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Contents: Thinking through the body: Fear, faith, and fluids (Issue 64)

Contents: Thinking through the body: Fear, faith, and fluids (Issue 64)

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Contributors

Contributors

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Issue Editor’s Note: Thinking through the Body: Fear, Faith, and Fluids

By Papia Sengupta
This special edition of Café Dissensus brings together an array of articles on body: fluids, fear and how they are conceptualized and constructed.

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Embodying social change: Mahatma Gandhi and decolonization of the body

By Teresa Joseph
This article discusses Gandhi’s thoughts on the body which provide yet another entry point to understanding him, as well as his engagement with the body to communicate his message to the Empire as well as to the people of the subcontinent.

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A body against the world of caste monsters

By Smita Patil
Has the body of the Dalit women changed due to the shifting nature of ideological nature of the caste? Or is it the same body that undergoes constant insult, violence, repression and oppression, stigma by the upper-dominant caste-class wo/men? In addition to it, how does Dalit women’s body confront the brutal, vulgar public patriarchy?

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Fertility, blood flow and embodiment in religious sacrificial traditions

By Salini Saha
Blood has been the most powerful, evocative, and symbolic bodily substance since earliest days of humankind. Blood, particularly menstrual blood, marking an important phase in the reproductive life cycle, brims with connotations of fertility, birth, and life. Therefore bloodshed, whether natural as in case of menstrual blood or ritual, as in case of animal sacrifice, is a powerful symbol of life and birth, contrary to notions of violence.

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The politics of semen

By Sohini Saha
While both women’s and men’s body fluids are related with fertility, it is the power and potentiality of semen that is emphasized more while menstrual blood becomes a site of shame and fear.

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Childbirth as resistance: Possessive masculinity and the limits of power

By Sonali Pattnaik
I was certain that I would leave but I was not able to muster the courage to take that final step. My story is such that my body, literally produced courage for me in human form.

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The body of the condemned: An analysis of the criminal justice system in India

By Vipanshika Sahasri Bhagyanagar
In their book, Why Do You Fear My Way So Much? Letters and Poems from Prison, Saibaba's wife writes how this already ninety-five per cent disabled person was taken to prison, beat up so bad that hands – the only parts of the body that work well – have also stopped working well.

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Body of the dead, rituals of the death and disenfranchised grief in post-COVID society 

By Jigyasa Sogarwal
We are a migrant family. Religious rituals necessitated that my grandfather be cremated back in our ancestral village like the rest of his family. His dead body which is what he was now, the body of a person he used to be, was a COVID carrier and any such transportation we were told was not allowed under the standard operating procedure. It required crossing boundaries across three states.

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Fear of the body and online piety: Turning to God in the era of COVID-19

By Kidhar P.T.
Among Muslims of Kerala, this turn to God was in the form of listening to Va’alu (a particular form of sermon in vogue in Kerala) and Majalis-al Adhkar (congregations of chanting), which were increasingly streamed online gaining countless subscribers per day.

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Sensuality envisioned through the lens of Raj Kapoor and Satyajit Ray

By Sambhu Nath Banerjee
It is a matter of perspective as to how the sensuous undertone can be conveyed without hurting the sense of 'decency' on the large canvas. Ray was far ahead of Kapoor on this issue, needless to say.

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Mind over matter

By Sharmista Sen Gupta
A slim body is considered desirable, as is evident from representation in the glamour industry. The body of a disabled person using a wheelchair would be either viewed with pity or seen as abominable.

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