Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Border PoliticsSocial Movements, Collective Identities, and Globalization$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Nancy A. Naples and Jennifer Bickham Mendez

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781479898992

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479898992.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 26 June 2022

Defending the Nation

Defending the Nation

Militarism, Women’s Empowerment, and the Hindu Right

(p.60) 3 Defending the Nation
Border Politics

Meera Sehgal

NYU Press

This chapter describes paramilitary camps in India in which middle-class, urban Hindu women's gender identities are deployed to support interethnic violence and militarization. The instruction and trainings that young women receive at the camps socialize them into a particular Hindu nationalist worldview through the cultivation of a siege mentality that is built on the fear of a sexually violent male, Muslim “other.” Through these camps, anti-Muslim hatred is used as an antidote to the fragmentation of ethno-nationalist allegiances in order “to patch the fractured Hindu polity together.” Hindu nationalist women's elevation to the symbolically powerful position of citizen warriors is nonetheless tempered and circumscribed by an emphasis on feminine duty and sacrifice. Thus, despite the potential for empowerment of women, the dichotomy of women as in need of protection and men as natural protectors remains intact within the militarized, nationalist ideologies promoted at the camps.

Keywords:   India, paramilitary camps, Hindu women, Hindu nationalist movement, feminine siege mentality, gender identity, interethnic violence, militarization

NYU Press Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.