Shrey Kapoor
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Resisting a hegemonic spatiotemporal order
Hindu nationalist violence and subterranean agency in Ahmedabad
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With the 2002 Gujarat pogrom, then-chief minister Narendra Modi oversaw Independent India’s single most damaging episode of Hindu–Muslim violence to date. The pogrom also marked the Hindu Right’s most recent return to the historical riot system that transformed Ahmedabad, Gujarat’s de facto capital, into India’s most “ghettoised” city. The pogrom, however, did not bring an end to the Hindu Right’s orchestration of violence in Ahmedabad. The Modi government seized control over the implementation of the Sabarmati Riverfront Project before the blood and dust of the pogrom could settle, which provoked the violent eviction of over 40,000 lower-caste Hindu and Muslim day laborers from the heart of the city. This chapter retraces the lives and movements of the Sabarmati’s inhabitants from the 1920s to the present. It thereby reveals how the unruly practices of Muslim intermediaries at the riverbed consistently brought them into the crosshairs of the different ‘violences’ that coalesced in the making of Ahmedabad’s segregated social order. By highlighting their historical and ongoing responses to these cascading forms of violence, this chapter exposes the hidden spatiotemporal connections between the forms of violence that have animated the Hindu Right’s hegemonic project in Gujarat. In so doing, it helps identify unexpected articulations of Muslim agency that could undermine this hegemonic project as Modi and the BJP extend Gujarat’s violent spatiotemporal relations across India at large.

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The spatiality and temporality of urban violence

Histories, rhythms and ruptures

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