Riots and Victims: Violence and the Construction of Communal Identity among Bengali Muslims, 1905-1947

Synopsis

In recent decades, the world has witnessed the emergence of several protracted violent conflicts and the eruption of ethnic and communal violence in countries such as Bosnia, Rwanda, and Sri Lanka. Riots and Victims challenges the popular academic interpretation of such events as examples of "tribal slaughter" or spontaneous eruptions, fueled by historic conflict between religious and ethnic communities. This book examines the origins and consequences of the violence that occurred between the Muslim and Hindu communities in pre-partition Bengal, which ultimately resulted in the creation of Pakistan. Gossman argues that communal violence and communal identity were not merely the consequences of long-term animosities, but rather ploys orchestrated by mid-level politicians for their own advancement and aggrandizement. Riots and Victims introduces new analyses of local violence and identity, and explores issues of far-reaching importance.

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