The demoness, the maid, the whore, and the good mother: Contesting the national language in India


Journal Article

This essay considers the gendering of the Tamil and Hindi languages in the course of the anti-Hindi movement in southern India during the middle decades of this century. The movement, which was principally sponsored by Dravidian and Tamil nationalists, presented the Hindi language to the Tamil public as a bloody demoness, a scheming maid, a tempting whore, and a false mother out to destroy the Tamil language. The paper argues for the significance of the gendering of languages in nationalist mobilizations and activities. © Walter de Gruyter.

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Ramaswamy, S

Published Date

  • December 1, 1999

Published In

Start / End Page

  • 1 - 28

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1613-3668

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0165-2516

Citation Source

  • Scopus