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The Hindu Code Bill: Revisiting the Intersectional Feminist Legacy of Dr. Ambedkar

Damni Kain

All About Ambedkar: A Journal on Theory and Praxis, Volume 2, Issue 1, January-April, 2021, 42-46



The Hindu Code Bill led by Dr. B. R. Ambedkar pioneeringly recognized women as equal citizens whose rights rest in their individuality. This marked a departure from ways in which women’s rights were imagined in the Indian subcontinent. It restricted the constituting elements of “brahmanical patriarchy” like caste-determined marriages, religion-imposed endogamy, and lack of women’s right to property. Although the term ‘intersectionality’ was coined recently, Dr. Ambedkar’s work on the Hindu code bill too embodies such an understanding—wherein gender-based oppression was viewed as being intertwined with caste-based oppression—and poses a challenge to Brahminical patriarchy. This article is a study of the three aspects of the Hindu code bill, namely, the locus of social reforms, the challenges to sustained endogamy and the religious basis of laws of inheritance.

Damni Kain is currently pursuing Masters in Political Science from Hindu College, University of Delhi. She is also working as a researcher in an ongoing research project at the Centre for Internet and Society. She regularly writes socio-political commentaries on various online platforms. Her email id is



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