Communication & Global Shifts| Performing Terror, Mediating Religion: Indian Cinema and the Politics of National Belonging

Sunera Thobani


In 2002, the Indian state of Gujarat erupted in violence against Muslims that left thousands homeless and hundreds of women raped and assaulted. The relation between nation, religion, and gender has often been violent in the South Asian context, no less so with the emergence of India as a major economic power in the early 21st century. This article examines what the Gujarat genocide reveals about the Indian nation-state and its particular forms of religious and gendered identities. It also examines the symbiotic relation between the nation-state and the Indian film industry, which plays a critical role in mediating forms of national subjectivity and belonging.


Gujarat genocide; Indian cinema; media, religion, and violence

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