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

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Women's Mobilisation in the Jammu Agitation: Religion, Caste, Community and Gender

The widespread protests in 2008 in the Hindudominated Dogra belt of Jammu on the subject of land for the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board saw protestors asserting their "Hindu" identity. The most striking factor of the demonstration was the massive participation of women in a region where they had so far been politically passive. But the liberation of women from purely domestic chores and their elevation to a political level under the communal Hindutva banner did not emancipate them.

T he massive protests in Kashmir in 2008 over the issue of transfer of land to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board initially led to its revocation. This in turn, generated a frenzied reaction in the Hindu-dominated Dogra belt of Jammu. In an agitation that lasted for 62 days, a furore was raised about the hurt sentiments of Hindus and discrimination against the Jammu region. The agitation was strongly backed by right wing Hindu forces; however, soon the mobs attained autonomy of their own. Regional, communal and chauvinistic nationalist emotions were kindled by Hindu organisations and placed against the Kashmiri, Muslim and separatist sentiments. The agitation acquired communal tones, which ultimately resulted in interreligious clashes at a few places.1

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