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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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The Lack of Muslim Vulnerability

The Lack of Muslim Vulnerability

(p.123) Chapter 4 The Lack of Muslim Vulnerability
Pogrom in Gujarat

Parvis Ghassem-Fachandi

Princeton University Press

This chapter explores how the phantasmagoria of the Muslim is drawn from certain culinary and dietary habits, most clearly stereotyped in the meat eater or butcher. This stereotype manifests in the explanations of three separate members of three different communities: Jain, Rajput, and Dalit. While they share membership in the city's middle class, these communities differentiate themselves in their relation to diet and other practices. Stereotypes always carry a kernel of truth, as their power lies primarily in the psychological material they can evoke. In the pogrom, they work as residues of individual subjective experiences that became articulated collectively. When this residue takes on a stable form by being projected onto the Muslim, that figure becomes an embodiment of the most pronounced form of perceived threat, and a danger that appears confined to this figure, controllable despite its blurred and shifting nature.

Keywords:   stereotypes, Muslim, phantasmagoria, dietary habits, meat eater, butcher, Jain, Rajput, Dalit, pogrom

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