Violence in South Asia: Contemporary Perspectives, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Violence in South Asia

Contemporary Perspectives, 1st Edition

Edited by Pavan Kumar Malreddy, Anindya Sekhar Purakayastha, Birte Heidemann

Routledge India

280 pages | 2 B/W Illus.

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This volume explores new perspectives on contemporary forms of violence in South Asia. Drawing on extensive fieldwork and case studies, it examines the infiltration of violence at the societal level and affords a comparative regional analysis of its historical, cultural and geopolitical origins in South Asia. Featuring essays from Sri Lanka to Nepal, and from Afghanistan to Burma, it sheds light on issues as wide-ranging as lynching and mob justice, hate speech, caste violence, gender-based violence, and the plight of the Rohingyas, among others.

Lucid and engaging, this book will be an invaluable source of reference as well as scholarship to students and researchers of postcolonial studies, anthropology, sociology, cultural geography, minority studies, politics and gender studies.


The strength of the book lies with its innovative conceptualisation and carefully selected chapters, which are based on original material and ethnographic studies. The volume captures the pulse of many contemporary issues being debated in India, such as Maoist politics, incidents of lynching, new developments in Kashmir and recent incidents of rape. — Ajay Gudavarthy, Jawaharlal Nehru University

Whether there is more violence in South Asia today or whether it is just more visible, one cannot turn a page of a newspaper from the region without being struck by words like ‘lynching’, ‘surgical strike’, ‘cow vigilantes’, along with the older ‘riot’, ‘acid attack’, ‘murder’, ‘rape’ etc. Hence, this book is an absolutely necessary and very important scholarly intervention in South Asian literary and cultural studies. Tabish Khair, Aarhus University

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Genealogies of Violence in South Asia Part I. Structural Violence: Ideologies, Hierarchies and Symbolic Acts 2. Neither War Nor Peace: Political Order and Post-Conflict Violence in Nepal 3. Caste Violence: Hate Speech or Injurious Acts? 4. The Representational Burden of Ethno-Nationalist Violence in Sri Lanka 5. Mapping Extraordinary Measures: Militarisation and Political Resistance in Kashmir Part II. Gendered Violence: Rape, Misogyny and Feminist Discourse 6. Sex, Rape, Representation: Cultures of Sexual Violence in Contemporary India 7. Biographies of Violence and the Violence of Biographies: Writing about Rape in Pakistan 8. Violence in Public Spaces: Security and Agency of Women in West Bengal Part III. Outsourced Violence: Mobs, Insurgents and Private Armies 9.Violence and PerilousTrans-Borderal Journeys: The Rohingyas as the No-Where-Nation Precariat 10. India’s Lynchings: Ordinary Crimes, Rough Justice or Command Hate Crimes? 11. Violence, Neoliberal State and the Dispossession of Adivasis in Central India Part IV. Cultures of Violence: Fractured Histories, Fissured Communities 12.Afghanistan: Military Occupation, Violence and Ethnocracy 13. Social Roots of Insurgency in Kashmir 14. Islamist Attacks against Secular Bloggers in Bangladesh 15. Democratic Voice and the Paradox of Nepal Bandhas




About the Editors

Pavan Kumar Malreddy is researcher in English literature at Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany. He has previously taught at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada, and TU Chemnitz, Germany. His publications include Orientalism, Terrorism, Indigenism (2015) and the co-edited collection Reworking Postcolonialism (2015). He has co-edited special issues with the Journal of Postcolonial Writing (2012; 2021, fc.), ZAA: Journal of English and American Studies (2014), Kairos and the European Journal of English Studies (2018), and authored essays on terrorism, political violence and postcolonial theory in The European Legacy, Third World Quarterly, Journal of Postcolonial Writing and Intertexts, among others.

Anindya Sekhar Purakayastha is Professor at the Department of English,Kazi Nazrul University,India. His current area of research covers issues of postcolonial governmentality, citizenship rights, the fall out of the Anthropocene and political violence. He has contributed in journals such as International Journal of Zizek Studies, Parallax, Journal of Postcolonial Writing, Contemporary South Asia, Postcolonial Studies, History and Sociology of South Asia, Journal of Social Movement Studies,and Economic and Political Weekly. He is co-editor of Kairos: A Journal of Critical Symposium and is one of the founding members of the Postcolonial Studies Association of the Global South (PSAGS).

Birte Heidemann is Assistant Professor in English literature at Dresden University of Technology, Germany. She has previously held appointments at TU Chemnitz and University of Bremen, Germany. Her research interests include postcolonial theory, and literary and cultural expressions of post-conflict societies. She is the author of Post-Agreement Northern Irish Literature (2016), and co-editor of From Popular Goethe to Global Pop (2013), Reworking Postcolonialism (2015) and two special editions of the Journal of Postcolonial Writing. Her work has appeared in The Journal of Commonwealth Literature, Wasafiri and Postcolonial Text, among others.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies