Monday, November 10, 2014


There are two new books, published by the Three Essays Collective (TEC), which may be of interest to our readers.

The first book, Kafkaland:  Prejudice, Law and Counterterrorism in India , authored by academic and activist, Manisha Sethi, explores the grisly underbelly of counterterrorism, where, according to the book's blurb,  prejudice and lawlessness are the standard operating codes.  The book 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, where the courts indulgently ignore signs of torture, lack of evidence and absence of procedural norms, while trying terror cases.  Kafkaland is where impunity, bias, suspicion are sustained by laws, where erosion of constitutional guarantees is advertised as internal security, where corporate greed masquerades as national interest, says the blurb. This is the author's second book. Her first book,  Escaping the world, got criticial acclaim among scholars.

On November 15 at 6 p.m., TEC is organising a discussion on Kafkaland at Press Club of India, Delhi. Discussants include Mukul Kesavan and Yug Mohit Chaudhary.

TEC has come  out with another book,  On their watch: Mass violence and state apathy in India, which is sure to create ripples in the public discourse on the intersection between law and mass violence.
Using RTI Act, the authors of the chapters in the book dissect four worst pogroms in India - Nellie, Bhagalpur, Delhi (1984) and the 2002 Gujarat carnage.  The book has been edited by Surabhi Chopra and Prita Jha.  Surabhi Chopra is an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Law, Chinese University of Hong Kong.  She researches transitional justice, national security and the rights of the poor.
Prita Jha is a legal activist and researcher based in Ahmedabad. She works on justice for survivors of mass violence and violence against women.
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