This book highlights the role of emotions in the contentious politics of modern South Asia. It brings new methodological, theoretical and empirical insights to the mutual constitution of emotions and mobilisations in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. As such, it addresses three distinct but related questions: what do emotions do to mobilisations? What do mobilisations do to emotions? Further, what does studying emotions in mobilisations reveal about the political culture of protest in South Asia?

The chapters in this volume emphasise that emotions are significant in politics because they have the power to mobilise. They explore a variety of emotions including anger, resentment, humiliation, hurt, despair, and nostalgia, and also enchantment, humour, pleasure, hope and enthusiasm. The interdisciplinary research presented here shows that integrating emotions improves our understanding of South Asian politics while, conversely, focusing on South Asia helps retool current thinking on the emotional dynamics of political mobilisations. The book offers contextual analyses of how emotions are publicly represented, expressed and felt, thus shedding light on the complex nature of protests, power relations, identity politics, and the political culture of South Asia.

This cutting-edge research volume intersects South Asian studies, emotion studies and social movement studies, and will greatly interest scholars and students of political science, anthropology, sociology, history and cultural studies, and the informed general reader interested in South Asian politics.

chapter 1|34 pages

Contentious Emotions

An introduction

part I|58 pages

Bringing Emotions Back into South Asian Political Mobilisations

chapter 3|22 pages

Participatory and Adversarial Politics

Representing speech action, collective action and emotion

chapter 4|25 pages

Remembering and Accessing the ‘Emotions of Things’

A methodological journey with a jihadist militant in Pakistan

part II|39 pages

Major Historical Shifts in the Public Expression of Emotions

chapter 5|18 pages

Anger, Hurt and Enthusiasm

Mobilising for violence, 1870-1920

chapter 6|19 pages

From Court to Public Sphere

How Urdu poetry's language of romance shaped the language of protest

part III|52 pages

Subverting and Cementing Power Relations with Emotions

chapter 7|16 pages

Emotions as Fuel

The passage of anti-sexual harassment legislation in Pakistan

chapter 8|17 pages

It's Effective Because It's Affective

The dynamics and significance of emotions in a Delhi Jan Sunwai

chapter 9|17 pages

The Deployment of Resentment in Counterinsurgency

The case of Chhattisgarh

part IV|55 pages

Directing Affects across the Elusive Boundaries of the Political

chapter 10|18 pages

Mobilising Anger in Andhra Pradesh

The emotional politics of the angry young man and popular Telugu cinema

chapter 11|17 pages

Hope and Nostalgia in Bengal

The longing for Netaji in a contemporary millennial movement

chapter 12|18 pages

Dialectics of (De)mobilisation

Humour in Islamic sermons of contemporary Bangladesh

part V|40 pages

The Emotional Dynamics of Public Controversies

chapter 13|21 pages

Hurt and Censorship in India Today

On communities of sentiments, competing vulnerabilities and cultural wars