The Ugly Face of Counterterrorism in India

Book: KAFKALAND - Prejudice, Law and Counterterrorism in India
Author: Manisha Sethi
Publisher: Three Essays
Pages: xii+216 incl. bibliographies and index
Price: Rs 350 (Available from Pharos Media)
ISBN p/b 978-93-83968-00-8        

This new book by a courageous human rights researcher and defender explores the grisly underbelly of counterterrorism, where prejudice and lawlessness are the standard operating codes. From Mumbai to Bangalore, to Delhi to Madhya Pradesh, it examines some of the most prominent terror cases to show that the hallmark of terror investigations is not simply a casual subversion of norms but cynical prejudice and brutal violence inflicted in the knowledge of absolute impunity. It also examines the disquieting trend of judicial abdication wherein the courts indulgently ignore signs of torture, lack of evidence and absence of procedural norms, while trying terror cases.

“Kafkaland” challenges the dominant narratives of counterterrorism and the emerging security-industrial complex. “Kafkaland” is where impunity, bias and suspicion are sustained by laws, where erosion of constitutional guarantees is advertised as internal security, where corporate greed masquerades as national interest.

Manisha Sethi is currently Fellow, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. She teaches at the Centre for Comparative Religions and Civilizations, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi. She is also Associate Editor at Biblio: A Review of Books. Her book “Escaping the World: Women Renouncers among Jains” was published in 2012. Sethi is an activist with Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Association (www. teacherssolidarity. org).

Contents of the book
Part 1: Stories from Kafkaland
1. Dr. Narco and Other Stories from Kafkaland
2. The Life and Death of Gulam Yazdani     
3. Terrorism’s True Lies    
4. Malegaon and the Fiction of Muslim Revenge    
Part 2: Law of the Land
5. Death by Encounter    
6.Why the Ishrat Jahan Case Frightens Our Commentators    
7. Crime and Punishment
8. Sinful Liberals and the Investigative Bias     
9. Temples of Justice    
10. Truth is Stranger than Fiction    
Part 3: The Security Metaphysic
11. The Security Metaphysic   

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 December 2014 on page no. 21

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