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Sentiment, Politics, Censorship

Sentiment, Politics, Censorship
The State of Hurt

First Edition
Edited by:
  • Rina Ramdev - Associate Professor, Department of English, Sri Venkateswara College, University of Delhi
  • Sandhya D. Nambiar - Assistant Professor, Department of English, Jesus and Mary College, University of Delhi
  • Debaditya Bhattacharya - Assistant Professor, Department of English, Bhagini Nivedita College, University of Calcutta

December 2015 | 324 pages | SAGE Publications Pvt. Ltd

A refreshing read in terms of its take on the issue of hate speech, hurt, and politics of it.

The currency of “hurt” as a claim to, and pretext for, political correctionism—and often taking recourse to the logic of the antipopular as anti-State—has erected a machinery of censorship governed by the economies and excesses of a “marketplace of outrage.” This volume seeks to map this ready vocabulary of a potential victimhood and its consequent excuse for repressive regimes of State vigilantism.  

It investigates the ways in which such “hurt” is expressed and abetted by the State or its actors, staged by popular media and often subsumed as public opinion. It builds the necessary structure of argument around the idea of “hurt” with reference to recent political events, the history of sentimental mobilizations and various kinds of censorship attempts in India.


Rina Ramdev, Sandhya D Nambiar, and Debaditya Bhattacharya
Introduction: Sentimental Sovereignties: Hurt and the Political Unconscious
Mukund Padmanabhan
How Far Can You Go?
Anup Dhar
What, If the Hurt Is ‘Real’? Psyche, Neighbor, and Intimate Violence
Dilip Simeon
Between Speech and Silence
Siddharth Narrain
The Harm in Hate Speech Laws: Examining the Origins of Hate Speech Legislation in India
Shohini Ghosh
The Alchemy of Hate and Hurt
Mushirul Hasan
Strangers in the Land: Mapping the Muslim Hurt
Radhika Chopra
Commemorating Hurt: Memorialising Operation Bluestar
Akhil Katyal
The Reascription of Hurt: When Abu Gharaib Came to Kashmir
Soumyabrata Choudhury
Anathema and Anachronism: A Contemporary Utilization of Ambedkar’s Critique of Gandhism
Manas Ray
The Cartoon Controversy: Crafty Politicos, Impatient Pedagogues
Tapan Basu
Writing Humiliation, Righting Humiliation: Marking the Dalit Moment in the History of India’s “Untouchables” and Beyond
Sunalini Kumar
Sense and Sentimentality: A Political Fable
Prasanta Chakravarty
The Return of Daya
Vinita Chandra, Rina Ramdev, and Giti Chandra
Of JAB and Hurt: Exploring Spaces of Resistance Within the University
Karen Gabriel
Sexuality, Mediation, Commodification: The Business of Representation
Lawrence Liang
The Erotics of Law, Scandal, and Technology
Meenakshi Malhotra
The Engendering of Hurt: A Feminist Analysis of Hurt Sentiments
Krishna Menon
On the Question of Free Speech and Censorship
Vishwajyoti Ghosh
The Lines of Control

[The book] delineates how “hurt” is felt and constructed, what “sentiment” mean and where it comes from, and how Indian politics and the nature of its media shape the creation and response  to “hurtful” speech.

Business Standard, 4 February 2016

The editors deserve applause for taking bold stances…this book, thus assumes a focal importance for anyone involved in work and discussions around issues related to free speech, violence and the law.

Social Change,
Volume 47 (Issue 1), March 2017

Their book explores the question of bodily feeling, of sentiment and its inevitable entwinement with politics and censorship in the current Indian scenario…. The collection of essays in this book coming from a wide range of intellectuals offer a well-balanced perspective on an issue that has become more relevant now than ever.

The Book Review, August 2016

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ISBN: 9789351503040