Human Rights and Peace: Ideas, Laws, Institutions and Movements
Publication Year: 2009
Human Rights and Peace: Laws, Institutions and Movements explores the shifts in the way peace has been envisaged in the rhetoric and practice of human rights. Peace has come to be seen as a continuing process of the pursuit of liberation, a progressive dismantling of relationships, of exploitation based on gender, caste, class, race, ethnicity and nationality, and a countervailing force to the coercive practices of the state. Woven around the themes of ideas, laws and institutions, and movements, the articles in this volume show how peace has become an over-arching framework in the domain of human rights. The book traces how the idea of peace has transformed from a passive condition of 'sepulchral silence' associated with 'guided' peace, into a praxis led by and ...
- Front Matter
- Back Matter
- Subject Index
- Section A: Ideas and Visions
- Chapter 1: Declaration on the Right of Peoples to Peace
- Chapter 2: The Human Right to Peace
- Chapter 3: In Life, in Death
- Chapter 4: SAARC in 2020: The Dream, the Nightmare and the Wake-Up Call
- Chapter 5: Archiving Disquiet: Feminist Praxis and the Nation-State
- Chapter 6: Democracy in Search of Dignity
- Chapter 7: On Liberation: Biography of a Consciousness
- Section B: Encountering Undemocratic Laws
- Chapter 8: POTA and Beyond: The Silent Erosion
- Chapter 9: Gendered Face of Extraordinary Powers in North-East India
- Chapter 10: Dalit Lynching at Dulina: Cow-Protection, Caste and Communalism
- Chapter 11: War in the Heart of India
- Chapter 12: Borders in the Mind: Bangladeshis, a Nowhere Policy for a Nowhere People
- Section C: Rights, Movements and Institutions
- Chapter 13: The Concept of Civil Liberties
- Chapter 14: Terrorism, State Terrorism and Democratic Rights
- Chapter 15: Human Rights Movement(s) in India: State, Civil Society and Beyond
- Chapter 16: Reduced to Ashes: The Insurgency and Human Rights in Punjab
- Chapter 17: The Punjab Mass Cremations Case: A Postscript
- Chapter 18: National Human Rights Commissions and Internally Displaced Persons: The Sri Lankan Experience
South Asian Peace Studies[Page ii]
Series Editor: Ranabir Samaddar
Other Titles in the Series
Volume 1: Peace Studies: An Introduction to the Concept, Scope, and Themes (edited by Ranabir Samaddar)
Volume 2: Peace Processes and Peace Accords (edited by Samir Kumar Das)
Volume 3: Women in Peace Politics (edited by Paula Bannerjee)
Editorial Advisory Board
Daya Varma, Professor, McGill University, Montreal, President CERAS, Montreal, Canada
Ghislaine Glasson Deschaumes, Founder and Director of the international journal of critical thought Transeuropéennes, Paris, France
Itty Abraham, East–West Center, Washington DC, USA
Jyrki Kakonen, Jean Monnet Professor, Department of Political Science and International Relations, University of Tampere, Finland
Oren Yiftachel, Professor, Department of Geography, Ben Gurion University, Beer Sheva, Israel
Paul Joseph, Professor of Sociology, and Peace and Justice Studies, Tufts University, MA, USA
Rada Ivekovic, Professor, Department of Sociology, Jean Monnet University, Saint Etienne, France
Shree Mulay, Director, McGill Centre for Research & Teaching on Women, McGill University, Montreal, Canada
Stefano Bianchini, Director, Europe and the Balkans International Network, University of Bologna-Forli Campus, Forli, Italy
Editorial Board for this Volume
Ujjwal Kumar Singh
Bikram Jeet Batra
Copyright © Mahanirban Calcutta Research Group, 2009
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or utilised in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
First published in 2009 by
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Human rights and peace: ideas, laws, institutions and movements/edited by Ujjwal Kumar Singh.
p. cm.—(South Asian Peace Studies; v. 4)
Includes bibliographical references and index.
