Debates Around Obscenity, Sexology in 19th Century India, and More With Dr. Charu Gupta

Nov 21, 2022


In this episode, historian Dr. Charu Gupta discusses how the growth of print culture led to public debates around gender, sexuality and erotic literature in 19th century India.

‘In Perspective’ is The Swaddle’s podcast series where academics reveal little-known facts about Indian history, society and culture. 


00:01:18:06- What role did print media play in furthering communalism in contemporary India?

00:04:47:22- Do you think that there has been a build-up on how communalism is furthered through print media over the years? And has print media affected the way in which it has played out on TV media and digital media?

00:07:05:17- What kind of debates around obscenity do we see with the growth of print culture in 19th century colonial north India, and in what ways did these ideas of obscenity clamp down on women’s sexuality and agency? 

00:16:20:00- Could you tell us a little bit about the shuddhi and sangathan movements? In what ways did they define ideas of masculinity and femininity vis-a-vis the communal Hindu identity in early 20th century United Provinces?

00:22:08:14- In what ways did Swadeshi rhetoric impact norms for middle-class, upper caste Hindu women’s clothing in colonial India, and how did this lead to the creation of a new sartorial morality?

00:25:53:20- What was the relationship between women, gender and medicine in colonial India?

00:29:45:20- How did sexology become popular in colonial India?

00:32:40:01- How does the vernacular help us in studying colonial India?

00:38:52:00- What do you think about the current censorship rules that have been passed recently by the Information and Broadcast Ministry, saying that it would now begin to cover OTT digital platforms like Amazon and Netflix? Do you see any continuities with censorship laws laid out over time?


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