South Asia Seminar: "Love Jihad: Pasts and Presents of Communal Fantasies and Moral Panic”

Charu Gupta, Associate Professor, Department of History, University of Delhi

This talk will juxtapose disjunctive invocations of Hindu male prowess and constructions of ‘licentious’ and sexually ‘ferocious’ Muslim male on the one hand, and assertions of recalcitrant female desire on the other, in modern India. Taking at its cue manufactured campaigns by hegemonic-homogenized Hindu identities and patriarchies around ‘abductions’ and conversions of Hindu women by Muslim men in early twentieth century colonial north India and in present-day India under the supposed threat of ‘love jihad’, the talk will probe intersections between sexualities, religious identities, intimate lives and political articulations.

The talk will reflect on how the arc of Hindu female desire for men outside the community, even while reifying heteronormativity, means that such desire is visceral and tactile, though it can only be acknowledged when it is being regulated as transgression, producing moral disciplining and everyday violence along the alliance model of sexuality, where through the arrangement of marriages, relations and boundaries of religion are policed.

Thursday, October 12, 2017 - 5:00pm
Foster 103