Spectacles of emancipation: reading rights differently in India's legal discourse

Sircar, Oishik (2012) Spectacles of emancipation: reading rights differently in India's legal discourse. Osgoode Hall Law Journal, 49 (3). pp. 527-573. ISSN 0030-6185

[thumbnail of Spectacles of emancipation.pdf]
Spectacles of emancipation.pdf - Published Version

Download (207kB) | Preview


How does neo-liberalism change the way we understand rights, law, and justice? With postcolonial and post-liberalization India as its focal point, this article attempts to disrupt the linear, progressive equation that holds that more laws equals more rights equals more justice. This is an equation that has informed and been informed by fundamental rights jurisprudence and law reform, the enactment of legislation to guarantee socio-economic rights, and many of the strategies of social movement activism in contemporary India. This article argues that while these developments have indeed proliferated a public culture of rights, they have simultaneously been accompanied by the militarization of the state and the privatization of state accountability. The result is a cruel paradox in which rights operate as spectacles that make the poor and the disadvantaged continue to repose faith in their emancipatory potential while the managerial and militarized state uses these spectacles to normalize its monopoly over violence. By looking at selected literary, legal, popular, and subaltern texts, the article proposes a radical reimagination of emancipation that is not trapped in the liberal narrative of rights, but rather is embedded in and embodied by the everyday and ordinary struggles of the poor.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Civil rights | India
Subjects: Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > Law and Legal Studies
JGU School/Centre: Jindal Global Law School
Depositing User: Amees Mohammad
Date Deposited: 08 Apr 2022 05:49
Last Modified: 12 Apr 2022 06:40
Official URL: https://digitalcommons.osgoode.yorku.ca/ohlj/vol49...
URI: https://pure.jgu.edu.in/id/eprint/2216


Downloads per month over past year

Actions (login required)

View Item
View Item