India, both during its struggle for independence and in the decades of freedom has been rocked by periodic episodes of communal violence, mostly taking the form of state-enabled
violence, even massacres, of religious minorities. These episodes have been characterised by impunity, or the assurance that those who plan and execute these targeted communal attacks are protected from legal punishment.
Scholars in the Centre for Equity Studies mapped through official records the ways in which impunity is accomplished in their book On Their Watch: Mass Violence and State Apathy in India. In this second work, Warisha Farasat and Prita Jha drill deeper into two
major communal massacres, of Bhagalpur in 1989 and Gujarat in 2002. Relying not just on official papers but also on in-depth testimonies of many survivors, they systematically chart the troubling failures of India’s criminal justice system to secure justice for survivors of hate violence.
Written with both rigorous scholarly insight and engaged compassion, Splintered Justice: Living the Horror of Mass Communal Violence in Bhagalpur and Gujarat is essential reading for all who care about upholding that most sacred pledge of India’s Constitution, of ensuring the equal treatment of all people, regardless of their faith, caste, gender or wealth, before the law of the land.