Becoming Visible: Marginalization, Mediatization, Mobilization of Pakistan’s Religious Minorities
Based on my extensive fieldwork in Pakistan, vernacular discourses in Hindi, Sindhi, and Urdu, as well as manual and computationally supported online research, I analyze how “non-Muslims” negotiate religious belonging and citizenship in Pakistan. I show how minorities skillfully navigate their national and international outreach between state surveillance and Islamic groups' pressure for religious uniformity. In different chapters, I describe various tactics of becoming visible by Ahmadis, Christians, Hindus, Jews, and Sikhs. I show how actors navigate between their visibility and invisibility in their day-to-day life; how they strategically utilize the cognitive economies of social media through different forms of affectively-charged visibilities (what I call “affectivism”), and, crucially, how they keep specific grievances invisible that a.) would lead to dangerous repercussions, or b.) that are too complex to be “packaged and commodified” for a human rights market.