Intersection of Sexual Violence against Women and Sectarian Agendas in India
Using on-line newspaper reports, this paper examines how the narratives and counter narratives of the highly publicised gang rape of Pandey in 2012 reproduce rape myths. Using thematic analysis techniques, this research examines how gang rape is used in sectarian agendas in India. It demonstrates that the responses of government, the main opposition political party, and prominent leaders of Hindu nationalist forces to rape cannot be separated from the intersection of gender, misogynist culture and politics. Findings indicated that violated women’s bodies became a space for political debates between a conservative, opposition political party’s claims about Indian traditions and the government of India. These findings have important implications if we want to challenge rape myths that obscure the need for social and political transformation to stop rape. The highly publicised rape of Pandey marked a turning point for the anti-rape movement in India.
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