman question.

The nature of violence is wide and varied. It could, as stated earlier, be physical as well as psychological; just as it could embrace the domains of home and world. It also could be sexual, either overt or covertly. In one word, violence against women, in whatever form, attempts to debilitate womanhood in particular and humanity in general. There is a common assumption that the extent and degree of violence against women is rampant only in the war- ravaged countries of Asia or Africa. It is true that women in present day Nigeria or Sudan or Syria are the most soft and open targets of violent aggression. However, at the same time one should not be complacent about the state of women in countries like India (the largest democracy), USA (the most powerful nation) or China (possible economic superpower). Women of these countries are also facing violence; indeed it is an everyday practice of dominating them by various means.


Women, Violence and Law: An Intimate Interrogation - Open Distance Paradigm, a commemorative compilation in two volumes, takes on the issue of the woman question in India from exactly those frontiers where we halted in our previous publication - Gender Sensitisation, Women Empowerment and Distance Education: History, Society and Culture (2014). In signing off the Introduction to the previous publication which tended to take a macro view of gender issues by privileging womanhood as the focal point from the view of discourses in Social Sciences and Humanities, the editors had indicated a protracted engagement in this area through the mode of Distance Education under the praxis of Open Learning.

Accordingly, under the aegis of the Women Harassment Prevention Cell of Netaji Subhas Open University, we organized a 2 Days National Seminar titled 'Women, Violence and Law: An Intimate Interrogation' in December 2014. Quite clearly, the focus of this national event was more pinpointed than the earlier one that was aimed at sensitisation. Here was an academic institution of higher learning addressing the issue of myriad kinds of violence against women and also initiating a review of available legal recourses to such violence. The range envisaged was very wide - domestic violence, deviant attitudes against women at workplace, cyber-crimes targeted against women, ethnic violence, marginalisation, women as victims of environmental degradation, the provisions of the law both in safeguarding and remedial measures, provisions for punitive action et all. The responses and the spectrum of deliberations by researchers, social scientists, NGO's, academics and administrators alike were an eye-opener to us as organisers. The commonly felt perception at the end of it was that we had only touched the tip of the iceberg and there was much more to the topic broached than could be assimilated in the span of the two days of deliberations.

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