Ramabai, Pandita Sarasvati (1858–1922)
Published Online: 25 NOV 2011
Copyright © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.
The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization
How to Cite
Anderson, A. 2011. Ramabai, Pandita Sarasvati (1858–1922). The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization. .
- Published Online: 25 NOV 2011
Ramabai (1858–1922) was a converted Brahmin who was widowed with her baby daughter Manoramabai after less than two years' marriage out of her caste. She became a Christian during her almost three year stay in England, where she studied education at the Cheltenham Ladies' College, and Greek and Hebrew privately. From England she traveled to the USA, where she spent two-and-a-half years (1886–1888) studying education systems and publicizing her planned mission in India. She published a book in 1887 outlining the plight of Indian women, titled The High-Caste Hindu Woman, pleading for the creation of educational institutions for Indian women. She wrote a book in her mother tongue Marathi on her observations of life in the USA, in which she contrasted the free democracy there with the colonial oppression of Britain, and gave her preference for voluntary denominations over state churches. Her rejection of British colonialism remained with her all her life — like most educated Indians, she believed in Indian nationalism, stimulated by the British rulers' repression and arrogance toward Indian social structures that had resulted in determined Indian resistance. She favorably commented on women's rights in American society.
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