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Title: Communal riots, sexual violence and Hindu nationalism in post-independence Gujarat (1969-2002)
Author: Kumar, Megha
ISNI:       0000 0000 8555 7166
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2009
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In much existing literature the incidence of sexual violence during Hindu-Muslim conflict has been attributed to the militant ideology of Hindu nationalism. This thesis interrogates this view. It first examines the ideological framework laid down by the founding ideologues of the Hindu nationalist movement with respect to sexual violence. I argue that a justification of sexual violence against Muslim women is at the core of their ideology. In order to examine how this ideology has contributed to the actual incidents, this thesis studies the episodes of Hindu-Muslim violence that occurred in 1969, 1985, 1992 and 2002 in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad, Gujarat. An examination of these episodes shows that sexual violence against Muslim women, in both extreme and less extreme forms, were significantly motivated by Hindu nationalist ideology. However, in addition to this ideology, patriarchal ideas that serve to normalize sexual violence as ‘sex’ and sanction its infliction to maintain gendered hierarchies also motivated such crimes. Moreover, this thesis argues that the manifestation of Hindu nationalist and patriarchal motivations in acts of sexual violence was enabled by the breakdown of neighbourhood ties between Hindus and Muslims in 1969 and 2002. By contrast, during the 1985 and 1992 riots Hindus and Muslims strengthened neighbourhood ties despite extensive communal mobilization, which seems to have prevented the perpetration of extreme sexual violence against Muslim women. Thus, by providing a comprehensive analysis of the contribution of Hindu nationalist ideology, and arguing for the significance of the patriarchal ideas and neighbourhood ties in the infliction of sexual violence during conflict, this study contributes to and departs from the existing literature.
Supervisor: Brown, Judith ; O'Hanlon, Rosalind Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: History of Asia & Far East ; India ; Gujarat ; Gender ; Ahmedabad ; Sexual Violence ; Ethnic Conflict ; gender ; inter-religious violence ; communal riots ; sexual violence ; Hindu nationalism ; Gujarat ; Ahmedabad ; India