Violence is usually located outside the democratic domain. Its recurrence is understood as a direct threat to democracy. Democracies are called upon to manage, tackle, or deal with it, not necessarily through democratic means. Today, democracy is sought to be exported across continents by waging war on countries that, according to the exporting countries of the West,are yet to become democratic. This book contests and demystifies the celebrationist understanding of democracy and argues that violence is embedded in democracy as much as democracy is embedded in violence. Their interconnected existence has only made democracy violent and violence one of the many ways of trying to make a democracy work. So, more of democracy does not necessarily mean less of violence and vice versa. Viewed in this light, this book examines the connection as organic and one of mutually spiralling nature. Democratic institutions and violence are thus implicated in an endless dialogue and confrontation. The alternative to democracy can only be a better democracy.
Samir Kumar Das is Professor of Political Science and Dean of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Calcutta, Kolkata.
Preface ; Introduction ( Samir Kumar Das) ; PART I ; CONTEST OVER SOVEREIGNTY ; Towards Postcolonial Statehood: Constabulary Strikes and the Question of Colonial Inheritance, British India 19457 (Partha Pratim Shil) ; Indian National Congress and the Bureaucracy: Contesting Sovereignty after the Transfer of Power ( Suhit K. Sen) ; PART II ; CITIZENS AND THE EQUALS ; The Violent Foundations of Citizenship (Ranabir Samaddar) ; Equality amongst Equals: Reflections on the Political Institutions and Violence in Contemporary India (Samir Kumar Das) ; PART III ; LAW AS VIOLENCE ; Inclusion as Violence (Ashok Agrwaal) ; Reading Life and Death into the Legal Text (Mayur Suresh) ; PART IV ; MOVEMENTS AT HOME AND OUTSIDE ; Addressing Domestic Violence: Changing Strategies within the Womens Movement, Kolkata, 19802010 ( Samita Sen and Nandita Dhawan) ; The Chronicle of a Forgotten Movement: West Bengal1959 Revisited ( Sibaji Pratim Basu) ; Index ; Notes on Editor and Contributors