File Name: why tortoure is wrong and the people who love them .zip
The prevention of torture has been one of the key human rights developments in the last decade. We believe in peace, non-violence and upholding human dignity.
- Why Torture Is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them
- Why Torture is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them
- Why Torture is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them review – a comedic critique on violence
It is quite popular, too. The former director of a prominent human rights center at Harvard writes of the judicious use of sleep deprivation, hooding, and targeted assassinations; he concedes the government's need to "traffic in evils. No one who doubts that this is the case should be in a position of responsibility.
Why Torture Is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them
While it is often argued that police torture is institutionalised in India, the only authoritative government-backed study of the practice in the history of modern India is the Madras Torture Commission Report of In the context of the silence that surrounds present-day police violence in India, the rather curious phenomenon of an investigative Commission, instituted by a colonial state, over a hundred and fifty years ago, is particularly interesting.
In this article, I attempt a textual analysis of this Report, and an investigation of its ideological and historical context I argue that the Report primarily served to discursively "manage" the issue of torture, by erasing the complicity of the colonial state in its practice, and that the reforms it suggested resulted in the institutionalisation of a specifically colonial model in the restructuring of the Indian police, a structure that substantially survives to this day.
Alec Mellor, in his landmark book on the history of torture, La Torture , first published in in the aftermath of the Second World War, tries to explain the reasons for the supposed reappearance of torture in the twentieth century. He suggests three fundamental causes for this resurgence: the rise of the totalitarian state culminating in the USSR; the importance of "intelligence" gathering and "special methods of interrogation" as a result of modern warfare; and finally, the influence of "Asianism" PETERS, , p.
In fact, such an analysis is representative of a long and chequered history, of a discourse in which such a projection of "despotism" as uniquely "oriental" "helped Europeans define themselves in European terms by making clear what they were not, or rather were not meant to be" METCALF, , p. In a similar vein, as Talal Asad writes, it has often been observed "that European rule in colonial countries, although not itself democratic, brought about moral improvements in behaviour - i.
However, the progress made in eradicating such inhuman practices as torture has admittedly been rather uneven. Thus, the accepted account of events is that, although the Europeans tried their best to suppress these cruel practices that were previously taken for granted in the non-European world , they were not completely successful ASAD, , p.
Acknowledging this failure of its pedagogy, the West continues its sincere efforts in arenas like the United Nations, with Non-Governmental Organisations taking up cudgels on its behalf.
In , one such organisation, Amnesty International, published an international survey of torture. Following this, Upendra Baxi argued that torture is, in fact, institutionalised in India. As he puts it, "custodial violence or torture is an integral part of police operations in India" BAXI, , p. He notes, however, the difficulty in assessing the magnitude of this phenomenon, because of the lack of any authoritative government-backed study of the practice.
Ironically, he says, "when one looks back a little, one finds that the British governing elite was more explicitly concerned with use of torture by the native police, than the governing elite of independent India" BAXI, , p. Baxi's statement probably derives from the fact that the only comprehensive study of this kind in the history of modern India is the Torture Commission Report of Baxi notes that the Commission's conclusions regarding the plight of the victims are still valid today.
Police torture is as much a reality now as it was then BAXI, , p. Why was the British governing elite so explicitly concerned with the use of torture by the native police? I am not concerned here with examining the degree to which torture was prevalent in pre-colonial, colonial or post-colonial India.
My aim is, rather, to examine the discourse of torture, and, in particular, the peculiarities that this discourse assumed in the colonial context of mid-nineteenth century India. My argument is in two parts: first, I argue that the Report primarily served to discursively "manage" the issue of torture, by erasing the complicity of the colonial state in its practice. Second, I argue that the reforms it suggested resulted in the institutionalisation of a specifically colonial model in the restructuring of the Indian police.
The first section analyses the language of the Report. As an all-European body called upon to investigate the prevalence of torture in a South Indian province in the mid-nineteenth century, how did the Commission interpret its mandate? How did it construct the problem that it was supposed to look into? How did it look at issues of race? Or, more specifically, how did it go about fixing responsibility for the practice on Indians and Europeans?
And, finally, what was its diagnosis of the malaise and the solutions it suggested? The second section tries to examine the curious question of why the Commission was set up at all. Why did the Report come to be written the way it was, and who was it written for? In order to answer these questions, this section examines the ideological context of the Report. By the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the issue of torture and its abolition had become a crucial moral and humanitarian theme in Europe, and this is reflected in the almost triumphant moral tone of popular histories of the subject This is followed by an analysis of the nature of nineteenth century colonial discourse with regard to India, which, I believe, is crucial to understanding why the colonial commission on torture came to the conclusions that it did.
