Kites over the Mango Tree: Restoring Harmony between Hindus and Muslims in Gujarat

Overview

Hindu nationalists in the west Indian state of Gujarat repudiate the pluralist vision of Gandhi and Nehru and foment state-sponsored violence and ethnic cleansing against Muslims and Christians. In 2002, the burning to death of 59 rightwing Hindu militants in a train in Gujarat set off waves of state-condoned communal riots in which as many as 2,000 predominantly Muslim Gujaratis were murdered and 200,000 made homeless. In the wake of these atrocities, secular peace-building organizations have redoubled their ...

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Kites over the Mango Tree: Restoring Harmony Between Hindus and Muslims in Gujarat

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Overview

Hindu nationalists in the west Indian state of Gujarat repudiate the pluralist vision of Gandhi and Nehru and foment state-sponsored violence and ethnic cleansing against Muslims and Christians. In 2002, the burning to death of 59 rightwing Hindu militants in a train in Gujarat set off waves of state-condoned communal riots in which as many as 2,000 predominantly Muslim Gujaratis were murdered and 200,000 made homeless. In the wake of these atrocities, secular peace-building organizations have redoubled their efforts to heal the rift between Hindus and Muslims in Gujarat. A certified mediator, Janet Powers bases her book on interviews with workers in twenty of these peace-building NGOs and grassroots peace organizations, which are locked in struggle with politicized Hindu religious organizations largely funded by money raised in the United States. This is the first book to examine Hindu-Muslim relations in Gujarat in the frame of ongoing peace and conflict resolution efforts.

Gujarat is the state of origin of most of the entrepreneurial Indians who own motels, convenience stores, and gas stations in the United States and United Kingdom. Much of the funding for the rightwing Hindu parties that foment extremist violence, ethnic cleansing, and re-conversion campaigns against the Muslim and Christian minorities in Gujarat comes from Gujarati expatriates in the U.S. and UK. Gujarat is the home of Mahatma Gandhi, who was assassinated in 1948 by an agent of the RSS, a violently anti-Muslim Hindu nationalist organization that flourishes today in Gujarat in virulent association with the ruling BJP and VHP parties. Equally dangerous to the peace of Gujarat are violent Wahhabist organizations based in Pakistan but operating in India. Powers assesses the prospects for long-term healing in Gujarat based on historical precedents, and she applies the lessons of Gujarati grassroots peace-building organizations in Gujarat to zones of state-sponsored religious conflict in other parts of the world.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"In this honest, well-intentioned book, Powers (interdisciplinary and women's studies, Gettysburg College) examines the

problematic relationship between Hindus and Muslims in the troubled province of Gujarat in India. . . . Recommended. General readers and all undergraduates."

-

Choice

"… If people will open their minds and hearts, prospects for peace can flicker and bloom much like it did before. You'll have to read the book to uncover the symbolism of the kites and mango trees!"

-

Catholic Library World

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313351570
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/30/2008
  • Series: Praeger Security International Series
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

JANET M. POWERS is Professor Emerita of Interdisciplinary and Women's Studies at Gettysburg College, specializing in Indian religion and literature. A certified conflict resolution mediator, she has worked with women's peace-building organizations in India, Palestine, Israel, Haiti, South Africa, and Estonia. She is the author of Blossoms on the Olive Tree: Israeli and Palestinian Women Working for Peace (Praeger, 2006) and a contributor to South Asian Novelists in English (Greenwood, 2003).

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Table of Contents

Illustrations

Foreword

Preface

Acknowledgments

Prologue

1. 1992 and 2002

2. Kingdoms and Conquest

3. European Dominance

4. Mahatma Gandhi: Khalifat, Partition and Beyond

5. The Sangh Parivar Organizations

6. Muslim Reformers and Islamic Nationalists

7. Motels and Convenience Stores

8. SEWA: Work as Antidote to Violence

9. The Gujarat Harmony Project

10. Recovering the Future

Appendix

Bibliography

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