Cultures of Violence and (a)himsaic Historiography: The Indian Subcontinent, a Million Mutinies Again?
The Indian sub-continent has been host to a series of events in the recent past that could aptly be described as cultures of violence. These include, but are not restricted to, the terror strikes in India and Pakistan; the continued political deadlock and anti-Muslim riots in Sri Lanka; the persecution of Rohingya minorities at the Bangla-Burma border; the violent legacy of the Maoist revolution in Nepal; attacks on Adivasis, Dalits and Muslims across India; insurgency violence in Assam, Nagaland and Manipur; the assassination of pro-secularist bloggers, activists and journalists in Bangladesh; and the continued assaults against sexual minorities, among others. In the wake of such developments, it becomes abundantly clear that the nation states in South Asia have failed to consolidate a civic-political framework that can ensure proper observation of human rights and just governance. Violence continues to be used politically, communally as well as on religious grounds, and in recent years, it has shown peculiar culturalist tendencies throughout the subcontinent. The aim of this special issue is to document, diagnose, and more importantly, to theorise the various modalities of social and political vicissitudes, which are meted out by violent responses from both state and non-state actors across the region.