How did the Bengali Renaissance challenge princely Indian masculinity and the conservative domesticity of Indian women?
The Bengali Renaissance promoted the artistic and intellectual achievements of members of various Hindu castes, as well as those of Muslims, focusing not on nobility but on ability. Women also took leading roles in the movement, including the feminist writer Begum Rokeya, who critiqued the oppression of women in Bengal and founded the country's first school for Muslim girls.
The term "Bengali Renaissance" is used to describe the intellectual, political, cultural, and artistic changes that took place in Bengal over a period of about a hundred years, from the early nineteenth to the early twentieth century. Although the movement is generally regarded as having been founded by Raja Ram Mohan Roy, who was descended from a long line of Brahmins, its focus on intellectual and artistic ability rather than noble birth meant that clever members of the middle classes took...
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