Accepted Paper:

Good violence, bad violence? The Indian women's movement's engagement with violence in Kashmir  


Arpita Chakraborty (Dublin City University)

Paper short abstract:

The long history of the women's movement in India has seen regular engagement with various forms of violence against women as well as other minority groups. This paper attempts to look at how the women's movement in India has responded to various forms of political violence experienced in Kashmir.

Paper long abstract:

This paper investigates the various modes of involvement of the Indian women's movement with the Kashmir issue. In doing this, mainly two aspects of the movements involvement will be examined: the broad condemnation of the state sponsored gendered violence, as in Kunan Poshpora, and the dilemma related to the use of 'resistant violence', as Srila Roy puts it, in countering a state narrative. The ambiguous position of the Indian women's movement is thus reflected in its focus and condemnation of particular incidents but at the same time, a lack of sustained engagement in the region.

This paper will focus on the time period since the early 1990s due to two significant factors: the increased use of violence in this region during this period, and the women's movements evolution post neoliberalisation. The role of state sponsored violence in India-controlled Kashmir, the movement's official response to it and the prioritisation of the 'military occupation' over the 'gender' issues are some of the prominent features of the movement's response to this issue. Examining this response is crucial in understanding the shift of focus from 'gender' to 'political violence' in relation to Kashmir.

Panel P27
Understanding poltical violence in South Asia