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 producing radical politics of liberatory change. The volume examines: " The distinct claims that peace makes to durable rights which are not subject to arbitrary withdrawals or selective investment by the state; " The articulations of right to peace in the largely unexplored processes of 'conflict resolution' in South Asia; and " The role of human rights movement and institutions in situations of prolonged absence of peace, sustained repression by the state, and unprecedented growth in non-state violence of all kinds.
This section contains chapters that attempt to politically contextualise the interface between peace and human rights, and the role of human rights movement and institutions in this rather complex and unfolding process. More specifically, they explore this interrelation in situations of prolonged absence of peace and sustained repression by the state, and unprecedented growth in non-state violence of all hues. The relationship between peace and human rights, unlike representations in popular perceptions, is not a straitjacketed one and is often complicated by the hegemonic collapse of peace and public interest. Writing in the mid-1930s, in the context of the formation of the Indian Civil Liberties Union, Ram Manohar Lohia commented, ‘The cry of public interest has become a convenient smokescreen under which the executive ...