The use of force by police officers is a subject that continues to draw constant attention the world over and India is no exception. It is fair to state that police forces across the country have not been transformed post-independence from an autocratic force into a service for citizens. While very few of us question the predominant form of governance where the State has a monopoly on the use of force, police violence brings citizens face to face with the reality of what such a monopoly entails. The ambiguity in response — outrage at the deaths of some, celebration in the case of others — is perhaps only reflective of society’s own troubled relationship with the use of force.
Those musings aside, this short post takes up the issue of police violence from three specific viewpoints. First, I discuss why the abuse of powers by police officers matters and should matter. Second, I describe the excessive use of force as not an episodic problem which we witness only in cases of, say, custodial deaths and encounters, but as something that is deeply ingrained in every fibre of how the coercive state apparatus works in India. Third, I consider some ways in which this overarching coercive apparatus can be made slightly less overbearing each time a citizen enters the police station, in whatever capacity that might be.
Continue reading “On Police and Power | Abhinav Sekhri”
We organised a panel as part of The World Transformed conference, held in the UK, with the help of Tanya Singh and Adrija Dey, that drew parallels between colonialism and the suppression of dissenting voices worldwide. Watch the discussion, read our live tweets and download the transcript below:
State surveillance, anti-terror laws and the rhetoric of ‘national security’ are being used to criminalise progressive activists and marginalised communities across the world. Speakers will discuss the colonial roots of policing and how histories of ‘anti-terrorism’ in the UK and ex-colonies, such as South Africa and India, continue to be linked before and after 9/11. We will also explore other colonialisms, such as China in Hong Kong. As states share and internationalise their repressive methods, we ask how we can build international coalitions of resistance.
Speakers: S’bu Zikode; Radha D’Souza; Gacheke Gachihi; Brian Hioe; Kerem Nişancıoğlu; Shalini Gera
Continue reading “Colonialism(s) and the Global Politics of Dissent – Panel Discussion”
This curation is in support of the campaign to free Aasif Sultan, the Assistant Editor of Kashmir Narrator who was wrongfully detained during a night raid.
Continue reading “Free Aasif Sultan – Twitter Curation”
Srinivas Kodali highlights the role of digital technologies in policing and the resultant issues relating to detention, police accountability, surveillance, and collection of evidence.
Continue reading “Digital Technologies and the Criminal Justice System – Twitter Curation”
In this curation, our focus was on the impact of childcare institutions on children (i.e., those below 18), effective interventions within such institutions, and the importance of working towards de-institutionalization. #childrenInInstitutions
Continue reading “Shelter Homes for Children and Restorative Justice – Twitter Curation”
In April, 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic, COVID-19, led to shutdown in India, we hosted two tweet chats to discuss the precarious situation in prisons and police’s management of the situation. We invited people to lead a discussion on the topics.
Continue reading “Prisons and Police during COVID-19 – Twitter Curation”
In November 2019, we hosted guest curators on our Twitter to explore the colonial roots, legacy & current issues regarding legislation that declared socially marginalized & nomadic communities as ‘criminals’: Criminal Tribes Act (CTA). Each of the curators took up the detsolnet handle for a week to explain several aspects of CTA.