ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Dimensions of Sexual Violence and Patriarchy in a Militarised State

Enforced disappearances, extrajudicial killings, torture, and sexual violence have characterised Indian military operations in Kashmir. Of these, sexual violence has been used widely to “break” individuals and communities, and as a tool for punishing resistance against violence by the Indian state. The discourse around sexual violence, however, has always revolved around women with very little focus on men and transgender persons, given the patriarchal understanding of sexual violence and power relations. A critical part of this discussion is also looking at how the patriarchal structure of the society acts as a facilitator for the effective use of sexual violence as a tool against the people. The sexual violence that is propagated and implemented by a masculine patriarchal state can be resisted well with a deeper understanding of gender dynamics.

Where to be Left Is No Longer Dissidence

What does it mean to be left in Tripura today? In retrospect, the success of the left in Tripura depended on the recognition of the contrarian geographical impulses of ethno-nationalism. It is argued that efforts by the left to eradicate these geographies of ethno-nationalism not only implied an abandonment of this mode of dissidence, but also that these efforts ensnared the left into gratuitous, quiet militarisation of the state underthe garb of peace and development.

Sri Lanka sans the LTTE?

With the impending total defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, this secessionist group will cease to be a political force in Sri Lanka. But will there be a political solution to the ethnic conflict in the aftermath of the government's military success? Events in the coming weeks and months will show the extent to which President Rajapakse can open up a new political process to lay the foundation for a new polity in which the majority as well as the minority communities can live in dignity, equality and coexistence. However, in the short run it is difficult to envisage a situation where the government will give priority to any extension of the existing devolution framework towards greater regional autonomy. Usually, one-sided military victories are not followed by major political reforms.

Assam: Roll-Call of the Dead

One of the most significant fallouts of state and militant violence in Assam in the past 20 years has been the growing marginalisation of the average citizen. However, the failure of the state as an institution and the rise of insurgency have created a situation where civil society must make use of what little democratic space is left and try to play a positive role. In this context it is useful to take note of the experience of civil society interventions in Nagaland and Andhra Pradesh and draw lessons from it for Assam where the roll-call of the dead has been unending.

Security Policy: Enemy of Democracy

In its response to recent events in Kashmir and elsewhere, the Indian government's security policy reveals a distorted approach. In its bid to end terrorism, a heightened perception of threat has seen an ever-increasing budgeting on security and defence. Ironically, it has also fostered a scenario when the state itself turns persecutor, making victims of its own citizens.

Manipur: Assembly Election: Manifestation of Growing Crisis

The ambiguous election verdict is largely due to the lack of a proper political space which offers options in the exercise of adult franchise. Frequent changes of party loyalties, the near complete breakdown of governance and the mishandling of macro issues such as the ceasefire, the insurgency, the merger agreement and the creation of greater Nagaland have all prompted a growing cynicism in the political system.

The Eastern Himalaya

The eastern Himalayan region has been blessed by rich natural resources - forests, wildlife as well as its people, who are a fount of information of traditional healing systems and beliefs. However, the region has for long suffered from indifference and from insurgency, which has in recent years, become endemic to the region. A healing process could rightly begin, with the government's initiation, and supported by NGOs and the local communities.
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