South Asian Political Thought (SAPT) Discussion Group: MT18 Week 4: Justice as Righteous Duty: Notes from an Islamic Feminist Movement in Contemporary India

Convener(s): Udit Bhatia & Amogh Dhar Sharma

Speaker(s): Sagnik Dutta, University of Cambridge

The question of gender justice vis-à-vis minority religious communities has been understood in liberal political theory either in terms of the discourse of multiculturalism and the preservation of a cultural identity or in terms of the accommodation of religious reasons by universal liberal categories of freedom, equality, and autonomy. This paper instead illuminates the female religious subject’s constitution of a vocabulary of rights using a category of moral agency. It illustrates the imbrication of a discourse of rights by ideas of everyday justice forged in a site of negotiation between the normative and the contingent. Building upon participant observation in the training sessions of a movement for gender justice by Muslim women in Mumbai inspired by a global discourse of Islamic feminism, this article argues for a new way of thinking about justice vis-à-vis the minority identity that escapes the ethnocentrism of universal liberal categories while arguing for a rethinking of identity as an entry point into rights discourses.
Please note that this week’s session will take place in the Dahrendorf Room at St Antony’s College instead of Jesus College and will run at the earlier time of 2.00-3.30pm (not 5.00-6.30pm). Please contact or for further information. 


sapt changes week 4