1. Human rights—South Asia. 2. Peace-building—South Asia. I. Singh, Ujjwal Kumar.
JC599.S64H86 323.0954—dc22 2008 2008045018
ISBN: 978-81-7829-884-9 (Pb)
The SAGE Team: Elina Majumdar, Anupam Choudhury, Mathew P.J. and Trinankur Banerjee
Series Note[Page vii]
Peace has become a maximal concept, refusing to accept a minimalist version that stops with the master-idea of security. This was never so apparent as in the present time, when draconian laws, outright aggression, plunder, global control of monopolies, resource wars, immigration control and new racism—all are being justified in the West, particularly in the United States, in the name of security against terrorism and a new global order. At the same time, the world is being told that this is the pathway to peace. This series is intended to address the critical time as this. It brings together writings that refuse to accept the dominant ideas on peace given to us by national and international security establishments.
The first volume of the South Asian Peace Studies introduces the concept, scope and themes of peace studies. The second volume deals with peace accords in this region. The third volume narrates experiences of women in conflict and peace. The fourth volume deals with human rights institutions in this region.
This series of volumes is different from the usual conflict and conflict resolution studies that revolve around interest-based approaches and game theories. While it remains uncertain how much these studies have contributed to an enriched understanding of conflicts and the dynamics of their resolution, now it is reasonably clear that these, while focusing on conflicts, neglect the ideas and visions of peace, justice and reconciliation and were often used as post facto justification of the way in which a particular conflict was handled, the most well-known example in this region being the Indo-Pakistan wars over Kashmir. Conflict studies by and large divorced the idea of conflict resolution and peace from practices of democracy and justice. More important, in these kinds of studies, there was little recognition of the social and political realities of the colonial and post-colonial world. Peace with justice seems to be an impossible agenda to the conflict and conflict resolution theorists and practitioners. The South Asian Peace Studies [Page viii]series has been planned as an exercise against that politics of excluding justice and democracy from conflict resolution and peace—by bringing into light practices of human rights, justice, dignity, reconciliation and democracy, and lodging them at the heart of peace studies. In a world characterised by structures of dominance and inequality and the received histories of freedom, the volumes will show that peace studies will have to be of a critical nature.RanabirSamaddar Calcutta Research Group, Kolkata
This is the fourth volume in the peace studies series. In keeping with the specific concerns of the volume, it brings together writings of scholars who are organically embedded in the democratic rights movement. The selection of themes for the volume and the identification of corresponding writings involved a long process of several discussions with Ranabir Samaddar. I am grateful to him for both offering me this opportunity to edit the volume and for steering it along. Each discussion on the volume was a revelation of his commitment to the democratic rights movement and his incredible repertoire of writings in the field over the past several years. We are fortunate to have among our contributors, scholars whose works are inextricably interwoven with concerns arising from their activism in the field. I am thankful to Randhir Singh, Uma Chakravarti, Manoranjan Mohanty, Gopal Guru, Rubina Saigol and Paula Banerjee for agreeing to give for this volume their writings, which flow from their experiences in the democratic rights movement, and are deeply reflective of the manner in which the struggle for transformative change has been articulated over time. To Uma, I am particularly grateful for putting me in touch with Rubina, and giving me access to two truly wonderful papers on women's experiences with the state in South Asia; to Manoranjan Mohanty for a fascinating autobiographical exploration of the idea of liberation; to Gopal Guru for his perceptive piece on dignity and to Randhir Singh, as always, for his article which raises issues which inspire and never cease to amaze you for their enduring relevance. Thanks are also due to Ram Narayan Kumar for agreeing to have us reprint excerpts from their path-breaking report on human rights violations in Punjab and to Ashok Aggarwal, another lead member of the team, for bringing us abreast with the developments that took place thereafter. I am grateful to Nandini Sundar for giving us permission to print excerpts from the report by the Independent Citizen's Initiative on Chhattisgarh and to the People's Union for Democratic Rights for its report on violence [Page x]against Dalits in Jhajjhar. I am obliged to Professor Sobhanlal Datta Gupta for allowing us to reproduce Gopal Guru's paper which was first published as an occasional paper at the Political Science Department of Calcutta University and to the Economic and Political Weekly for giving permission to print Randhir Singh's article. Dr Ram Manohar Lohia's essay on civil liberties in India has been excerpted from The Struggle for Civil Liberties published by the Foreign Department, All India Congress Committee, Allahabad at the Allahabad Law Journal Press.
