Understanding the discursive context: Production of muslim women as invisible in the written history of colonial Bengal
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This paper studies the social milieu that produced Muslim women as “invisible” and “backward” in the written history, shaped by Hindu/Brahmo dominated nationalist discourse in Bengal. It questions the political atmosphere, social context, religious factors, and the literature published in different periodicals that put Muslim women’s identity in a gray area. With the emergence of anti-colonial nationalist movement, the construction of ideal Indian womanhood unfolded multiple aspects of women’s lives in patriarchal families.It also talks about gender and communal identities that denied Muslim women’s agency, even though they spoke and wrote publicly.To identify the relationship between historical invisibility of Muslim women and the overwhelming visibility of Hindu women, I looked at novels written by Rokeya Sakhawat Hossein. Rokeya created female characters that were beyond the time yet to born. This paper is concerned with the formation of those women and the social context that necessitated that formation.