Following the Delhi gang rape and murder of Jyoti Singh Pandhey in New Delhi and the unprecedented levels of protest that followed, high numbers of young people in the subcontinent and specifically urban India were blamed for sexual violence, while also heralded as a progressive vanguard.
In this piece, I discuss the paradoxical discourses that surround the Delhi gang rape and the unprecedented levels of protest that followed in relation to global austerity and anxieties concerning youth. While ‘idle young men’ are blamed for sexual violence and ‘young’ women are subject to paternalistic protectionism, I suggest that gendered violence in urban India must be thought of in relation to a wider moment of global recession and austerity. I use the Delhi gang rape case and discursive constructions of ‘youth’ as both deviant and politically progressive to discuss the gendered effects that increased forms of global precarity supports.
In: Sikh Formations: Religion, Culture, Memory. Special Issue: Violence, Youth, and Memory, Volume 9, Issue 3. M. Nijawin, Duygu Gul and Kamal Arora. Taylor and Francis.