Other voices, other tongues

Zubaan, many of you will know, is the brainchild of Urvashi Butalia who had earlier founded Kali for Women, the first feminist press in India and one of the few in the world...

Small, select, and fiercely independent, Kali for Women and her two daughters, Zubaan and Women Unlimited bring out a diverse and important set of books on gender and related issues. One such title, just picked at random from Zubaan's impressive list is Atreyee Sen's Shiv Sena Women.

"This fascinating book, based on Atreyee Sen’s immersion in the low-income, working-class slums of Bombay, tells the story of the women and children of the Hindu right wing party, the Shiv Sena, in Western India. The women’s front of the Sena, known as the ‘Mahila Aghadui’, has been instrumental in creating and sustaining communal violence, and the infamous Hindu-Muslim riots of 1992-3 brought them into the limelight.

Sen charts the Aghadi’s transformation from a support group into a militant and partially autonomous women’s task force. She turns feminist scholarship on its head by documenting a situation where women have become the primary retainers and perpetrators of a violent nationalistic discourse, acquiring social and economic status either by default or as reward."

In our Gender Studies section. Rs 395. ISBN: 978818988482.