Feminism tends to identify women's political activism with emancipatory movements. Yet how can this view be reconciled with the current involvement of women in right-wing causes? In India today, violent communalism is pulling women into militant politics, particularly into the Hindu right. This book explores the supposed clash from legal, religious and political perspectives, and considers the questions and paradoxes that this provokes for feminism. It compares right-wing strategies and tactics with those of feminist groups, and considers the issue of violence, both against women and by women. It also examines gender and the Hindu right, including their relationship to religious processes, economic development, caste politics and constitutional crisis.
Ammu Joseph is a journalist and media-watcher based in Bangalore, India, with a special interest in issues relating to gender, children, human development, justice and peace. Her previous publications include Whose News? The Media and Women's Issues, co-authored with Kalpana Sharma (Sage, 1994), and Women in Journalism: Making News (The Media Foundation/Konark, 2000). Kalpana Sharma is Deputy Editor of The Hindu newspaper. As a journalist and columnist, she writes on developmental and environmental issues with a special focus on women. She is co-editor with Ammu Joseph of
Women, legal discourse and the saffron agenda; Shiv Sainik and her sister Swayamsevika; women, Hindutva and the politics of caste in Tamil Nadu; militantly communal Hindu women in the RSS; endangered identities, gendered institutions and women's survival; testimonies of survivors from the anti-Sikh carnage of 1984; Hindu texts and women; Surat, Savarkar and Draupadi; legitimizing rape as a political weapon; redefining the agenda of the women's movement within a secular framework; responses of women's groups to communal violence; gendered imagery and real women of Hindu nationalism.