This article broadens the analysis of gendered violence in colonial India by focusing on sexual violence against men. Rather than seeking to “recover” the “submerged” history of sexual violence against men, I interrogate the traces of such violence in the colonial archive to consider how and why the sexual violation of Indian men was able to enter the colonial archive. In light, moreover, of the refusal of colonial officials to name such violence as a sex crime, I consider what a nonevent reveals about the archive and, by extension, colonial rule—above all, about colonial masculinity. I focus in particular on the rape of a subaltern man named Rahmat Musalli—not to formulate his subjectivity but to question the sign of rape in the colonial archive. I hope to build, therefore, on existing scholarship on the ways in which both colonialism and colonial archives are gendered.
1 October 2016