This introductory chapter argues that the pogrom is an event driven by words and images, as much by the associations and invocations that precede it as by those that accompany it. The enactment of the 2002 Gujarat pogrom followed a script collectively shared on the streets and in media representations. The chapter describes the forms of complicity that the pogrom demanded and the quotidian understandings it engendered. While many of these understandings seem to be recurrent instances of collective violence, the chapter focuses only on the events of 2002 and seeks to unravel the specific cultural and psychological processes of individual and collective identification that were then prevalent in central Gujarat.
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