Religious conversions by Dalits in colonial India have largely been examined as mass movements to Christianity, with an implicit focus on men. However, why did Dalit women convert? Were they just guided by their men, family, and community? This paper explores the interrelationship between caste and gender in Dalit conversions afresh through the use of popular print culture, vernacular missionary literature, writings of Hindu publicists and caste ideologues, cartoons, and police reports from colonial north India. It particularly looks at the two sites of clothing and romance to mark representations of mass and individual conversions to Christianity and Islam. Through them, it reads conversions by Dalit women as acts that embodied a language of intimate rights, and were accounts of resistant materialities. These simultaneously produced deep anxieties and everyday violence among ideologues of the Arya Samaj and other such groups, where there was both an erasure and a representational heightening of Dalit female desire. However, they also provide one with avenues to recover in part Dalit women's aspirations in this period.

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