I was fortunate to work with a brilliant team of theme editors, Anupama Roy, Bikram Jeet Batra and Ajay Gudavarthy, to whom I am especially thankful for taking up the task with meticulous zeal. The bibliography was prepared with great care and interest by Pushpa Kumari. I am grateful to the SAGE team, particularly Anupam Choudhury, for their enduring support in bringing out this volume.
Human Rights and Peace: An Introduction[Page xi]Ujjwal KumarSingh
For a long time now, the idea of human rights has broken out of the passivity imposed by an overriding concern in the interwar years with the reclamation of peace through negotiations for collective security forged among those at war. The relationship between peace and human rights has since become increasingly and inextricably symbiotic. Indeed, the mutuality spelt by this relationship as one of prolonged and necessary association and interdependence, has transformed itself over the years into one of coalescence. Subsequently, peace has woven into human rights, as an overarching framework filling up the entire domain of human rights as well as forming an interlacing and interlocking network, giving human rights its contemporary form and substance.
The shift from one relationship to the other has been accompanied by a process of change in a way in which peace has been envisaged in the rhetoric and practice of human rights. If collective security and negotiated peace were the guiding principles for the ‘world without war’ that the League of Nations envisaged, the United Nations Covenant gave a positive connotation to peace as a condition which did not mean merely the absence of war, but the removal of conditions that impeded self-determination. The centrality which the right to self-determination came to assume in human rights instruments since the United Nations Covenant articulated it, has progressively entrenched itself as the foremost rallying point and a propelling force for human rights praxis. This positive inclination and thrust to peace undoubtedly reflected the historical contexts within which the Covenant was framed—the aspirations for liberation of ‘the oppressed majorities’ and the tumultuous process of decolonisation that had [Page xii]begun unfolding in much of the colonised world. In many ways the language of self-determination began almost an inexorable process of pushing at the frontiers of human rights and charting out a course to peace, which involved active pursuit of a self that was unbridled and unshackled by all forms of domination based on caste, class, gender, race, nationality and ethnicity.
The idea of peace as it emerged from the processes which followed the Second World War, became the foundational principle of reparation and restructuring that was to mark not just the end of war, but also become an emblem of hope and rejuvenation countering the misery and devastation wrought by war. Indeed peace was redefined in two significant ways. First, the peace that followed war, was not something which was solely a condition to be regulated and determined by a confederation of sovereign states, steering themselves into a state of perpetual peace. Neither was it merely the ‘restoration’ of a previously existing condition or the substitution of one relationship of exploitation with another. Rather, peace came to be defined as freedom from domination in all forms, so much so that it embodied the ideas and processes of democratisation and the multifarious struggles against injustice and repression in all their manifestations. Thus, rather than a sepulchral silence associated with ‘guided’ peace, a multitude of ideas and struggles, envisioned and set off a process of restructuring, of rolling back and dismantling relations of domination, making peace a form and measure of action, a praxis both led by and producing radical politics of liberatory and transformative change. Second, the struggles being waged at the multiple sites of domination and repression produced a diversification and proliferation of ideas that provided a driving force to struggles for self-determination, redefining the relationship between peace and human rights. If the idiom of self-determination propelled national liberation struggles, the logic of liberation gave momentum to the deepening of democracy, so that popular sovereignty extended not only to a people defining themselves as a nation, but to all communities and groups repressed by ideologies of power and domination. Peace was therefore, a continuing process of pursuit of liberation, which not only led to a radical pluralisation of human rights; in a manifestation of the progressive dismantling of relationships of exploitation, this radical pluralisation further led to the fragmentation of universal notions dictated and regulated by [Page xiii]‘conquerors’. Peace ceased to be an incremental notion whereby more and more people could be included into a hallowed universal circle. Articulated at every node of exploitation, it became de-centred. Yet, this de-centring did not make the aspiration for peace discrete or insulated—the shared experiences of exploitation made the struggles for peace ultimately interdependent and relational.
