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

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Provincialising Gender Justice


A society that is divided, particularly on caste and communal lines, is less likely to produce a countrywide unified response to the social and gender question. The articulation of a response, in such a society, may remain fragmentary, despite the fact that these questions do have a human and universal content. The protest response to defend the normative content in the face of the growing injustice and oppression, however, has remained confined to the social groups such as women, Dalits, minorities and Adivasis. These groups may have demographically but thinly spread across India, but their fundamental questions, such as injustice and inequality, have found articulation mostly within these groups. Thus, the Bharat bandh call of August 2018, or the countrywide protest against the dilution of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 primarily remained restricted to the socially oppressed castes. The farmers’ protests that have been taking place from time to time are entangled with a similar predicament. These protests are sociologically glued together but lack political solidarity where several social groups demonstrate this through the shared commitment to universal principles such as justice. It is politics that binds different groups into collective action against a common question such as gender injustice. The protests, such as for justice for Rohith Vemula, the Hathras victim from the oppressed caste, or Nirbhaya, however, have shown the possibility of transcending from sociological to political solidarity. The protest needs to become politically universal.

Following the broad conception of political protest against violence against women in general and rape atrocities against them in particular should generate support across political parties, whether they are ruling or are in opposition. The gravity of the question provides enough grounds to offer a unified response to the human rights violations. The protests that are the result of a certain kind of party politics lack this shared commitment thrust to a universal principle such as justice. In recent times, the ruling government has not allowed the opposition to protest and express sympathy and solidarity.

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Updated On : 20th Oct, 2020
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