Accepted paper:

Examining the role of the state and political parties in ethnic violence: Kandhamal (2008) and Muzzafarnagar (2013)

Author:

Mujibur Shaikh (Jamia Millia Central University)

Paper short abstract:

This paper seeks to explore the role of the state and the political parties in two major ethnic violence against two major religious minorities in India: Christians in Kandhamal in 2008 and Muslims in Muzaffarnagar in 2013.

Paper long abstract:

This paper seeks to explore the role of the state and the political parties in two major ethnic violence against two major religious minorities in India: Christians in Kandhamal in 2008 and Muslims in Muzaffarnagar in 2013. In both cases, state played rather dubious role not just during the period that led to riot but also in the post-riot period in dealing with victims, bringing perpetrators to justice and facilitating reconciliation. In both instances, political parties also made their contribution during the conflict and after.This paper asks following questions: a) What are the particular role that state played in these cases? b) What are the similarities and differences between the anti- Christian violence in Kandhamal and anti- Muslim violence in Muzzafarnagar? How are the discourses on secularism, minority rights and religious freedom are shaped during and after these riots? c) What are the particular roles that political parties, secular and non- secular(Hindutva parties) play in these cases? d) Given that India has a long history of riots, in what sense these cases are different and how do they contribute to the riot discourses ? What does it tell us about nature of Indian state?

panel P27
Understanding poltical violence in South Asia