The active pursuit of peace imbued with the language of liberation and self-determination, has seen the drawing of lines between a politics of power and a countervailing praxis of resistance. Yet, the lines between them are not clearly or unambiguously drawn, and as Upendra Baxi, points out ‘there is not one world of human rights, but many conflicting worlds’ (Baxi 2002: 5), requiring that the politics of legitimation of power masquerading as human rights be unmasked by a relentless praxis of liberatory and emancipatory politics. The contested worlds of resistance and power, would in the process of unmasking become more demarcated. Moreover, the world of resistance would be more multitudinous, generating the praxis of emancipatory politics, which would manifest itself in a progressive dismantling of the world of power and domination, laying down the basic structures of a just and fair society. The politics of power vis-à-vis the politics of resistance locks horns over contesting rationale for peace and human rights. The politics of power is driven by reasons of state and governmentality, and social relations informed by exclusions, justifying relationships of hierarchy, marked and sustained by routine and structural violence. The world of human rights which corresponds to the politics of power, is best illustrated by social relations and social and political institutions that are exclusionary, eliminate assertions of difference, are intolerant of ideological and cultural plurality, and promote and justify violence against women, ethnic and racial minorities and Dalits.
Not surprisingly, much of this violence is justified as essential and appropriate. In the wake of 9/11 bombings, for example, President Geroge W. Bush claimed legitimacy for the military onslaught on the so-called axis of evil, under an ‘international consensus’ over the Bush Doctrine of ‘spreading democracy’. The war for ‘preserving’ democracy was accompanied by a spate of anti-terrorist measures worldwide. Replete with claims of ensuring ‘enduring freedom’ and liberty, these measures purportedly aimed at making the world safe for democracy. Much has been said and written about what actually lies under the [Page xiv]veneer of the international consensus—the neo-conservative agenda, US global military, economic and strategic domination, and so on. It is perhaps ironical that the use of war as an instrument for conflict resolution was legitimised through authorisation from the international community. The ‘keepers of the Great Peace’, as Partha Chatterjee calls it, who descended as ‘a dark shadow’ on the earth following the end of the Cold War and the spread of the free market and liberal politics (Chatterjee 2004: 82), took upon themselves the task of ‘protecting democracy’ through war. That the war itself was wanton, irresponsible and unjust, is indicative of the ways in which instant regimes of dominant legalities based on force, tyranny and terror, render people rightless.
There are some who advocate ‘a global civil society governed by fair rules’ (Young 2007: 107) emphasising the power of the international public sphere and global rule of law to ‘shame and pressure’ (ibid.). Iris Marion Young, for instance, argues for ‘legitimising and strengthening international institutions’ particularly the United Nations, which is the only transnational institution having representation of nearly all the people of the world (ibid.: 109–10). However, there are others who see these practices as generating a ‘compromistic web of textual politics’ giving rise to a ‘paradoxical situation’ where ‘the number of rightless people grows even as human rights norms and standards proliferate…the more people stand endowed with normative human rights by international and constitutional instruments, the greater and keener emerges the suffering of people existentially deprived…’ (Baxi 2002: viii).
Moreover, as Upendra Baxi emphasises:
[W]hile the notion of human rights violations presupposes a sort of concern with violence, human rights languages do not always import the same order of heavy consequences for actors that produce human suffering in peace time as in warlike situations. The emerging standards of international criminal law in warlike situations do not extend to systematic, sustained and planned peacetime denials of the right to satisfaction of basic human needs such as food, clothing, housing and health…The millions of rightless people have different stakes in the future of human rights than many epistemic human rights communities. While, the latter finds in every human rights enunciation a signature of a better human future, the rightless peoples, all too often, find these enunciatory moves rather callous. (ibid.: vii)
[Page xv]While human rights instruments may form the basis for fashioning epistemic communities constituted by active and emancipatory politics, leading eventually to human rights as a global discourse, the communities of resistance formed through sufferings and struggles at the local levels, are distanced from the actual unfolding of the epistemic community by a spatial, communication and intelligibility barrier. It is not surprising then that democratic rights groups and movements, are deeply suspicious of what they perceive as ‘system supportive word management’ (Randhir Singh in this volume). On issues of violence and democratic rights in particular, this management becomes all the more evident and the contests between contending worlds of human rights and the corresponding worlds of power and resistance become more palpable. Moreover, the different ways in which the violence emanating from these opposing worlds is perceived in relation to peace, conflict resolution or human rights violations is more than obvious. The discussion on Salwa Judum in this volume, for example, shows how Salwa Judum, a so-called people's movement launched by the government of Chhattisgarh to counter Maoist presence in certain districts of the state, is promoted by the state government as a ‘peace mission’. However, as the more accurate translation of Salwa Judum as ‘purification hunt’ portends, it has been responsible for a huge amount of violence in the region, which includes killing of civilians, burning and looting their houses, and raping women, thereby, spawning more retaliatory killings by Maoists.
