ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Defining an Absence: Torture 'Debate' in India

This article focuses on the absence of a torture "debate" in India. The absence is striking when considered in relation to the National Human Rights Commission's statistics that there were 1,473 deaths in judicial custody and 124 in police custody in 2009-10. While the NHRC does not attribute all these deaths to custodial torture, there is a close link between the two as confirmed by many human rights groups. While this absence of a debate can be addressed at various levels, the paper articulates some of the theoretical framings that allow for a denial of torture to take place in India despite evidence of high levels of custodial deaths and torture. It suggests that the denial in multiple sites, most visible in the state discourses, contributes centrally to an absence of a public debate on torture in India.

Hunger Strikes at Guantánamo

The Obama administration cannot disclaim responsibility regarding the force-feeding of the Guantánamo Bay detainees who are fasting as a form of protest. The detainees who have spent more than a decade of their lives in custody, often without any charges and many cleared for release, had turned to their only available tool of protest which is being denied to them in painful ways.

Alexandra Kollontai and Marxist Feminism

To record the contradictions within the life and writings of Alexandra Kollontai is to reclaim a largely unidentified part of Marxist feminist history that attempted to extend Engel's and Bebel's analysis of women's oppression but eventually went further to expose the inadequacy of prevalent Marxist feminist history and practice in analysing the woman's question. This essay is not an effort to reclaim that history uncritically, but to give recognition to Kollontai's efforts and understand her perspective.
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