Ahimsa, identification and sacrifice in the Gujarat pogrom
Article first published online: 10 MAY 2010
© 2010 European Association of Social Anthropologists.
Volume 18, Issue 2, pages 155–175, May 2010
How to Cite
Ghassem-Fachandi, P. (2010), Ahimsa, identification and sacrifice in the Gujarat pogrom. Social Anthropology, 18: 155–175. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8676.2010.00105.x
- Issue published online: 10 MAY 2010
- Article first published online: 10 MAY 2010
Central Gujarat is often called the ‘laboratory of Hindutva’. This paper examines how complicity during the Gujarat pogrom in 2002 was tied to an imagery of sacrifice invoked through a language of ritual and diet. By means of the spectacle of uncanny terrorism, the deployment of sacrificial language, rumours of abduction of young women, and circulation of images of excess, a Hindu victim was mimetically constructed through Muslim victimisation. Ahimsa, initially deployed as an ethical critique of the violence of sacrifice, was transformed into an element of violent identification contributing to widespread complicity among residents of the city of Ahmedabad.