The Press, in association with American Institute of Indian Studies and India International Centre, organized a panel discussion of Amrita Basu’s Violent Conjunctures in Democratic India, part of the series Cambridge Studies in Contentious Politics. Dipankar Gupta, Professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University, chaired the session. Discussing the book were Zoya Hasan and Niraja Gopal Jayal, both Professor at JNU.
The book studies when and why Hindu nationalists have perpetrated discrimination and violence against minorities in contemporary India. Hindu nationalist violence has been conjunctural, determined by relations among its own party, social movement organization, and state governments, and on the character of opposition states, parties and movements. The book accords particular importance to the role of social movements in precipitating anti-minority violence. It calls for a broader understanding of social movements and a greater appreciation of their relationship to political parties.
The evening was engaging and focused on themes in Indian politics that are directly relevant today. Audience participation with thought provoking questions added to an already intense discussion.