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Pogrom in GujaratHindu Nationalism and Anti-Muslim Violence in India$
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Parvis Ghassem-Fachandi

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691151762

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691151762.001.0001

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“Why do you leave? Fight for us!”

“Why do you leave? Fight for us!”

(p.31) Chapter 1 “Why do you leave? Fight for us!”
Pogrom in Gujarat

Parvis Ghassem-Fachandi

Princeton University Press

This chapter demonstrates how the Godhra incident became the occasion to declare a bandh (general strike) that was supported by all the main institutions of civil society and by political parties. The bandh call allowed a large part of a poor and despondent city population, who work as daily wage earners and cannot afford to skip income, to engage in street activities. Some of the themes present in these interactions include: a carnivalesque atmosphere of fun on the street in relation to a purported sense of anger, a cultivated and aloof distancing from the unfolding events by the middle class, the abdication of civic order and the visible passivity of the state police, invocations of sacrifice as idiom for killing, the discernment of an uncanny presence in sensitive city space, and imaginative material that mainly concerned sexual fantasies about women.

Keywords:   Godhra incident, bandh, wage earners, middle class, civic order, state police, sexual fantasies, women

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