Research Programs: Summer Stipends

Period of Performance

7/1/2007 - 8/31/2007

Funding Totals

$5,000.00 (approved)
$5,000.00 (awarded)

Formations of Militancy: Religion, Violence, and Political Mobilization in Twentieth Century India

FAIN: FT-55149-07

Arafaat A. Valiani
Presidents and Trustees of Williams College (Williamstown, MA 01267-2600)

This study traces the manners in which religion can contribute to militant political movements and violent practices in India. I undertake an historical and ethnographic study of the emergence of non-violent and violent movements in the state of Gujarat, both of which marry religious concepts with a militant program for political mobilization, military-styled training and discipline. I seek funding to complete advanced archival research in India; this phase of vital research will permit me to complete my book manuscript. This study will contribute answers to new scholarly problems inquiring into the manner that religious concepts can be interwoven with militant projects of political mobilization, violence, and “terrorism.”

Media Coverage

XQs III: A Conversation with Arafaat A. Valiani (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Sanyasi, Arafaat A. Valiani
Date: 8/18/2014
Abstract: Author interview.

Associated Products

Militant Publics in India: Physical Culture and Violence in the Making of a Modern Polity (Book)
Title: Militant Publics in India: Physical Culture and Violence in the Making of a Modern Polity
Author: Arafaat A. Valiani, Ph.D.
Abstract: This creative study explores how Mohandas Gandhi's celebrated concept of satyagraha (non-violence) was eclipsed by the xenophobic Hindu nationalist movement that has organized ferocious episodes of ethnic cleansing against minority communities in contemporary India. By means of a close reading of Gandhi's writing on popular mobilization and resistance, and a detailed historical investigation of hitherto understudied episodes of satyagraha that took place in the first half of the twentieth century, Valiani illuminates debates on politics in South Asian history, anthropology, and sociology. Among other insights, this inquiry underscores the continuities and discontinuities between physical culture and various contending modes of popular political protest and activism in Gandhi's satyagraha movement and the militant Hindu nationalist movement in the western Indian state of Gujarat in the colonial and postcolonial periods. Interpreting his own direct observation of Hindu nationalist pogroms in contemporary Gujarat, in addition to testimonies and ethnographic observations of the inner workings of the movement that were revealed to the author when he was a "trainee" within it, this brilliant account offers readers a rare insider perspective on the social and religious world that historically and culturally produces militants.
Year: 2011
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: Book website.
Secondary URL:
Secondary URL Description: Author website.
Access Model: Open.
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Type: Single author monograph
ISBN: 0230112579
Copy sent to NEH?: Yes