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Challenging The Rules(s) of Law
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Challenging The Rules(s) of Law
Colonialism, Criminology and Human Rights in India

First Edition
Edited by:

October 2008 | 516 pages | SAGE Publications Pvt. Ltd
This rare comprehensive critique of criminology in India brings together widely respected activists, advocates, bureaucrats, scholars and practitioners who share their concerns about the Indian criminal justice system through an interdisciplinary lens and discuss the need to entrench human rights in Indian polity. It is a significant step towards mapping the ways in which interdisciplinary research and human rights activism might inform legal praxis more effectively and holistically.

Challenging the Rule(s) of Law: Colonialism, Criminology and Human Rights in India contests unproblematic assumptions of the rule of law and opens out avenues for a renewed and radical study of criminal law in the country. The collection looks at the problem of criminal law from the early colonial period to the present, examining the problem of overt violence by state actors and their compliance with dominant private actors. It calls into question the denial by the state of the wherewithal for bare life, which compounds people’s vulnerability to a repressive rule of law.

This work is a must read for students, researchers and faculty of Law, Criminal Law, Criminology, Legal History, Human Rights, Sociology of Law and Colonial History. It will also be invaluable for law historians, legal scholars and policy makers, especially the judiciary.

Kalpana Kannabiran and Ranbir Singh
Introduction
 
I THE CONSTRUCTION OF CRIME AND CRIMINALITY
Meena Radhakrishna
Laws of Metamorphosis: From Nomad to Offender
Sumanta Banerjee
Victims and Villains: The Construction of Female Criminality in Colonial Calcutta
Arvind Narrain
'That Despicable Specimen of Humanity': Policing of Homosexuality in India
Kalpana Kannabiran
Sexual Assault and the Law
 
II. VULNERABILITY, GOVERNANCE AND THE LAW
S.R. Sankaran
Social Exclusion and Criminal Law
Jayshree P. Mangubhai & Aloysius Irudayam S.J.
Building a Subaltern Women's Perspective
Seema Misra
Whose Life Is It Anyway?: Adivasi Communities and Entitlements to Life
Shekhar Seshadri and Kaveri I. Haritas
Preserving Wellness and Personhood: A Psychosocial Approach to the Child
 
III. LEGISLATING THE 'OTHER' AND THE 'EXTRAORDINAIRE'
Ujjwal Kumar Singh
Penal Strategies and Political Resistance in Colonial and Independent India
Paula Banerjee
Communities, Gender and the Border: A Legal Narrative on India's North East
Ritu Menon
Parens Patriae: Exercising Patriarchal Prerogative in Post-Partition India
 
IV. SOCIAL ORDERING OF THE 'LEGAL'
Abha Singhal Joshi
Law and Life in the State of Nature: Archiving Stories from Legal Literacy
Vijay K. Nagaraj
Revisiting Impunity and Criminality: Of Corruption, Collusion, Consequences and Victims
K. S. Sangwan
Khap Panchayats in Haryana: Sites of Legal Pluralism
 
V. HUMAN RIGHTS AND CRIMINAL JURISPRUDENCE
Ranabir Samaddar
Crimes, Passion, and Detachment: Colonial Foundations of Rule of Law
K.G.Kannabiran
Conspiracies of Association: Associational Offences, Associational Freedoms and the Rule of Law
Bikram Jeet Batra
Of Strong Medicine and Weak Stomachs: The Resort to Enhanced Punishment in Criminal Law in India
Kalpana Kannabiran
The Contexts of Criminology: A Brief Re-statement
 
Index

The book is, both a challenging and an exciting preposition, challenging, because it brings together the intellectual initiatives of the nineteen contributors drawn from different social sciences disciplines, working on diverse crime themes, in pre-colonial, colonial and post colonial time-frame in one large volume; and exciting, because it endeavors to run the two thought streams, namely, human rights and criminology in almost all the essays…. In a sense all the essays can be seen as an excellent basic material for developing indigenous or subaltern criminology for India that needs to be different and more society focused than the prevalent mainstream criminology.

The Book Review

The book is a serious attempt at a critical assessment of the theory and practice of the rule of law, criminology and human rights in India…. This volume is a solid contribution to the study of criminology, criminal law, criminal justice and human rights in India and should be of great interest to scholars and activists in the field.

Economic and Political Weekly

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