chapter  1
Decolonizing the Body
Theoretical Imaginings on the Fourth Wave Feminism in India
ByAlka Kurian
Pages 27

This chapter argues that the 2012 anti-rape movement in India launched a new feminist politics that embodied a rights-based discourse of gender. In particular, against everyday, generalized misogyny, and sexual harassment and violence—in a way that had not been seriously taken up by the mainstream Indian Women's Movement (IWM). Asserting their right to be treated as equal fellow citizens, the movement saw young women challenging the subordination of their political identity to moral identity, and demanding that the state criminalize sexual harassment. The IWM did successfully lead some campaigns against women's harassment: In 1992 the "Crimes against Women" added in the "Crimes in India" report that enlisted offences that specifically targeted women such as dowry-related abuse, domestic violence, molestation, and eve-teasing. The promise of the 2012 feminist movement, therefore, is in this connection, and is a critical breakthrough that has the potential to lay the groundwork for, which claim, Indian fourth wave feminism and for wider class-based struggles.