Violent Gods: Hindu Nationalism in India's Present; Narratives from Orissa

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9788188789672: Violent Gods: Hindu Nationalism in India's Present; Narratives from Orissa
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This book is an erudite and elegiac exploration of Hindu nationalism in India today. It offers a revealing account of Hindu militant mobilizations as an authoritarian movement manifest throughout culture, polity, and economy, religion and law, class and caste, on gender, body, land, and memory. Tracing the continuities between Hindutva and Hindu cultural dominance, this book maps the architectures of civic and despotic governmentalities contouring Hindu nationalism in public, domestic, and everyday life. In chronicling concerted action against Christians and Muslims, Adivasis and Dalits, through spectacles, events, public executions, the riots in Kandhamal of December 2007 and August-September 2008, the planned, methodical politics of terror unfolds in its multiple registers. At the intersections of Anthropology, Postcolonial, Subaltern, and South Asia Studies, Angana P. Chatterji asks critical questions of nation making, cultural nationalism, and subaltern disenfranchisement. As a Foucauldian history of the present, this text asserts the role of ethical knowledge production as counter-memory. Critical acclaim for Violent Gods

Angana Chatterji tells the story of the Orissa pogroms from the perspective of the voiceless victims. This book is an inspiring example of "emancipatory scholarship". Chatterji's Narratives of the horror and heroism in Kandhamal interrogates our complacency and challenges our conscience. -- Rudolf C. Heredia, Economic and Political Weekly The 'transformation' of Orissa into another Hindutva lab is the central focus of Angana Chatterji's book. Of particular importance in Chatterji's work is the impressive number of interviews... allowing her to get to know a broad spectrum of voices, including revisiting victims of violence. Violent Gods is ... an outcome of a process of interaction and reflection by a researcher who willingly slips into the role of an activist. -- Subhash Gatade, HIMAL Valuable and hitherto undocumented information. -- Parvathi Menon, The Hindu ... Violent Gods, a book authored by scholar and activist Angana P Chatterji, is an important one as it provides the first compendium of material on the contemporary history of the Sangh Parivar and Hindu nationalists in Orissa. -- Archana Prasad, People's Democracy

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About the Author:

ANGANA P. CHATTERJI is an anthropologist and historian of the present. Her work spans issues of cultural survival, nation/nationalisms, militarization and gendered violence, and postcolonial critique. Her recent writings include a co-contributed anthology with Tariq Ali, Arundhati Roy et al., Kashmir: The Case for Freedom; a co-edited volume, Contesting Nation: Gendered Violence in South Asia; Notes on the Postcolonial Present; the forthcoming book, Land and Justice: The Struggle for Cultural Survival; and the report, BURIED EVIDENCE: Unknown, Unmarked, and Mass Graves in Indian-administered Kashmir, for which she was lead author. Chatterji is Co-convener of the International People's Tribunal on Human Rights and Justice in Indian-administered Kashmir. Cover art by Aparna Caur.

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Situating contemporary theory into her "archive," she [Chatterji] provides a penetrative analysis of the processes of othering, marginalization, communalist violence, and essentialist thought. As such, Violent Gods has relevance and application far beyond the Orissan or Indian context. Her work provides a complete and intricate documentation of the reality of violence in the name of Hindu majoritainism, and the sheer scale of her evidence alone deserves substantial recognition. Giving a voice, as she does, to the aggression that is inscribed on bodies and in cultural memory, Chatterji writes with passion and attunement, in parts, answering the call to engage an explicitly ethnographic analysis of Hindu majoritainism and the growth of the Sangh Parivar throughout India. --Sumant Badami, American Ethnologist

Prof. Angana Chatterji's study of the communal situation in India stands apart from the existing literature on the subject, both in terms of empirical details and analytical rigour. The extensive fieldwork she has undertaken in Orissa exposes the inhuman and brutal interventions of Hindu communalism and its possible implications for the future. This is by far the most outstanding work on the subject. --Professor K.N. Panikkar is a preeminent Indian historian. He is the Chairman of the Kerala Council for Historical Research. His books include Consciousness in Modern India; Culture, Ideology and Hegemony.

It unfolds the grotesqueness of our times, the Kafkaesque nature of our State; you can almost feel a cold hand pressing down on you as Chatterji narrates. --Manisha Sethi, Biblio: A Review of Books

It is genealogical excavation at its best or worst, depending on your politics... an extensively researched book ... written with unusual candour and courage... exceptional and a 'must read'. --Jayant Kher, Business India

It is genealogical excavation at its best or worst, depending on your politics... an extensively researched book ... written with unusual candour and courage... exceptional and a 'must read'. --Jayant Kher, Business India

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