It is interesting how again, as Randhir Singh puts it, a ‘law-based state’ in which there exists an elaborate procedural and institutional ensemble to deal with non-state violence, unleashes violence on its own citizens with impunity, without a corresponding mechanism for controlling ‘state lawlessness’. Again, violence whether based on caste, gender or religion, is perpetrated with the active support of the state (through its own laws) or through its tacit complicity and collusion. Moreover, the manner in which laws like the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) and the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) have been used by the state in India to buttress the nation's territory against its own people in one case, or against the ‘enemy within’ in the other, marking out entire communities as suspects. The impact such laws have on the lives of people, and legal and political institutions, may be [Page xvi]called, following Hillyard (1993), the violence of jurisprudence. Rather than being the antitheses of violence and the guarantors of ‘peaceful’ social and political relations, laws are capable of deploying ‘awesome’ physical force. Any effort towards building ‘enduring peace’, must necessarily examine, with all seriousness, the ‘effects of legal force’ (ibid.: 263) unraveling in the process the legitimising discourses of ‘national security’, ‘territorial integrity’, ‘democracy’ and ‘justice’ that shroud it.
It may be important, therefore, to examine how far human rights instruments are able to reflect the sufferings that people experience in their lives routinely as a result of rampant poverty or on account of their caste, race, gender, ethnicity or nationality. Moreover, for peace to realise itself truly as a maximal concept, as Ranabir Samaddar puts it, it has to step out of a minimalist definition that associates it with the master idea of ‘security’—an idea which has historically provided the western countries with the ‘democratic capacity’ to wage colonial wars and commit genocide (Samaddar 2004: 14). Looking for pathways to peace which steer clear of the ‘vigorous way to peace’ makes it merely an ancillary of war (ibid.: 13). The chapters in this volume show how peace is ultimately concerned with issues of equality, dignity and recognition of equal worth; that it is a condition of freedom from coercion, want and deprivation; and that this state of freedom may be achieved through a process of liberation, which is not only a political consciousness but also the edifice on which a democratic society may be built.
In this context, specific institutions in charge of protecting people's rights, for example—the courts which have the constitutional mandate to preserve fundamental rights of the people, enhance the repository of rights and be vigilant against their violation by the legislatures—or the National Human Rights Commissions (NHRCs), which have the power to investigate cases of violation, have been intermittently ambivalent and inconsistent at times and inadequately effective at others. However, at other times there have been sparks of energy and vigour that have promised to plug the democratic deficit set off by the crisis in political institutions. Irrespective of such vacillations, the democratic rights movement continues to meander through the vexed dilemmas and anxieties over its ‘anti-state predispositions’ and the compulsion to continually negotiate between state/society/law/rights.
[Page xvii]In the contemporary context, however, where new threats to human rights have unleashed in the form of the state acting as surrogate for global corporate bodies, the task of creating communities of resistance and corresponding worlds of human rights is especially complex. Yet, as the section on movements in this volume shows, the struggle for liberation consists in building an alternative society, as Ram Manohar Lohia puts it, which involves not only democratic control over government but also freedom from the fear of tyranny; or as Randhir Singh suggests, the revolutionary reclamation of the truth that is historically embodied in democratic rights. The struggle for broadening and deepening the practice of democracy in different parts of the world, are manifestations of such fearless voicing and rallying around the democratic truth, the realisation of the self and the actualisation of liberation consciousness.[Page xviii]
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About the Editors and Contributors[Page 333]Editor
Ujjwal Kumar Singh is a Reader in the Department of Political Science, University of Delhi, Delhi. He was earlier a Fellow at the Centre for Contemporary Studies, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, Teen Murti Bhavan, New Delhi. He obtained his Masters degree from Delhi University, and PhD from School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He has written and published extensively on laws and institutions, electoral governance and issues concerning democratic rights. His articles have appeared in Economic and Political Weekly, Diogenes, Scienza & Politica, Ethnic Studies Report, Contemporary India and Indian Journal of Human Rights. He is the author of the books Political Prisoners in India (Oxford University Press, 1998, paperback 2001) and The State, Democracy and Anti-Terror Laws in India (Sage, 2007) and the co-editor of Towards Legal Literacy: An Introduction to the Law in India (Oxford University Press, 2008).Section Editors
Anupama Roy is a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Women's Development Studies (CWDS), New Delhi. She was Sir Ratan Tata (Post Doctoral) Fellow at the Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi, and also received the Nehru Centenary British Fellowship for research at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. A PhD from State University of New York, Binghamton, USA, she has been working and writing on the socio-historical, political, legal and juridical dimensions of citizenship in India. She is the author of the book Gendered Citizenship: Historical and Conceptual Explorations (Orient Longman, Delhi, 2005) and co-editor of Poverty, Gender and Migration (Sage, 2006). Her research articles have appeared in various journals [Page 334]including Contributions to Indian Sociology, Economic and Political Weekly, Indian Social Science Review and Contemporary India.
