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The Hindu vs. Muslim history
Buy from Tulika Buy from amazon. Sexual violence has been a regular feature of communal conflict in India since independence in The Partition riots, which saw the brutal victimization of thousands of Hindu, Muslim and Sikh women, have so far dominated academic discussions of communal violence.
This book examines the specific conditions motivating sexual crimes against women based on three of the deadliest riots that occurred in Ahmedabad city, Gujarat, in , and Using an in-depth, grassroots-level analysis, Megha Kumar moves away from the predominant academic view that sees Hindu nationalist ideology as responsible for encouraging attacks on women. Don't have an account? Sign in via your Institution Sign In.
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Topics of the New Dalit Critique. Related Topics global state government communal process colonial globalization. Related Book Chapters Governance. Governing Sexuality, Constituting States.
Reflections on Communalism and Nationalism in India
In the massacre of Sikhs in a highly charged communal environment consolidated the Hindu votes for the first time in the history of independent India to usher in the Rajiv Gandhi government with seats in the Lok Sabha House of the People. The campaign cut across the caste divisions to bring in a pan Hindu vote that has since kept open the possibility of a repeat performance for political parties like the BJP and the Congress at some point in time. In , a low profile Narendra Modi facing the real possibility of defeat in the state elections in Gujarat, was able to give a major boost to his sagging image with the violence that left thousands dead and injured.
He used the large scale attack on the Muslims to build an image of a macho nationalist, an able administrator and a no-nonsense politician. Muzaffarnagar is still waiting to be tested in the electoral field, but it is clearly an attempt to divide and conversely consolidate the vote in the general elections.
The Jats and the Muslims are two powerful voting blocs in western Uttar Pradesh and as pointed out earlier, had set standards in social harmony. The Jats in this part of the country are both land owning Hindus and Muslims, with another section of Muslims working as labour on Jat fields. The violence here followed a series of incidents across Uttar Pradesh, the most populous and largest state in India. This violence had led to open speculation of a covert understanding between the so called secular Samajwadi Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party, with the common aim of consolidating their respective vote banks; namely the Muslims behind the Samajwadi Party that is currently in power in Uttar Pradesh and led by Mulayam Singh who has prime ministerial ambitions, and large sections of Hindus behind the BJP that is fielding Narendra Modi as its candidate for Prime Minister.
The battle for a secular India | Heinrich Böll Stiftung
Even today, several weeks after the first incidents of violence, tension continues in the area with sporadic incidents keeping the communities apart. Nearly 60 persons were killed, and over 50, Muslims displaced as villagers looted, killed and raped those they had lived with for decades. The state government was unable to prevent the violence as it claimed to have no intelligence inputs on this; it failed to control the violence that went into the villages, and even now has not fully subsided; and worst still it has not done much to rehabilitate the victims.
In this case, the government in power has lost from the violence, losing the support of the minorities that were sympathetic towards it earlier. Communalism has unfortunately become part of India, with divisiveness emerging as the possible hallmark of the elections. Political wisdom predicts more violence in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh that together return a large contingent of Members of Parliament to the members strong Lok Sabha. These states have strong regional parties that are currently in power, thereby sharpening the electoral contests in what will be a razors-edge poll for power at the centre.
There is a fight back from secular political parties and organizations, but at the moment it appears weaker than the communal offensive that is on the ascendant. In the states the regional political parties are contesting the Hindu nationalist communal forces with campaigns that continue to harp on pluralism and communal harmony.
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The sizeable Muslim vote in India ensures the resistance, with most of the political parties keen to ensure that this vote bank is not alienated. It is imperative for all such secular forces to work together and ensure that stereotyping is countered, lies are replaced by facts, and all effort is made to keep communal harmony intact. A grand anti-communal convention called by 14 political parties set the tone in Delhi recently, with the Left and regional leaders calling on the large gathering to resist the divisive forces.
Significantly, the Congress and the BJP were placed in the same bracket by most of the speakers, who blamed the Congress Party for laying the ground for the more extreme right wing groups to exploit to their advantage. The Convention made it clear that secularism will be one of the main points of the election campaign in India, as a direct counter to the Gujarat Chief Minister, Narendra Modi.
However, the secular parties are not being able to match the stridency of the BJP and its front organizations as yet and will have to come together in a sustained campaign to ensure some level of success as India is heading towards elections in only a few months.
India is the fourth-worst country in the world for religious violence
India finds itself in a difficult transformation process. This dossier strives to make the country in its diversity more tangible. Menu Menu Close. Social Participation.
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