Anxious Sexualities: Masculinity, Nationalism and Violence


Anand, Dibyesh. 2007. “Anxious Sexualities: Masculinity, Nationalism and Violence.” The British Journal of Politics & International Relations 9 (2): 257–69.

Author: Dibyesh Anand


An ethnographic research among activists subscribing to majoritarian Hindu nationalism in India reveals that anxiety, masculinity and sexuality are crucial ingredients in their identity politics. The inimical figure used to mobilise the Hindu nationalist identity is a stereotyped Muslim masculinity which in turn is imagined as dangerous owing to a mix of negative images of Islam, history, physicality and culture. The specificities of anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat in 2002, and especially the pervasiveness of sexual violence there, can be understood as an assertion of the new Hindu identity which conflates nationalism with masculinity and violence. And yet it was the complicity of the institutions of the state that accounted for the lethality of violence in Gujarat. The article argues that masculinised nationalism and embedded statehood are crucial features of contemporary (inter)national politics.

Topics: Gender, Masculinity/ies, Nationalism, Religion, Sexual Violence, Sexuality, Violence Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2007

© 2023 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at