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Beyond PartitionGender, Violence, and Representation in Postcolonial India$
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Deepti Misri

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038853

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038853.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 07 March 2021

“Are You a Man?”

“Are You a Man?”

Performing Naked Protest in India

(p.113) 4 “Are You a Man?”
Beyond Partition

Deepti Misri

University of Illinois Press

This chapter considers the use of nakedness both as a form of violence inflicted by the state, and as a form of resistance in women's naked protests that expose the gendered logics of this violence by the state. Naked protest as deployed by a range of actors mainly interrogates the violence sanctioned by the Indian state's discourses of “antinationalism” or sedition. The chapter analyzes Mahasweta's short story “Draupadi,” along with a range of naked performances by women, including a protest by a group of Manipuri women outside the Assam Rifles headquarters and a solo protest march by a Gujarati woman, Pooja Chauhan. These analyses illustrate the implications of naked protest as an unmanning challenge that tauntingly punctures the triumphalist structure of rape-as-power by recoding rape as an act of cowardice.

Keywords:   naked protests, nakedness, antinationalism, Mahasweta, Draupadi, Manipuri women, Pooja Chauhan, state violence

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