The VV Giri Lecture 2018

May 23rd 2018

To be Delivered by

Dr Jyoti Atwal

(Jawaharlal Nehru University)

On the topic of:

Margaret Cousins (1878-1954) in India and Ireland: Revisiting Suffragettes, National Ideals and Anti Imperialist Politics  

Years 1915-1916 hold special significance in the history of India and Ireland. Politically, the radical anti imperialist groups acquired confidence in the belief that revolution was achievable through armed uprising. Historians of anti imperialist movements (Chandra:1989; Josh:1992; Mukherjee:2005; Malley:2008) have pointed out to the international impact on the Indian freedom movement. The presence of VV Giri in Ireland and of Margaret Cousins in India during 1916 is highly significant. Their unique international experiences prepared them for an anti colonial methodology which included constitutionalism, Gandhian Satyagraha (passive resistance) and socialism. Margaret, an Irish suffragette and a founder of Irish Women’s Franchise League (1908) with Hanna Sheehy Skeffington, sailed for India with her husband, James, when the suffragette activism was at its peak. 

This paper seeks to explore how feminist scholars have attempted to ‘put women into history’ in Ireland (Murphy:1992; Daly;2008; Paseta:2013;Urqhart:2001)  and India (Basu:1990; Forbes:1996; Kumar:1993). I will focus on the period from 1916 till 1936 when Margaret and James were actively engaged in the political life of India. I seek to address three themes - one, the question of politics of collectivity; second, creation of national ideals and thirdly, issues of economic reconstruction. 


Where: UCD Sutherland School of Law
When: Wednesday May 23rd 2018
  6pm Registration, Tea & Coffee will be served
  6.30pm -7.30pm Lecture

 Attendance is free but guests are asked to register.‌     

Dr Jyoti Atwal Biography