ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles by Ratna KapurSubscribe to Ratna Kapur

Secularism Bench-Marked by Hindu Right

Brenda Cossman Ratna Kapur The recent series of Supreme Court judgments in cases against elected representatives of the Shiv Sena-BJP government in Maharashtra has delivered a mixed message. While finding several of the accused guilty of corrupt electoral practices, the court has given legal sanction to the Hindu right's ideology of hindutva as well as to its discursive strategy of hijacking secularism for its own unsecular agenda. This paper examines the court's decisions in detail and shows how it has erred in failing to take into account the political context in which the concepts of hindutva and secularism have been evolved by the right.

Who Draws the Line-Feminist Reflections on Speech and Censorship

Feminist Reflections on Speech and Censorship Ratna Kapur This paper draws a distinction between the legal regulation of sexual speech and of hate Speechtwo very different kinds of speech, with two very different kinds of laws. Hate speech laws address a harm promotion of hatred towards different racial caste and religious groups-with which we should be concerned. In stark contrast, sexual speech laws address a harm with which we should not be concerned. The legal regulation of sexual speech is designed to reinforce traditional and highly conservative sexual moralities. Drawing a distinction between hate speech and sexual speech may help to formulate legal and non-legal strategies in response to the specificities of each.

Communalising Gender Engendering Community-Women, Legal Discourse and Saffron Agenda

Women, Legal Discourse and Saffron Agenda Ratna Kapur Brend a Cossman The relationship between discourses of secularism and equality, between religion and women are "mutually constituting. Communities are defined in and through the identity of women, while women are defined in and through the identity of their communities. If is within this context of mutually constituting discourses that Hindu fundamentalists are engaged in discursive struggles to particulate the meaning and identity of both community and gender. Legal discourse is important in this overall discursive strategy of reconstituting women Introduction THE discourses of democracy and fundamental rights have become powerful weapons in the hands of Hindu fundamentalists to further their Hindutva campaign. Secularism, in their hands, has become a way of challenging the identity of minority communities. Equality has become an implement for reinforcing dominant Hindu norms, and attacking the 'other for violating these norms. In this paper, we explore the way in which these concepts of secularism and equality have become the site of a contest for meaning, as Hindu fundamentalists seek to redefine these concepts in accordance with Hindutva's vision of the relationship between religion and politics and of the role of women in Indian society.

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