The Legacy of Militancy in Punjab

Long Road to ‘Normalcy’

Inderjit Singh Jaijee,

The Legacy of Militancy in Punjab: Long Road to ‘Normalcy’
 
 

No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same manHeraclitus

Militancy convulsed Punjab from roughly 1984 to 1994. Afterwards, politicians, government spokespersons and assorted intellectuals declared that ‘Khalistan’ was gone and the state was ‘returning to normalcy’ as though the state would suddenly find itself in some pleasant place of bygone era. But that is far from the truth.In reality, when the gunfire ceased, 10 years of turmoil left lasting scars and chronic afflictions. Reduced accountability warped administrative and executive ‘culture’ and threat perception coloured the attitude of the judiciary for years. Victimization at the hands of both police and insurgents created risk-averse citizens who prioritized personal safety above all, while policies pertaining to state debt and industry impacted economic development.This book recounts the no-holds-barred struggle to suppress militancy that morphed into an unrestricted abuse of power. It details how militancy affected the credibility of the judiciary, why trials dragged on for 25 years, how militancy influenced the popular culture and how the youth are still responding to conditions in today’s Punjab.




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