The Production of Hindu-Muslim Violence in Contemporary India
Chronic Hindu-Muslim rioting in India has created a situation in which communal violence is both so normal and so varied in its manifestations that it would seem to defy effective analysis. Paul R. Brass, one of the world's preeminent experts on South Asia, has tracked more than half a century's riots in the north Indian city of Aligarh. This book is the culmination of a lifetime's thinking about the dynamics of institutionalized intergroup violence in northern India, covering the last three decades of British rule as well as the entire post-Independence history of Aligarh.
Brass exposes the mechanisms by which endemic communal violence is deliberately provoked and sustained. He convincingly implicates the police, criminal elements, members of Aligarh's business community, and many of its leading political actors in the continuous effort to "produce" communal violence. Much like a theatrical production, specific roles are played, with phases for rehearsal, staging, and interpretation. In this way, riots become key historical markers in the struggle for political, economic, and social dominance of one community over another.
In the course of demonstrating how riots have been produced in Aligarh, Brass offers a compelling argument for abandoning or refining a number of widely held views about the supposed causes of communal violence, not just in India but throughout the rest of the world. An important addition to the literature on Indian and South Asian politics, this book is also an invaluable contribution to our understanding of the interplay of nationalism, ethnicity, religion, and collective violence, wherever it occurs.
Paul R. Brass is professor emeritus of political science at the University of Washington. He is the author of many books including Theft of an Idol and Riots and Pogroms.
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Explaining Communal Violence
COMMUNAL RIOTS IN INDIA AND ALIGARH
Aligarh Politics Population and Social Organization
HinduMuslim Violence in India and Aligarh
The Great Aligarh Riots of December 1990 and January 1991
The Control of Communal Conflict in Aligarh
DEMOGRAPHIC SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC FACTORS IN THE PRODUCTION OF RIOTS
The Geography and Demography of Riots
The Decline of Communal Violence and the Transformation of Electoral Competition
THE PROCESS OF BLAME DISPLACEMENT
Riot Interpretation Blame Displacement and the Communal Discourse
Police Views of HinduMuslim Violence
The Role of the Media
The Persistence of HinduMuslim Violence The Dynamics of Riot Production
Aligarh and Gujarat
The Economics of Riots Economic Competition and Victimization
RIOTS AND THE POLITICAL PROCESS
Riots and Elections
The Practice of Communal Politics
Communalization and Polarization Selected ConstituencyWise Results for Aligarh Elections
Communal Solidarity and Division at the Local Level
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