Communalism and Sexual Violence in India: The Politics of Gender, Ethnicity and Conflict (Library of Development Studies) (Hardcover)
Sexual violence has been a regular feature of communal conflict in India since independence in 1947. 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 1969, 1985, and 2002. 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. Instead, gendered communal violence is shown to be governed by the interaction of an elite ideology and the unique economic, social, and political dynamics at work in each instance of conflict. Using government reports, Hindu nationalist publications and civil society commentaries, as well as interviews with activists, politicians, and riot survivors, the book offers new insights into the factors and ideologies involved in communal violence. Along with the conditions that work to prevent sexual violence in certain riot contexts. The Politics of Sexual Violence in India will be valuable for academic researchers, Human Rights organizations, NGOs working with survivors of sexual violence, and for those involved with community development and urban grassroots activism.
About the Author
Megha Kumar is Deputy Director of Analysis at Oxford Analytica, the global analysis and advisory firm, where she has also been Senior Analyst for South and South-east Asia. She holds a DPhil in Modern South Asian History from the University of Oxford and an MSt in South Asian Colonial History from the University of Oxford. In addition, Dr Kumar has acquired a wealth of knowledge through her writing and journalism in India. Her research has appeared in the journal Social Scientist and for a human rights report on violence against women for Sahmat Publications.