Anisha Saxena: Gods Rape, Kings Rape and Demons Rape: History of Sexual Assault in Ancient India

Too Many Boys by artist Rani JhaOn Wednesday, March 4th the South Asia Center is pleased to welcome Anisha Saxena, as she presents on the History of Sexual Assault in Ancient India. Presently in India a popular argument about the safety of women calls for ‘going back to the ethos of ancient India culture’. This argument assumes that women were ‘safer’ in ancient India and that rape and sexual assault of women did not exist in the past and were introduced in the subcontinent after the Islamic invasions of the tenth and eleventh centuries. Contrary to this popular belief, Saxena’s talk through detailed and systematic examining of accounts of rape from ancient Hindu-Brahmanical texts will demonstrate that women were raped in ancient India, although many of these men writing in Sanskrit considered rape a criminal offense.

Professor Anisha Saxena is currently teaching history at the SUNY, Onondaga Community College. Her primary area of research is history and art of ancient and medieval India. She completed her Ph.D. from the Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, India and has been a recipient of Fulbright-Doctoral grant and Jain Art Fund award from the Victoria and Albert Museum in U.K.

This event will take place in 204 Maxwell Hall at 12:00 pm and is open to all.