Shiv Sena Women

Atreyee Sen. 2007. Shiv Sena Women Violence and Communalism in a Bombay Slum
Indiana University Press. (256 pages) ISBN: 978-1-85065-870-2

This book turns feminist scholarship on its head by documenting how women may become primary retainers and perpetrators of a violent nationalist discourse, acquiring social and economic status either by default or as reward. It tells the story of the ‘Mahila Aghadi’ (the women’s wing of the Shiv Sena, a radical Hindu nationalist party in western India) and their children, based on intensive fieldwork in the low-income, working class slums of Bombay. Sen charts the Aghadi’s transformation from a submissive support group within a manifestly male movement into a militant and partially autonomous women’s task force, instrumental in creating and sustaining communal violence especially in and after the 1992 Hindu-Muslim riots in Bombay.