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Interrogating India's ModernityDemocracy, Identity, and Citizenship$
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Surinder Jodhka

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780198092070

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198092070.001.0001

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Violence of Law and Citizenship

Violence of Law and Citizenship

Conundrum of Democracy under Nationalist Ethos

(p.243) 10 Violence of Law and Citizenship
Interrogating India's Modernity

A. Bimol Akoijam

Oxford University Press

The essay critically interrogates the idea and concept of citizenship as it has come to be understood within the liberal–statist framework. The figure of the citizen is often called upon to justify modern polity of the nation state, which is rooted in the classical-liberal view on citizenship as a matter of treating people as individuals who have equal rights under the law. The essay develops a critique of this liberal view and shows limitations of the idea of citizenship as a redressal strategy while seeking justice. Akoijam does this through a discussion of the violence of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), a law which effects deployment of the military as a regular part of administering the affairs of the state by bestowing the armed forces certain ‘special powers’, including the power to shoot and to kill on basis of suspicion.

Keywords:   citizenship, liberal–statist framework, justice, Armed Forces Special Powers Act, violence, law

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