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Political violence, community and its limits in Kannur, Kerala

Political violence, community and its limits in Kannur, Kerala This article analyses communities that the blue-collar, backward caste, local-level workers of the party Left and the Hindu Right have forged amongst themselves in the Kannur district of Kerala. Its particular focus is on members of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI (M)). For more than four decades, members of the CPI (M) and the Hindu Right have been involved in an intermittent but occasionally intense conflict. Their conflict highlights how modern practices of political mobilisation and competition condition the formation of close-knit antagonistic masculine unities regardless of the ideological affiliations in question; its violent context foregrounds affects and emotions that characterise life in such fraternal communities. While such unities have become central to the enactment of collective agency in many contexts, strong limits mark these communities. Not just those outside a community, but also those within it apprehend these limits. Violent experiences emerge as idealised modes of imagining communion with members of one’s community, as well as forces that individuate them. Biographies and narratives of Left- and Right-wing workers who once sought close integration with their respective communities but now live apart from them, illuminate the already present limits of commonality and unity possible in modern political communities. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Contributions to Indian Sociology SAGE

Political violence, community and its limits in Kannur, Kerala

Contributions to Indian Sociology , Volume 49 (2): 26 – Jun 1, 2015

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References (61)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
SAGE Publications
ISSN
0069-9667
eISSN
0973-0648
DOI
10.1177/0972063415575821
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This article analyses communities that the blue-collar, backward caste, local-level workers of the party Left and the Hindu Right have forged amongst themselves in the Kannur district of Kerala. Its particular focus is on members of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI (M)). For more than four decades, members of the CPI (M) and the Hindu Right have been involved in an intermittent but occasionally intense conflict. Their conflict highlights how modern practices of political mobilisation and competition condition the formation of close-knit antagonistic masculine unities regardless of the ideological affiliations in question; its violent context foregrounds affects and emotions that characterise life in such fraternal communities. While such unities have become central to the enactment of collective agency in many contexts, strong limits mark these communities. Not just those outside a community, but also those within it apprehend these limits. Violent experiences emerge as idealised modes of imagining communion with members of one’s community, as well as forces that individuate them. Biographies and narratives of Left- and Right-wing workers who once sought close integration with their respective communities but now live apart from them, illuminate the already present limits of commonality and unity possible in modern political communities.

Journal

Contributions to Indian SociologySAGE

Published: Jun 1, 2015

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