Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Legal Studies

Reader 1

Aseema Sinha

Reader 2

Thomas Kim

Reader 3

Mark Golub

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2014 Teesta Bhandare


This article seeks to uncover the historical trajectory of the notion of women as repositories of male honor in Indian society and whether there has been a change in the discourse. Through a historically oriented comparative study of two case studies it draws attention to the fact that this perception of women has made them extremely susceptible to sexual attacks from members of opposing communities. At the time of Partition India witnessed large scale religion-based rapes where men of one religion attempted to assert their dominance over another religious community by raping the women of that community. Today the use of rape as a means of power assertion is still prevalent but now it is upper caste men who are seeking to assert their dominance over lower caste communities.This article believes that a combination of legal and social dilemmas is the cause of this discourse that works against the safety of women.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.