Terrorism has traditionally presented states with a major security challenge. After 9/11, however, governments have become totally focused on this threat to national security for what they fear most is terrorist violence designed to achieve clearly defined political objectives like independence from central authority.
Anyone who has asked an Indian Army officer why it has got bogged down in a bloody quagmire in the North East, why it made such a hash of the operation in Sri Lanka, or why the lives of so many jawans were squandered in Kargil, hears the same answer: ‘We fought with one hand tied behind our backs’. Apart from being hard to do unless you have a tail or other appendage to which the hand can be tied, that excuse absolves many sins. That is also the first of many limitations in this book.
2013 has been a good year for law related publications in India, with a clutch of high quality titles from some of the leading publishing houses in the country. Among these, Nitya Ramakrishnan’s In Custody: Law, Impunity and Prisoner Abuse in South Asia would count among the more significant ones.
Since the path-breaking work in the 1990s on women abducted during the Partition violence in divided Punjab, at least two generations of much needed scholarship have built upon and extended the literary archive of the years of trauma and displacement that followed the Partition of 1947.