Muscular NationalismGender, Violence, and Empire in India and Ireland, 1914-2004

Muscular NationalismGender, Violence, and Empire in India and Ireland, 1914-2004

Sikata Banerjee

Print publication date: 2016

ISBN: 9780814789766

Publisher: NYU Press

Abstract

A particular dark triumph of modern nationalism has been its ability to persuade citizens to sacrifice their lives for a political vision forged by emotional ties to a common identity. Both men and women can respond to nationalistic calls to fight that portray muscular warriors defending their nation against an easily recognizable enemy. This “us versus them” mentality can be seen in sectarian violence between Hindus and Muslims, Tamils and Sinhalas, Serbs and Kosovars, and Protestants and Catholics. This book takes a comparative look at India and Ireland and the relationship among gender, violence, and nationalism. Exploring key texts and events from 1914 to 2004, it explores how women negotiate “muscular nationalisms” as they seek to be recognized as legitimate nationalists and equal stakeholders in their national struggles. The book argues that the gendered manner in which dominant nationalism has been imagined in most states in the world has had important implications for women's lived experiences. Drawing on a specific intersection of gender and nationalism, the book discusses the manner in which women negotiate a political and social terrain infused with a masculinized dream of nation-building.