Since Independence, India has witnessed communal clashes between Hindu and Muslim groups. Commentators and social scientists in India have been understandably concerned with these clashes, as well as the peculiar nature of such communal violence in the country. Violent incidents continue to rock the nation, making this field a particularly important area of study.
Sectarian Violence in India offers a cumulative account of social science research on the crucially important subject of communal violence from the late 1960s until about 2015. It brings together a critical selection of articles on sectarian violence in the post-Independence era from the Economic and Political Weekly, a journal that has best represented social scientists over the years and is the single largest source of studies on this subject.
Thefour sections of this volume study the nature of communal violence in India; offer observations on the theoretical and conceptual issues relating to such violence; probe the complicated and causal role of politics in communal violence; and provide accounts of some of the riots that have occurred in independent India. The chapters cover a wide variety of factors, including—but not limited to—religion, vote bank politics and the trail of money in such seemingly ‘social’ issues. They also explore how such violence affects other social institutions, such as caste and gender.
The volume, which contains the work of some of India’s best-known scholars, will be of interest to students and scholars of sociology and political science.
Introduction: The Social Sciences and the Economic and Political Weekly on Hindu–Muslim Conflict
Sanjay Palshikar andSatish Deshpande
General Surveys of Sectarian Violence
Introduction to Section I
1. Communal Conflict after 1950
Asghar Ali Engineer
2. Secularism and Communalism
3. Communal Violence in India
4. Revisiting Communalism and Fundamentalism in India
Surya Prakash Upadhyay andRowena Robinson
Theoretical and Conceptual Issues
Introduction to Section II
5. An Electoral Theory of Communal Riots?
6. Communal Riots in India
Steven I. Wilkinson
7. Development of an Institutionalised Riot System in Meerut City, 1961 to 1982
Paul R. Brass
8. Muzaffarnagar Riots
Perils of Patronage Democracy
9. Institutional Communalism in India
10. Communalism and the Consuming Subject
11. Always Already Secular?
Afterthoughts on the Secular–Communal Question
12. Left Secularists and Communalism
13. In Defence of the Fragment
Writing about Hindu–Muslim Riots in India Today
Introduction to Section III
14. Social and Economic Compulsions behind Communalism
A Case Study
15. Religion and Politics
Role of Islam in Modern India
16. Muslim Communalism
17. Political Economy of Communalism in Contemporary India
18. Congress (I), Communist Parties and Communalism
A. R. Desai
19. Cultural Context of Communalism in India
20. Muslims in a Multi-Religious Society
Asghar Ali Engineer
21. The Woman as Communal Subject
Rashtrasevika Samiti and Ram Janmabhoomi Movement
22. Gender and Communal Riots
Bhavna Mehta andTrupti Shah
23. Indian Muslims since Partition
24. Putting Gujarat in Perspective
Steven I. Wilkinson
25. Communal Upheaval as Resurgence of Social Darwinism
26. Memories, Saffronising Statues and Constructing Communal Politics
27. Judicial Inquiries into Communal Violence
Relevance of Vishnu Sahai Commission
28. Communal Riots in Uttar Pradesh
Accounts and Analyses of Specific Riots
Introduction to Section IV
29. Communal Riots in Gujarat
Report of a Preliminary Investigation
30. Communal Violence in India
A Study of Communal Disturbance in Delhi: The Riot of 5 May 1974
31. Understanding Communal Violence
PradipDatta, Biswamoy Pati, Sumit Sarkar, Tanika Sarkar andSambuddha Sen
32. Khurja Riots 1990–91
Understanding the Conjuncture
Uma Chakravarti, Prem Chowdhury, PradipDatta, Zoya Hasan, Kumkum Sangari andTanika Sarkar
33. Communal Violence in Jaipur
34. Of Communal Consciousness and Communal Violence
Impressions from Post-Riot Surat
35. Identity, Communal Consciousness and Politics
36. When Riots are not Merely Local
Bringing the State Back in, Bijnor 1988–92
37. The Bijnor Riots, October 1990
Collapse of a Mythical Special Relationship?
Roger Jeffery andPatricia M. Jeffery
38. Hashimpura Killings
Is there any Hope of Justice?
Sanjay Palshikar is Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Hyderabad.
Satish Deshpande is Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Delhi.