Violence and Dalit Women’s Resistance in Rural Bihar

Citation:

Srivastava, Sumit S. 2007. “Violence and Dalit Women’s Resistance in Rural Bihar.” Indian Anthropologist 37 (2): 31–44.

Author: Sumit S. Srivastava

Abstract:

The present study analyses the participation of dalit women in the naxalite movement in Bihar as a strategy of their empowerment and liberation from gender exploitation and patriarchy. The overlapping categories of caste along with class are of prime importance in our study. The broad objectives of the study are to explore experiences of violence and in response to it the nature and viability of gendering naxalite movement in Bihar. Such modes of resistance encounter different set of oppression and sites. The issues of participation are those of equal land rights and recourse to retaliation in cases of violation of dignity and violence. Similarly, the 'othering' of dalit women seen in the targeted killings of these women in massacres by landed gentry is also explored. In conclusion, the study argues that there are multiple forms of violence which require that gender and violence to be critically interpreted in the framework of caste. Most importantly, the resistance to violence by dalit women in Bihar aims to negotiate sexual exploitation and patriarchy thereby enhancing their functionalities to the optimum.

Keywords: Bihar, violence, Dalit women, Naxalite movement

Topics: Caste, Class, Gender, Women, Girls, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Sexual Violence, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Violence Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2007

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