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Cornelia SorabjiIndia's Pioneering Woman Lawyer$
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Suparna Gooptu

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195678345

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195678345.001.0001

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In Colonial Bureaucracy

In Colonial Bureaucracy

(p.93) In Colonial Bureaucracy
Cornelia Sorabji

Suparna Gooptu

Oxford University Press

This chapter first provides a discussion on legal help to the purdahnashins and extensions of the authority of the Empire. Cornelia Sorabji's duties as the lady legal adviser to the court of wards comprised legal as well as non-legal functions. An important implication of her role as an intermediary between the government and her wards was the extension of imperial authority to the court of wards' estates. It also addresses Cornelia and the purdahnashins of Bengal. It then deals with Cornelia's imagined sisterhood of purdahnashins. Working with the purdahnashins, she developed a deep admiration for them. The English women and the purdahnashins of Bengal are reported. In general, Cornelia's work in colonial bureaucracy clearly reveals how, being a pioneer, she too had to convince the authorities of the value and worth of her work, and fight for its proper recognition, in vain.

Keywords:   Cornelia Sorabji, colonial bureaucracy, lady legal adviser, court of wards, purdahnashins, Bengal, imperial authority

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