Between Memory and Forgetting: Massacre and the Modi Years in Gujarat


Author: Harsh Mander

9789382579731 | PB | pp.292 | 2019 | Yoda Press

In Between Memory and Forgetting, Harsh Mander recounts the history of one of the most gruesome communal massacres since India’s independence in Gujarat in 2002.

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In Between Memory and Forgetting, Harsh Mander recounts the history of one of the most gruesome communal massacres since India’s independence in Gujarat in 2002. This occurred under the watch of Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who led the state until
he went on to be elected as Prime Minister a dozen years later.

Mander tells the story of the years that passed between the carnage and Narendra Modi’s elevation as Prime Minister, examining difficult questions of whether he carries guilt for the crimes, and whether acknowledgement, remorse, reparation and justice were accomplished in the years which followed. The book emerges as a powerfully reasoned indictment of Modi’s record in these years, for not just why the survivors of the carnage were denied both reconciliation and justice; but also for the rise of a series of spectacular extra-judicial killings, including of Ishrat Jahan and Sohrabuddin Sheikh. In the last section, Mander writes stories of courageous resistance to the injustice of these years, by persons within and outside government.

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Harsh Mander







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About the Author

Harsh Mander is a human rights and peace worker, writer, columnist, researcher and teacher. He is the director of Centre for Equity Studies and Special Commissioner to the Supreme Court of India in the Right to Food case. He works with survivors of mass violence, hunger, homeless persons and street children and is the founder of various campaigns for the underprivileged people.

He worked formerly in the Indian Administrative Services in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh for almost two decades. He was a member of India’s National Advisory Council from June 2010-12 where he convened the working groups on legislation like the Food Security Bill, Land Acquisition and Rehabilitation Bill, Child Labour Abolition etc. He was the chairperson of Government of India’s committee on Urban Health Mission and a member of various other National Committees. He writes and speaks regularly on issues of social justice. He has lectured at the California Institute of Integral Studies; the Centre for Law and Governance, Jawaharlal Nehru University; the Institute for Development Studies, University of Sussex; ISS Hague; NALSAR Hyderabad; MIT, Boston, UCLA, Universities of Stanford, Washington, Austin, and several others.

He has authored several books including Unheard Voices, Fear and Forgiveness: The Aftermath of Massacre, Fractured Freedom and Ash in the Belly: India’s Unfinished Battle against Hunger. Among his awards are the Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award for peace work, the M.A. Thomas National Human Rights Award 2002, the South Asian Minority Lawyers Harmony Award 2012 and the Chisthi Harmony Award 2012.


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