Like other nations with ethno-religious diversity, India has experienced half a century of ethnic riots, massacres, even pogroms. What impact, if any, does the ethnic and religious composition of the security personnel have on the ability of the state to prevent the occurrence of ethnic violence or to mitigate loss of lives and property once it occurs?
India’s military, paramilitary, and the police constitute one of the largest security forces around the globe. Who constitutes these forces? What is the ethnic and religious background of these troops? Does the composition of these forces mirror the diversity of Indian society? Have their composition undergone any change since independence?
Answers to these questions are critical to anyone interested in understanding the role of the state’s most critical instrument of legitimate coercion – the security forces. This book provides the answers with precision and economy of words. In this respect Khaki and Ethnic Violence in India has no rival.
Omar Khalidi is an independent scholar and a staff member of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA. Educated in India, Britain and the United States, his research interests are in the sociology of politics, upward and downward economic mobility of ethnic groups, nationalism and diaspora. He is the author of three previous books.
Three Essays Collective