Cover of: Violence/Non-Violence. Some HIndu Perspectives How do we understand those ascetics who have developed an extremely elaborate martial tradition and yet have taken strict vows of non-violence, especially when, for some ascetics today, that tradition has been put at the service of the most extreme forms of Hindu militancy? And how is that tough union leaders can, with conviction, share the same ideas as Gandhi, or that Brahmins scarcely hesitate before using the stick, even though they loudly and insistently advertise their faith in non-violence? These ways of acting may in fact allow us to reconsider the understanding of the concepts of violence and non-violence in Hinduism, for there are many aspects of Indian society and culture which effectively contradict ideas, often taken for granted since Gandhi, about the role of violence in it. In reality, how the concepts of 'violence' and 'non-violence' are defined in different aspects of the Hindu tradition cannot be understood if they are dissociated from each other. Rather, as the articles in this volume show, violence very frequently legitimates itself in the name of non-violence as well.
D.V., G.T. & E.M.


  1. On the Concepts of Violence and Non-Violence in Hinduism and Indian Society. Denis Vidal, Gilles Tarabout and Eric Meyer
  2. The Violence of the Non-Violent, or Ascetics in Combat. Véronique Bouillier
  3. On the Rhetoric of Violence. Boris Oguibénine
  4. Ancient Brahminism, or Impossible Non-Violence. Madeleine Biardeau
  5. The Violences of a Hindu Village. The Suicide of a Young Woman: 'Legitimate Violence' and Dominant Castes in Central India. Jean-Luc Chambard
  6. The Initiation of Devi: Violence and Non-Violence in a Vaishnavite Tale. Catherine Clémentin-Ojha
  7. The So-Called 'Criminal Tribes' of Bristish India:Colonial Violence and Traditional Violence. Marie Fourcade
  8. Non-Violence in the Country of Violence: Lessons from the Dhanbad Mining Belt. Gérard Heuzé
  9. Remarks on Dissuasion in Ancient India. Charles Malamoud
  10. Magical Violence and Non-Violence: Witchcraft in Kerala. Gilles Tarabout
  11. The End of a Feud. Denis Vidal
  12. Opposing Gandhi: Hindu Nationalism and Political Violence. Christophe Jaffrelot