Violence in India: studying oppression in contemporary Indian art and society
Why do we commit violence? Because we see someone as different from ourselves and who is a threat to our existence. Indian society is highly oppressive in nature. There exists a multilayered system of oppression based on an individual’s gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, caste and class, among other factors. Visual artists having played a distinct role in reinforcing this system of oppression, are now questioning it. Contemporary Indian artists are studying discriminatory colonial laws in their works whilst questioning violence and oppression in India. Such a study reveals Indian society to be hybrid in nature. This thesis begins with an examination of discriminatory colonial laws with identifiable impacts in contemporary Indian society through the works of various Indian artists. It highlights different types of violence – both symbolic and real – to propose a reassessment of Indian society as a whole.