Conflict & Resolution

Supreme Court Order, Largescale Violence by Dalits and its Political Ramifications

The last few days have been very traumatic for India. TV screens have been filled with images of violent mobs on the rampage, scenes of wanton destruction of public and private property, and accounts of terrified citizens stranded in the midst of violence. The provocation was a recent judgement by a two-judge bench of the […]

Legal and Moral Obligations of a State in War, a Collective Endeavour – II

War, even asymmetric war, is a collective, not an individual, endeavour. Soldiers in such conflicts fight largely out of a sense of loyalty to their side, and they rely heavily on the group’s judgment about the justice of their cause. But not every non-state group that takes up arms should be able to claim war […]

The Gun Laws in the US: More Guns, More Homicides

A strong finding of a study by Philip J. Cook was on gun use and crime was that gun use intensifies violence, making it more likely that the victim of an assault or robbery will die. The positive effect is on the murder-rate, not on the overall violent-crime rate. More guns, more homicides, points out […]

Legal and Moral Obligations of a State in War: Just and Unjust! – I

An unjust war of aggression can be fought by just means, and a just war of self-defense can be fought unjustly. Because soldiers fight largely out of a sense of loyalty and accept their particular side’s representations about the justice of its cause, the moral status of individual combatants. It follows that soldiers, regardless of […]

Is our Silence Perpetrating the Rape Culture?

We live in insensitive times. Trying to be smart, we often land up being rude. The Now Gen, uses cuss words at the blink of an eye. The F-word has creeped into our conversation in such a way that it is often used at homes, offices and other public spaces with impunity. Women’s body parts, along with our mothers, sisters, daughters […]

Transgender in Pakistan: A Fatwa and Courts Grant Greater Rights and Dignity

Like elsewhere in South Asia, the transgender people in Pakistan, were discriminated against, before 2009. Despite education, Riffie Khan with a double Masters’ degree was unable to get meaningful employment. A recent fatwa (June 26) and before that a Supreme Court ruling in their favour, in 2009, and another decision, in 2012, granted them several […]

Midweek Musings: Politics of Identity

A political identity does not arise spontaneously. Instead, by using categories of race, caste, gender, region and class to define an unequal distribution of rights and privileges, liberal democratic societies compel some of their members to identify with others of a similar ethnic, sexual, or economic character. The emergence of new political identities, therefore, signals some […]