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

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Stories of Endemic Violence

My Son’s Inheritance: A Secret History of Lynching and Blood Justice in India edited by Aparna Vaidik, New Delhi: Aleph Book Company, 2020; pp 173, Rs 499.

Lessons of Best Bakery Case

The Best Bakery case is another example, typical of cases of communal violence and killings, of shoddy and careless investigation with the sole motive to ensure the acquittal of the accused. In his judgment the fast track court judge has passed severe strictures on the quality of the investigation. Against this background there is a strong case for the other cases arising out of the Gujarat communal riots being tried outside Gujarat.

Ayodhya: A Future Bound by the Past

Fearful of an adverse judicial verdict, L K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti and others of their ilk are now keen on an outof- court settlement of the Ayodhya dispute which will put an end to the court cases against them. But the rest of the country should keep in mind two considerations. First, a settlement with the 'Sangh parivar' leaders can never be relied upon. Secondly, such a settlement will be at the cost of granting immunity to those guilty of the demolition of the Babri mosque and all the ensuing hatred and bloodshed.

VHP's Changing Agenda

Vishva Hindu Parishad and Indian Politics by Manjari Katju; Orient Longman, Hyderabad, 2003; pp viii + 186, Rs 350.

Semiotics of Terror

What is new about Gujarat, it is argued here, is best exemplified by what happened to Muslim women and children on the days of the long knives. Not just their killing, not just the sadism, but the larger symbolic purpose behind the killing and the sadism that sums up the nature of ethnic cleansing, the shape of Hindu Rashtra.

Reflections on 'Gujarat Pradesh' of 'Hindu Rashtra'

The economic relation between the adivasis and the Muslims in rural north Gujarat is of the kind that most radical analysts have deemed to be sufficient to justify a violent class struggle. And that is just how the VHP is likely to project it as in the coming days - an explanation for adivasi participation in the violence that could be quite embarrassing for radical analysts. It is time for radical analysts to give up simplistic assumptions and modes of analysis, not for the sake of the VHP, but for possible progress in human affairs.

Ahmedabadi Youth

Attempted below is a profile of the 'Hindu terrorist' of Ahmedabad, referred to here as the Ahmedabadi youth. Among middle class semi-educated youth whose expectations and fantasies have been whetted by numerous developments internal and external to the community, rage follows if desires are unfulfilled. Such a situation is fertile ground for the Lie - partial truths, limited truths and untruths skilfully woven into a texture that obscures, misleads and incites - to take root and fester. There are several reasons that might explain why this happens.

Caste, Hindutva and Hideousness

The Hindutva movement has made serious attempts to forge a unity among Hindus, without disturbing the relative power relations among the castes. The Sangh parivar, for all its rhetoric on upliftment of the dalits, hardly ever raises a voice against castebased discrimination or atrocities against dalits. This ambivalent attitude has led to considerable disenchantment and confusion among the dalits which is exacerbated during times of tension.

Gujarat's Burning Train:India's Inferno?

Anti-Pakistan and anti-Muslim sentiments had been building up in Gujarat long before the revival of the Ayodhya temple campaign. Godhra was not mere a spark but a bomb in itself. The fall-out has been both mammoth and horrifying. What is now happening in Gujarat is not heightened Ram Janmabhoomi stir, but a vigilante administration of 'justice' for whatever are considered historical wrongs. What happened in Gujarat may not be an aberration, and if similar developments are to be arrested elsewhere, the underlying reasons prompting such wide-ranging violence and moving the masses need to be genuinely understood.

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