Author: Kanti P Bajpai
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0143028138
The events of 11 September in New York and 13 December in New Delhi marked the high points of terrorism, But India's experience with it goes back two decades. In this essay, Bajpai examines the volatile situation in the borderlands of Kashmir, Punjab and the northeast.
Howe should we think about terrorist violence? Why has India been the object of terrorism from separatist groups in Kashmir, Punjab, and the Northeast? Have external influences played a role in supporting this? How has the Indian government responded to secessionist violence? These are some of the concerns the author explores here, as he seeks an identifiable set of factors that account for terrorism.
Dwelling on how this violence can be combated, Bajpai discusses in detail the case of Kashmir. He argues convincingly about the impracticality of the military option, including war, and the futility of using limited force, as in policing, without commitment to a credible political process, namely free and fair elections. In this forceful and timely essay he not only calls for measured governmental action, but also places responsibility on citizens for restoring long-term peace by finding ways of de-legitimizing violence in Indian society.
Interrogating India is a new series that looks critically at the common sense prevailing on some of the most pressing issues of our times. Provocative and incisive, it has essays on themes ranging from secularism, political representation and nationalism, to corruption, terrorism and language, which figure prominently in today's middle-class discourse.
Passionate, accessible and opinionated, these reflections from some of India's best minds should help us make better sense of the public debate on these issues while hopefully provoking us to respond to the challenges they present.