ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Community Formation and Communal Conflict-Namasudra-Muslim Riot in Jessore-Khulna

Class-community continuum, the religiosity inherent in a traditional society, elite manipulation are some of the dimensions of interpretations of communal conflicts in India arising from heightened community consciousness. This paper, while not rejecting such aspects, seeks to emphasise the importance of certain other social factors. Through a study of the Namasudra-Muslim disturbances that occurred in May 1911 in the Jessore-Khulna region of eastern Bengal, the paper argues that collective action was imperative for submerged groups to establish their self-image and, in the process, they repudiated accepted norms of reverence, leading to friction, both violent and non-violent, with those accustomed to being revered.

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