Violence as Political Discourse: Sikh Militancy Confronts the Indian State

By: Birinder Pal Singh

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The problem of Sikh militancy during the 1980s not only rocked the nation but assumed international significance. A voluminous literature is available under the titles of Punjab problem or crises, all condemning violence. Those on the sides 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 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 militant. Why did they take to violence? Or whom did they inflict the violence? Was there a logic in the violence? How did they legitimize violence? And, to what purpose? etc. The present study looks at the 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 a half resulting 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. Printed Pages: 244.

Title: Violence as Political Discourse: Sikh Militancy Confronts the Indian State

Author Name: Birinder Pal Singh

Categories: India, Social Studies,

Publisher: Shimla, Indian Institute of Advanced Studies: 2002

ISBN: 817986006X

ISBN 13: 9788179860069

Seller ID: 901430

Keywords: Violence as Political Discourse: Sikh Militancy Confronts the Indian State Birinder Pal Singh