Disrupting anxious masculinity: fraternity as resistance

Abhijit Das, J Dasgupta, Maitrayee MUKHOPADHYAY, S Contractor, SK Singh

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review


Within the experience of our work in India, context and positionality determine what we perceive as backlash against gender justice. An important underlying cause of backlash today is the widespread crisis of masculinities, where subaltern masculinities are evolving differently in response to the aggressive nationalist Hindutva masculinity. Gender and development strategies have failed to recognise or address this. This article analyses grounded examples from our action research towards generating new knowledge on how two collectives are negotiating backlash. These include the community-based transgender organisation Kolkata Rista and Humqadam, a platform comprising male activists in Uttar Pradesh working with men on gender equality. Applying the framework of ontological insecurity, this article explores ways for discovering common ground in situations where polarisation destroys the space for debate and discussion. Reflecting on the political practice of fraternity, the article examines how social movements can shift strategies when faced with exclusionary discourses.

Original languageEnglish
JournalIds Bulletin-institute of Development Studies
Issue number1
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • Hindutva ethnonationalism
  • Action research
  • Building fraternity
  • Crisis of masculinities
  • Feminist interventions
  • Gender backlash
  • Inclusion/belongingness as resistance
  • Ontological insecurity
  • Transgender rights


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