Author: Birinder Pal Singh
Publisher: Indian Institute of Advanced Study
ISBN/UPC (if available): 817986006X
For the first time an attempt has been made to understand the Punjab problem through an understanding of violence. It is an exercise to approach the problem from the perspective of the 'condemned other', the militants. Why did they take to violence?
The problem of Sikh militancy during the 1980s not rocked the nation but assumed international significance. A voluminous literature is available under the titles of Punjab problem of crises, all condemning violence. Those on the side of the state held the militants responsible for violence and those being soft towards the militants fixed the responsibility on the Indian state. But none of these studies focused on the problem of violence per se. What was the nature of violence? Who perpetrated it? And why violence at all?
For the first time an attempt has been made to understand the Punjab problem through an understanding of violence. It is an exercise to approach the problem from the perspective of the ‘condemned other’, the militants. Why did they take to violence? Was there a logic in their violence? How did they legitimize violence? And, to what purpose? etc.
The present study looks at this violence in the form of a discourse between two opposing camps, the Sikh militants and the Indian state. An analysis of the nature and type of violence spread over a span of a decade and a half resulted in the emergence of distinct patterns. And, matching these patterns on the two sides proved meaningful that are later explained in terms of the economic, political, legal-administrative, social, cultural, religious and historical aspects of the Punjabi society.
Problem of Political Violence; Some reflections
Sikh militant movement
The state in India
Dialectic of militant violence
Making sense of the discourse of violence
Epilogue: Division of the body and the soul