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Title: Religiosity, Identity and Deepening of Communal Expressions in Godhra, Gujarat
Authors: Gandhi, Janvi
Keywords: School of Habitat Studies
Issue Date: 2011
Abstract: In a highly insecure world that we live in, public space is being contested by a variety of actors and expressions of communalism can be seen as spreading across the length and breadth of the country. The communal experiences leave the society with deep ruptures that requires peace-building processes involving all the agencies of power. However this research addresses these gaps in this process through the len s of religiosity in Godhra, Gujarat in the backdrop of the gruesome 2002 Gujarat riots. A part of the study aims at engaging with theoretical discussions on identity, formation of the Indian identity and linking religious identity with communal identity. The religious conflict between the Hindus and Muslims has been age-old and the study looks at this problem closely to examine identity politics in the country. This discussion is followed by an analysis of experiences of participants of the study vis-à-vis their development experiences in the Godhra town. The process of ghettoisation and fractured intercommunity relations that creates exclusive identities is looked at closely in relation to the narratives of the varied set of participants. While dealing with exclusive religious identities, one tries to analyze the perceptions and biases existing between the communities at risk. D ifferent peace-building methods and conflict- resolution strategies have also been delved on in this section. Various available media texts have been analyzed and all forms of communal expressions in the context of Godhra have been discussed extensively to in the study. The study aims at unraveling the complex issues of religious conflict for academicians and practitioners alike who want to work towards creating secular and democratic societies.
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