Piro’s Resistance Literature, the Colonial Attack on Dais, and More With Dr. Anshu Malhotra

Jul 17, 2023


In this episode, historian Dr. Anshu Malhotra discusses reformist bazaar literature, the attack against the native ‘dai,’ and the writings of the Sufi poetess Piro in colonial Punjab.

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


  • 00:00:40:00- How did the rise of print media lead to new forms of ‘bazaar’ literature in colonial Punjab, and how did this become a common yet complex site for social reform?
  • 00:01:49:00- Who was ‘Piro,’ and what made her writing in life an act of resistance against the arbitrary hierarchy of gender, caste and religion?
  • 00:05:50:00- Why was there a Colonial attack on ‘dais’ in 90s century Punjab, and how did ‘scientific’ midwifery become a marker of middle-class status?
  • 00:07:23:12-  How did Lala Lajpat Rai’s writings discuss the fundamental reasons for women’s oppression and did his writings impact the notions of womanhood in India?
  • 00:26:07:00- How did Sikh reformers try to shape the idea of new women and did this differ from popular notions on womanhood supported by Hindu reformers?


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