State, Law and Gender
Title Details

394 Pages

21.6 x 13.8 cm

Imprint: Boydell Manohar

State, Law and Gender

Debating the Age of Marriage in India, 1872-1978

by Shreya Roy

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Author
A critical analysis of marriage law in India from the late nineteenth to early twentieth century

In State, Law and Gender, Shreya Roy highlights how Indian law has been implicated in women's subordination. It explores the ideological expectations that underpin women's legal regulation, as well as the traditions in which law subjugates women - the multifaceted and elusive ways wherein law validates profoundly gender-based suppositions, relationships, and characters. The book demonstrates that the correlation of moral precepts and legal norms is associated with the broader history of the age of marriage of girls in India, and it has also shown how history includes diverse alternatives to understanding and addressing the problem of child marriages that do not rely on liberal legal frameworks.

The book critically analyzes and evaluates the social and legislative history of the period focusing particularly on three significant pieces of legislation - Act III of 1872, the Age of Consent Act of 1891, and the Child Marriage Restraint Act of 1929. It traces the history of the legal changes related to the age of marriage in India after Independence, and links this issue with the present-day concern and the Government's initiative for raising the age of marriage of girls.
List of Tables

1. Hindu Women, Social Reform and Marriage in Nineteenth- and Early Twentieth-Century India
2. Marriage and the Law: Brahmos and the Act III of 1872
3. Debates in History, Debates on History: Age of Consent Act of 1891 and the Issue of Child Marriage in India
4. The State, Age of Marriage and the Question of Social Legislation: The Sarda Act of 1929
5. Contemporary Concerns on the Age of Marriage


SHREYA ROY teaches in the PG Department of History at Vivekananda College, Thakurpukur, Kolkata. She has published in numerous journals and edited collections, and is the co-author of a book on the history of modern Bengal.



December 2023


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Title Details

394 Pages

2.16 x 1.38 cm

Imprint: Boydell Manohar