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

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.

Subscribers please login to access full text of the article.

New 3 Month Subscription
to Digital Archives at

826for India

$50for overseas users

Get instant access to the complete EPW archives

Subscribe now


(-) Hide

EPW looks forward to your comments. Please note that comments are moderated as per our comments policy. They may take some time to appear. A comment, if suitable, may be selected for publication in the Letters pages of EPW.

Back to Top