Broadening the Security Paradigm: Indian Women, Anti-Nuclear Activism, and Visions of a Sustainable Future


Das, Runa. 2007. “Broadening the Security Paradigm: Indian Women, Anti-Nuclear Activism, and Visions of a Sustainable Future.” Women’s Studies International Forum 30 (1): 1–15.

Author: Runa Das


This article uses the anti-nuclear activism of Indian women as a case study to question the relevance of statist discourses of security in Indian politics. By highlighting their activism against the Indian state (under its recent Hindu Right Bharatiya Janata Party government), this article deconstructs how (in)security imaginaries have been utilized by the Indian state to legitimize India's nuclear policies; how the Indian state's perceptions of (in)security has collided with 'people-centric' visions of security; and finally, how activism has enabled these women to de-center a militaristic and communal vision of (in)security that undergirds India's nuclear policy. I also highlight the ways in which women's activism has differed from that of men's including how women activists have used distinctive rationales and strategies to oppose Indian nuclearization. The contribution of this article lies in stitching together the spirit of inclusiveness that brings these women's leadership qualities, capabilities, and preferences to broaden India's security paradigm.

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Masculinism, Patriarchy, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, Nationalism, Weapons /Arms, Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Countries: India

Year: 2007

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