[CSH Seminar #Hybrid] Divorce and Democracy. A History of Personal Law in Post-Independence India (S. Saxena)

Event Details

The Centre de Sciences Humaines is pleased to invite you to the CSH Hybrid Seminar



British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Cambridge


Divorce and Democracy. A History of Personal Law in Post-Independence India

Followed by discussion with Gautam BHATIA (Postdoctoral Fellow, Freie Universität, Berlin)


Monday, 12 September 2022, from 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm IST

Centre de Sciences Humaines
IFI-CSH conference room (ground floor)
2 Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Road, New Delhi – 110011

To register:
Please fill the Registration form


This presentation will be based on Saumya Saxena’s new book Divorce & Democracy. Marriage is often regarded as an institution that is not only meant to protect the family, children, and community but also promote women’s safety. It is incentivized through tax or housing benefits and state support more generally. Social movements and feminist jurisprudence, on the other hand, highlight the pitfalls of a marriage and seek instead the recognition of new grounds for divorce, equal grounds for divorce, recognition of marital rape, and so forth. Thus, while a state may value a marriage, democracy has historically loved a divorce. This book captures the Indian state’s difficult dialogue with divorce, which was mediated largely through religion. By mapping the trajectories of marriage and divorce laws of Hindu, Muslim, and Christian communities in postcolonial India, it explores the dynamic interplay between law, religion, family, minority rights, and gender in Indian politics.


Saumya SAXENA is a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at the Faculty of History, University of Cambridge. She is a legal historian interested in family law, religion, and gender politics in India. She was formerly a consultant with the Law Commission of India. Saxena writes on women’s movements, secularism, and law in late-twentieth- and twenty- first-century South Asia.

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CSH Seminars are in hybrid mode. We request you to pre-register before Monday, 12 September, 2:00 p.m. IST for both offline and online registration.

To attend at venue: Please note that the room capacity is limited. Seats will be reserved on a first come first basis. Kindly carry an ID proof to be granted access to the venue.


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