ECSAS 2023 – Turin 26-29 July

Reclaiming through resistance: Muslim women and the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protest in India


SEN GUPTA PAPIA - Jawaharlal Nehru University, Centre for Political Studies, New Delhi, India


21- Panel Title: Violence against women in South Asian countries


 The paper interrogates the marginalisation of Muslim women in post-colonial India, who have faced negligence from the state and their own community, through an extended case study of the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protest (also called Shaheen Bagh). It examines the protest as an act of Muslim women reclaiming their agency as citizens in the light of the majoritarian state rhetoric claiming it to be a ‘religious outburst’? Muslim women’s life, body and clothing have increasingly become the arena of conflict between the state and the patriarchal groups continuing to suppress their identity as individual citizens capable of making own choices.

                Using the analytical framework of intersectionality and urban resistance, the protest will be investigated from three perspectives: the protestors, the state, and the media accounts. For this, I will examine the state policies and practises to construe the official view; oral testimonies of the protestors and those involved directly or indirectly with the protest (these have already been collected); and media reports, social media posts (fake news) and visual imaginaries, which created a broader narrative about the protest for the uninvolved members of the society.

The study by conducting fieldwork and oral testimonies provides an insight into the everyday lived experiences of othering and violence against Muslim women in an urban setting, a comparatively unexplored field of research especially within feminist methodology