“[A] rewarding, if sobering, discussion of women in the Indian state. . . . Sunder Rajan has made a valuable contribution to state theory by delving into the problematic ways in which women live with the state.” — Sara H. Smith , Environment and Planning D: Society and Space
“[A] valuable addition to the tiny but growing body of work on the sociology of Indian law. The book is a fine-grained feminist reading of postcolonial Indian citizenship, as revealed in its various failures.” — Kriti Kapila , Political and Legal Anthropology Review
"The Scandal of the State is, in the best sense of the phrase, a stylish book. The reasoned meticulousness of proposal, analysis and argument ultimately makes its indictment of the Indian state more relentless and persuasive than strident rhetoric could have done. The wisdom and balance of the author's own conclusions and her commitment to praxis make this a feminist document crucially relevant to the times. In a genre that excels in earnestness, but is often less than inviting, its readability is a particularly prized attribute." — Bhaswati Chakravorty , The Telegraph (Calcutta)
"The Scandal of the State is one of the most intelligent and cogent analyses of this relationship [between the women's movement and the state]. . . . The importance of this book lies in its clear-sighted examination of women's subject citizenship, and its strength, in its sustained and rigorous analysis of the state's record on it."
— Ritu Menon , The Hindu
"[A]n engaging study. . . . Rajan's . . . critical insights make this book useful to scholars and students of gender in India and to those interested in the postcolonial Indian state. It also will be valuable to readers interested in comparative feminism and the comparative study of postcolonial societies." — Farina Mir , History
"[P]rovocative. . . . [A]s a broad introduction to the dilemmas of feminist approaches to empowerment in a poor country, readers will find the challenging reading rewarding . . ." — Henry F. Carey, The Law and Politics Book Review
"An academic text, interspersed with narrative case studies, that explores the problematic status of women as recognized—or, more accurately, not recognized—by the Indian government. The picture is certainly far from pretty, much less bearable, but such a book as this bodes well for a much-needed improved future for women in India."
— Terry Hong , Asian Week
"It is easy to imagine a class in Women's Studies where there is a need for comparing different nation-states of the South, or developed and developing countries. In such a pedagogic scenario, The Scandal of the State would provide all the documentation as well as the major perspectives from India. Moreover, it would very usefully put these into dialogues with Western theoretical discourses." — Ananya Vajpeyi , Chicago South Asia Newsletter
"Sunder Rajan's study [is] an invaluable resource for tracking the discursive limitations of law and women's agency in postcolonial India from the twentieth into the twenty-first century." — Sharleen Mondal and Rahul Gairola , South Asian Review
"The . . . Rajan volume-appropriate for advanced undergraduate and graduate classes as well as the specialist in Indian politics-add[s] rich case studies to the well-established field of feminist postcolonial modernity, paving the way for future works to imagine effective feminist resistance." — Paige Johnson Tan , Perspective on Politics
“The Scandal of the State is filled with Rajeswari Sunder Rajan's trademark scrupulousness and full documentation of opposing views, yet also with her characteristic wit and deep political wisdom. Her ultimate indictment of the realities of the Indian state is biting and utterly persuasive. This is a brilliant, pathbreaking book.” — Bruce Robbins, author of Feeling Global: Internationalism in Distress
"Utterly specific to postcolonial India and its feminist debates, this book is also a significant contribution to general feminist theory and to the fraught question of the relationship of the postcolonial state to the ‘international civil society.’ Rajeswari Sunder Rajan uses ‘high theory’ occasionally, creatively, critically. All feminists (and, indeed, antifeminists) should read this book, if only to discover the one moment in this sober, meticulously researched, analytical text when political passion breaks through to the vision of a chilling dystopia."
— Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, author of A Critique of Postcolonial Reason: Toward a History of the Vanishing Present