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The Legacy of Militancy in Punjab

The Legacy of Militancy in Punjab
Long Road to ‘Normalcy’

First Edition

February 2020 | 240 pages | SAGE Select

No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same manHeraclitus

Militancy convulsed Punjab from roughly 1984 to 1994. Afterwards, politicians, government spokespersons and assorted intellectuals declared that ‘Khalistan’ was gone and the state was ‘returning to normalcy’ as though the state would suddenly find itself in some pleasant place of bygone era. But that is far from the truth.In reality, when the gunfire ceased, 10 years of turmoil left lasting scars and chronic afflictions. Reduced accountability warped administrative and executive ‘culture’ and threat perception coloured the attitude of the judiciary for years. Victimization at the hands of both police and insurgents created risk-averse citizens who prioritized personal safety above all, while policies pertaining to state debt and industry impacted economic development.This book recounts the no-holds-barred struggle to suppress militancy that morphed into an unrestricted abuse of power. It details how militancy affected the credibility of the judiciary, why trials dragged on for 25 years, how militancy influenced the popular culture and how the youth are still responding to conditions in today’s Punjab.

Due Process: Punjab
Due Process: Delhi
If You Can’t Be Good
On the Cultural Front
Khalistan Redux

Exciting writing buttressed by new documentation and presentation makes this an essential book for general as well as scholarly readers. Punjab, militancy, political and judicial behaviour are expertly provided in a straight and provocative manner.

Paul Wallace,
Political Scientist and Professor Emeritus, University of Missouri

This is a thoughtful compendium of misdemeanours of the Indian state suffered by civil society in the wake of more than a decade of militancy and supposedly justified by it. Juxtaposed to plentiful official propaganda, the book is a grim reminder of what has actually happened, and is a timely warning that we should continually check our defences. Dona Suri has brought a neatness and a conversational touch which in no way lessens the anger and sadness that you will feel.

J. P. S. Uberoi,
Formerly Professor of Sociology, Delhi School of Economics

A superb sum up of our times written with wit and loving detachment.

Rajwinder Singh Bains,
Senior Advocate, Punjab and Haryana Court and veteran human rights activist
Key features
•An experiential account written by a human rights activist and a journalist who lived and worked in Punjab before, during and after the insurgency.

•Looks at responses to militancy – from government, from political parties, from activists, from film-makers/ novelists/ artists, and from opportunists

•Tracks the judgments in many trials that came out only in the past four years to discern what finally came of it.

•Attempts to assess the impact of militancy on present-day Punjab

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ISBN: 9789353287139