ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Gujarat Riots and the Role of Sexual Violence

Communalism and Sexual Violence: Ahmedabad since 1969 by Megha Kumar, New Delhi: Tulika Books,2017; pp xi + 255,775.


Megha Kumar’s Communalism and Sexual Violence: Ahmedabad since 1969 examines sexual violence through three riots in Gujarat: 1969, 1985 and 2002, when more than 2,000 Muslims were killed, more than 1,00,000 displaced, and wherein the documented and anecdotal instances of sexual violence were widespread, horrific, and overwhelming. Kumar’s book is remarkable, not only because of the attacks from the Hindu right that she and the book have weathered, but also because of what it sets out to do, and what it succeeds in doing.

The bulk of the book’s pages are devoted to detailing the violence in each of these three riots, tracing it back systematically through the questions of caste, the economy, and electoral power, while always asking how widespread sexual violence was in each case, why it did or did not occur, and to what degree. In placing these events systematically alongside one another, and in specifically using sexual violence as the frame that renders the logic of considering these riots in relation to each other, the book also enables us to ask questions that we would not be able to ask otherwise.

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Updated On : 3rd Jan, 2018
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