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60 AMY BHATT create a national Indian identity (by promoting particular norms achieved most readily by the middle and upper classes) while also claiming to protect marginalized cultures. Second, in July 2003 the Supreme Court of India upheld a Haryana law that restricts anyone with more than two children from holding particular positions in local government and abridges their right to run for such posts. Mohan Rao’s editorial in the Economic and Political Weekly recounts the court decision which held that “disqualification on the right to contest an election for having more than two children does not contravene any fundamental right, nor does it cross the limits of reasonability. Rather, it is a disqualification conceptually devised in the national interest” (Rao 2003). Rao argues that this ruling follows in the spirit of restrictive policy measures enacted during the Emergency period under Indira Gandhi’s regime. He argues that “indeed it is thoughtless folly that laws to empower precisely dalits, adivasis, and other sections of the poor, including women, are being circumvented by these imaginatively anti-democratic population policies” (Rao 2003). Both of these cases point to how the Indian state’s agenda of modern reproductive consciousness operates through controlling women’s reproduction and encouraging small families at any cost. “Non-acceptance” of family planning has been used to condemn and, in some cases, disenfranchise particular groups who are depicted as opposed to the progress of the modern nation-state through their reproductive practices. While seemingly outwardly centered on population and fertility as components of poverty alleviation, the Indian state extends much farther into the space of social and national reproduction of neo-liberal subjects. In pursuit of this individualized neo-liberalism, a new figure of interest is emerging through Indian and Western media sources: the globally competitive worker, who is increasingly able to take advantage of burgeoning economic opportunities in India and abroad (Kripalan and Engardio 2003; Zakaria 2006; Elliott 2006). This (usually male) worker is correspondingly accompanied by the equally modern and responsible new Indian woman. The new Indian woman is marked through her education, urban lifestyle and employment. She represents a modern Indian nationality that, on the surface, is not rooted in caste, linguistics, or region, yet does not succumb to Westernization. Most importantly she is also represented as a socially aware, diligently attentive mother of a small family. Images of this new woman represent not only an attractive and modern self-image for a wider audience, but also as Rajeswari Sunder Rajan notes, “a normative model of citizenship that is, significantly, now gendered female,” created by bringing together consumption with responsible motherhood (Rajan 1993, 131). Her very modernity, and her cultural legitimacy marked through her focus on family and retaining a non-

Sagar XVII — 2007  
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