Mary A. Procida
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Anglo-Indian women had constructed an identity centred on the Raj. Anglo-Indian wives were tacitly allowed to participate in the politics of empire, carrying out the quotidian tasks of governance and shaping the policies of British imperialism in India. As Anglo-Indian wives had feared, Indian men inherited the mantle of political power from the British in 1947. In 1947, the British government unilaterally terminated Anglo-Indian women's integral involvement with British imperialism in India and acceded to the long-standing demands of Indians for political autonomy. Indian men may have derided Anglo-Indian women as 'brainless memsahibs', but the British government similarly scorned their contribution to empire. After decades of being married to the empire, the Anglo-Indian wife suddenly found herself divorced. Most Anglo-Indian officials still in India at independence departed shortly after 1947, acknowledging that they were generally neither wanted nor needed in the newly independent nation.

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Married to the empire

Gender, politics and imperialism in India, 1883–1947


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