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"The Body as Symbol: History, Memory and Communal Violence

There exists in India a discourse of Hindu-Muslim communalism that has corrupted history, penetrated memory and contributes in the present to the production and perpetuation of communal violence. This discourse is infused with body symbolism. It characterizes the partition of India as a vivisection of the Hindu body perpetrated by Muslims, which requires and justifies retaliation upon Muslim bodies. This retaliation has been enacted repeatedly in numerous riots and pogroms in post-Independence India.