Indian women participated in the nationalist movement not only in the public domain but also from the domestic domain. A large majority of women during the movement retained their traditional roles and still made significant contributions to the movement from within the domestic sphere. The movement's success was dependent on women's contribution and the nationalist movement benefited from the nationalist activities of women. The relationship between the nationalist movement and middle-class women was thus mutually beneficial. The nationalist symbols and representations of women created by the leaders greatly facilitated women's involvement in the movement. The nature of activities that women engaged in helped the politicisation of women's consciousness. (C) 1997 Elsevier Science Ltd.