Bikram Jeet Batra is a Delhi-based lawyer and researcher. In 2007, he received the New India Foundation Fellowship to write a monograph on the death penalty in independent India. He was a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Study of Law and Governance, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi; Legal Officer at Amnesty International India and Research Associate at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Pune. He studied law at the Universities of Pune and Warwick. His publications include Lethal Lottery: The Death Penalty in India, Amnesty International India and People's Union for Civil Liberties, 2008, ‘Public Prosecution in India: An Argument for Autonomy’ (co-authored), Aman Trust, 2005 and The (Malimath) Committee on Reforms of Criminal Justice System: Premises, Politics and Implications for Human Rights, Amnesty International India, 2003. He has written extensively on domestic and international human rights issues in various journals including Economic and Political Weekly, Seminar and The Book Review.
Ajay Gudavarthy is Assistant Professor, Centre for Political Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India. He has taught earlier at the National Law School of India University, Bangalore. He has published research articles in the area of theory of social movements and civil society in Economic and Political Weekly. He is currently working on ‘Human Rights Movement(s) in India: State, Civil Society and Democracy’ which is part of a larger on-going work on a book titled Beyond Civil Society: Rethinking Radical Politics in India.Contributors
Ashok Aggarwal graduated from law school in 1982 and joined the bar in Delhi, where he has been practicing as an independent lawyer focussing on issues of accountability and State impunity. He was a leading member of the committee which filed a petition in the Indian Supreme Court seeking a comprehensive enquiry into allegations of enforced disappearances in Punjab. Between 2002 and 2005 he conducted a study of the effectiveness of the writ of habeas corpus in the [Page 335]state of Jammu and Kashmir. He has been writing in these areas and among his recent works is a monograph on social justice, in which he has analysed the Indian Supreme Court's stand on the issue of affirmative action for Dalits.
Paula Banerjee is a historian and specializes in feminist interventions in issues of conflict and peace in South Asia. She has published extensively on issues of forced displacement. She has recently co-edited a book on Internal Displacement in South Asia (2005). She has also worked on diplomatic history, particularly on American foreign policy in South Asia, which was published as a book in 2004. She has also co-edited a book on the situation of girl children entitled Girls in the Twilight Zone: South and Southeast Asian Scenario. Currently, she is teaching at the Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies, University of Calcutta.
Uma Chakravarti is a feminist historian associated with the women's movement and the democratic rights movement in India. She has taught History in Miranda House, Delhi University, is on the visiting faculty at the Institute of Women's Studies Lahore, IWSL, and a Distinguished Fellow at the Centre for Women's Development Studies, Delhi. She has worked and written extensively on issues of caste, labour and gender. Among her published works are The Delhi Riots, Three Days in the Life of a Nation (co-authored with Nandita Haksar) (1997), Social Dimensions of Early Buddhism (1987), Shadow Lives: Writings on Widowhood in India (2001), Rewriting History: Life and Times of Pandita Ramabai (2000), Gendering Caste Through a Feminist Lens (2003), Indra and Other Vedic Deities (2006), and Everyday Lives, Everyday Histories, Beyond the Kings and Brahmanas of Ancient India (2006).
Mario Gomez is a human rights lawyer and a leading peace activist of Sri Lanka. He was previously a lecturer in the University of Colombo and a member of the Sri Lankan Law Commission. He has published in the areas of economic and social rights, women's rights, human rights commissions, internally displaced persons and public law. He has designed and conducted training programmes for human rights activists, judges and staff of human rights commissions.
