Look Inside

I Am The Widow: An Intellectual Biography Of Behramji Malabari

FREE Delivery
Express Shipping
Express Shipping: Guaranteed Dispatch in 24 hours
Delivery Ships in 1-3 days
Item Code: UBJ216
Author: Harmony Siganporia
Language: English
Edition: 2018
ISBN: 9789352873906
Pages: 301
Other Details 9.00 X 6.00 inch
Weight 470 gm
Fully insured
Fully insured
Shipped to 153 countries
Shipped to 153 countries
More than 1M+ customers worldwide
More than 1M+ customers worldwide
100% Made in India
100% Made in India
23 years in business
23 years in business
Book Description
About The Book

An examination and critical analysis of the life-work and times of Behramji Merwanji Malabari (1853-1912) Parsi social reformer, journalist, poet proto ethnographer/ anthropologist, travel writer, and a vital catalyst of change who did much to shape the national reform discourse I am the Widow is an intellectual biography that compares and analys ses his diverse writings and concerns individually, and in relation to each other. This exercise reveals a society in transition in the late nineteenth century, providing us with an understanding of this crucial and formative moment in Indian history.

The book also evaluates Malabari's lifelong commitment to working for the uplift of women, particularly widows, even as it explores the politics of representation and outlines some of the tensions that such a voicing of 'women's issues' by male reformers such as Malabari entails.

Whether observing his own Parsi community, women, the British coloniser, or India and Indians at large, as a litterateur and quasi cultural anthropologist, Malabari possessed the 'innate human ability to identify with another' as much as 'the ability to refuse to identify solely with oneself".

Malabari had two biographies written about him before he was forty, and a third two years after his death. He then vanished almost completely from the pages of Parsi and Indian history, reduced at best to a footnote. This fourth biography attempts to discover why.

This text will be a rare and valuable asset to scholars of history, culture studies and literary studies.

About the Author

HARMONY SIGANPORIA is an Assistant Professor in the Communication Area at MICA-India, Ahmedabad, and a musician.


his study is an examination and critical analysis of the life- work and times of a Parsi social reformer, journalist, poet, ethnographer-anthropologist and travel writer, who had two biographies written about him before he was quite forty years of age, a third two years after his death, and then disappeared almost completely from both the national reform discourse he did so much to shape, and the pages of Parsi history, which has at best reduced him to a mere footnote. The person in question is Behramji Merwanji Malabari (1853-1912).

This book is an intellectual biography, but one which engages with the contextual formations which inform and are brought about because of Malabari's work and life; an exploration of his times through his life, in other words. Focusing on this figure, the attempt is to work outwards, deciphering the fallout of the internal reform movement within the Parsi community, undertaken largely in the mid- nineteenth century in Western India (focusing on the erstwhile Bombay Presidency region). This movement had almost been completed by the time Malabari announced his arrival onto the national stage. These times and the discursive field of social reform here investigated also mark the beginnings of what would eventually become the women's movement in India. While this text does not claim to investigate or explore the movement's genesis, it does attempt to outline some of the tensions which emerge from the voicing of 'women's issues' by male reformers such as Malabari, even where women's groups existed and were attempting to articulate the same problems.

This study therefore seeks to critically evaluate Malabari's lifelong espousal of working towards the uplift of women, in terms of their social and material conditions, even as it explores the politics of representation such a voicing must inevitably entail. Equally, it seeks to outline the categories 'political' and 'social' available to men of letters such as Malabari towards the end of the nineteenth century, examine how they coalesce into each other, and explore the intricacies generated from this amalgam.

In tracing Malabari's mercurial journalistic career, and exploring the journals of his editing, the Indian Spectator (1880- 1900), The Voice of India (1883-1900) and finally East & West (1901) which he edited until his death in 1912, what becomes obvious is that while his attention almost unflinchingly rests on the issues of widow remarriage and the abolition of child and infant marriage, these are far from the only social evils he attempts to contend with. Malabari's was a wide-ranging intellect which sought to remedy and rectify inequity wherever he saw it, and in whatever form it took. From the conditions of ryots under oppressive land regimes and draconian land tax legislations, to the oriental spectacles which were the Royal Naval and German Exhibitions of 1891, and from the particularities of Rukhmabai's case (1884-1887) to taking on none less than Balgangadhar Tilak and Hari Chiplonkar among others on the larger issue of whether a Parsi might forward a claim to the reform of Hindu society in the form of his championing of the Age of Consent Bill (which was passed in 1891, forbidding the consummation of marriages for girls aged under twelve years), no cause fell outside this enterprising reformer's purview.

Book's Contents and Sample Pages

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Q. What locations do you deliver to ?
    A. Exotic India delivers orders to all countries having diplomatic relations with India.
  • Q. Do you offer free shipping ?
    A. Exotic India offers free shipping on all orders of value of $30 USD or more.
  • Q. Can I return the book?
    A. All returns must be postmarked within seven (7) days of the delivery date. All returned items must be in new and unused condition, with all original tags and labels attached. To know more please view our return policy
  • Q. Do you offer express shipping ?
    A. Yes, we do have a chargeable express shipping facility available. You can select express shipping while checking out on the website.
  • Q. I accidentally entered wrong delivery address, can I change the address ?
    A. Delivery addresses can only be changed only incase the order has not been shipped yet. Incase of an address change, you can reach us at help@exoticindia.com
  • Q. How do I track my order ?
    A. You can track your orders simply entering your order number through here or through your past orders if you are signed in on the website.
  • Q. How can I cancel an order ?
    A. An order can only be cancelled if it has not been shipped. To cancel an order, kindly reach out to us through help@exoticindia.com.
Add a review
Have A Question

For privacy concerns, please view our Privacy Policy

Book Categories