[Page 336]Gopal Guru is Professor at the Centre for Political Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University. He has taught earlier in the University of Delhi and Pune University. His research areas lie in social and political theory and he has written and published extensively on empirical and normative concerns of Dalit, women and other marginalised groups.
Ram Narayan Kumar has been involved with human rights, democracy and peace issues in South Asia since 1975, when he was imprisoned for 19 months for his opposition to the Emergency regime in India. A founder member of the Committee for Information and Initiative on Punjab, which petitioned the Supreme Court in April 1995 for a comprehensive investigation on the matter of police abductions resulting in the secret cremations in Punjab, Kumar is the lead author of Reduced to Ashes: The Insurgency and Human Rights in Punjab. Some of his other publications are The Sikh Unrest and the Indian State: Politics, Personalities and Historical Retrospective (1997), The Sikh Struggle: Origin, Evolution and Present Phase (1991), Confronting the Hindu Sphinx (1991), Four Years of the Ceasefire Agreement be-tween the Government of India and the National Socialist Council of Nagalim: Promises and Pitfalls (2002), Critical Readings in Human Rights and Peace (2006) and Terror in Punjab: Narratives, Knowledge and Truth (2008). A former Reuters Foundation Fellow at the University of Oxford, Kumar is currently the Director of Understanding Impunity: Failures and Possibilities of Rights to Truth, Justice and Reparation, a three-year long research program under South Asia Forum for Human Rights, Hong Kong.
Manoranjan Mohanty is currently Durgabai Deshmukh Professor of Social Development at the Council for Social Development, New Delhi. He was Director of the Developing Countries Research Centre, University of Delhi from 1993 till 2004 when he retired as Professor at the Department of Political Science, University of Delhi. A founder-member of the China Study Group, he is a member of the editorial board of China Report and China Quarterly. His publications include Revolutionary Violence (1977), The Political Philosophy of Mao Tse-tung (1978), Chinese Revolution: Comparative Perspectives (ed. 1992), Why is Orissa Poor? (in Oriya, co-author, 1993), People's Rights (co-editor, 1998), [Page 337]Contemporary Indian Political Theory (2000), Class, Caste, Power (ed. 2004), Science and Security in China and India: Selected Writings of Giri Deshingkar (co-editor, 2005), Grass-roots Democracy in India and China: The Right to Participate (co-editor, 2007) and Success Trap: A Study of China's Rural Reforms in Wuxi (forthcoming).
Pamela Philipose was Senior Associate Editor, The Indian Express, and is currently Director, Women's Features Service. She has, as a journalist, written extensively on issues of social concern. She was awarded the Chameli Devi Jain Award for Outstanding Woman Journalist in 1999 and the Zee Astitva Award for Constructive Journalism in 2007. Her satirical work on Indian politics, Laugh All the Way to the Vote Bank, has been published by Penguin India.
Rubina Saigol received her MA in Developmental Psychology from Columbia University and PhD in the Sociology of Education from the University of Rochester, New York. She has written books, articles and research papers for national and international journals in both English and Urdu. Her writings include Knowledge and Identity (1995), Education: Critical Perspectives (1993), Symbolic Violence (2000) and Qaumiyat, Taleem Aur Shanakht in Urdu and several co-edited books and articles on the subjects of women's rights, feminism, the state, nationalism, terrorism and human rights. The latter include Aspects of Women and Development (1995), Engendering the Nation-state (1997), Aurat Aur Mazahmat and Insaani Huqooq ki Tehreek. She is a member of Women's Action Forum and is active in human rights and justice issues.
Ranabir Samaddar is the Director of the Calcutta Research Group and the Founder-Editor of the journal Refugee Watch. Known for his critical studies on contemporary issues of justice, human rights, nationalism, and popular democracy, some of Professor Samaddar's publications include The Materiality of Politics (2007), The Politics of Dialogue (2004), In the Time of Nationalism (2002), A Biography of the Indian Nation (2001) and The Marginal Nation: Trans-border Migration from Bangladesh to India (1999).
[Page 338]Randhir Singh, a distinguished teacher and formerly Professor of Political Theory, University of Delhi, is the author of Reason, Revolution and Political Theory (1967), Of Marxism and Indian Politics (1990), Five Lectures in the Marxist Mode (1993) and Crisis of Socialism: Notes in Defence of a Commitment (2006).