Specifically, the narrative device of the Report, putting the blame almost entirely on the native police and their supposed propensity to torture," is placed in the context of the colonial ideological trends of the time. The final section examines the legacy of the report in terms of the reforms it resulted in.
The entire structure of the Madras Police was overhauled, broadly in accordance with the Commission's recommendations. The Madras model later became the basis for police reforms throughout India. In fact, the same structure endures till today. The organising principle of this structure, as well as that of the Irish Constabulary, on which it was modelled, is next critically examined.
In conclusion, I argue that the far-reaching changes thus introduced in the structure of the colonial police must be placed in the context of colonial Indian bureaucracy as a whole, especially if we are to understand what I believe is the specifically colonial character of the modern regime of power in India.
It is not the torture of the high European sort […] Indian torture is ready, impromptu, ingenious, cheap, annoying, disgusting, revolting and petty in the extreme […] It is the torture of very wicked children. The Times, 3 sep. In , the House of Commons was rocked by allegations of torture against the Honourable East India Company During a debate, based on information from the Madras Presidency, it was said that torture was frequently employed by native officers to compel the ryots to pay the demands of Government GUPTA, , p.
Soon the British press took over. The Court of Directors immediately directed the Madras Government to set up "a 'most searching inquiry' and to furnish them a full report on the subject" GUPTA, , p. However, the scope of the enquiry was soon enlarged to include "the alleged use of torture in extracting confessions in police cases" MADRAS, , p. The Commissioners were informed that:. The instructions of Government were at first confined to the Revenue Department, because the imputation of the use of torture solely referred to the collection of the public revenue; but the Governor in Council is desirous of taking this opportunity of ascertaining the extent to which similar practices are resorted to in police matters, in which they have long been admitted to prevail, and the Commission will therefore be requested to extend their investigation to the Police Department, and, in fact, go fully into the whole subject in all its bearings.
The Commission drew up a notification to make its existence generally known to the people. Also, the notification was advertised in all the newspapers of the Presidency and the complaints were to have reached the Commission by the 1st of February About complainants appeared before the Commission, some from distances exceeding miles.
After having been in existence for about 7 months, the Commission submitted its Report on the 16th of April The very first issue that the Report dwelt upon was the question of the novelty of the practice of torture.
Relying on "old authorities," it noted the "historical fact" that "torture was a recognised method of obtaining both revenue and confessions" since pre-British times MADRAS, , p. Specifically with regard to the practice of torture for eliciting confessions, even the Government Order of the 19th of September , extending the Commission's enquiry to police matters, said:.
So deep rooted, however, has the evil been found, and so powerful the force of habit, arising from the unrestrained licence exercised in such acts of cruelty and oppression under the former rulers of this country, that it has not been practicable, notwithstanding the vigorous measures adopted, wholly to eradicate it, from the almost innate propensity of the generality of native officers in power to resort to such practices on the one hand, and the submission of the people on the other; and accordingly the abuse still prevails in the Police Department, although undoubtedly not to the same extent as formerly.
The Commission, accepting this "native propensity," then frames the issue before it thus: has the "change of government effected any radical change in the habits of the native lower officials? The question it examines is:. The Report then goes on to discuss the various British interventions till then regarding torture in criminal cases.
Interestingly, the Court in its despatch discusses various judicial pronouncements on torture in Madras, a recurring theme of which is the leniency of the European magistrates towards native police officers, in cases of misconduct MADRAS, , p.
These allegations were brushed aside by the powerful Governor of Madras Presidency, Sir Thomas Munro with the comment that:. It is no doubt too certain that many irregularities are used in obtaining confessions, and that in some instances, atrocious acts are committed; but when we consider the great number of prisoners apprehended, and the habits of the people themselves, always accustomed to compulsion where there is suspicion, how difficult it is to eradicate such habits, and how small the proportion of cases in which violence has been used is to the whole mass, the number of these acts is hardly greater than was to be expected, and is every day diminishing.
Are you aware whether the practice of torture by the native officers, for the purpose of extorting confessions or obtaining evidence, has been frequently resorted to? RAO, , p. Next, the Report considers the reports of the contemporary British authorities working in the "interior," who had been asked to report on the allegations of torture. The Report surmised that the opinion among this section, with very few exceptions, was that torture did take place, though in varying degrees in various districts.
Most of the testimonies were based upon hearsay. In order to explain away the general absence of the actual witnessing of the operation by their countrymen, the Commissioners' noted "the certainty that no native would knowingly venture to have recourse to any such practice in the presence of a European" MADRAS, , p.
The Report, interestingly, next examined the various eyewitness accounts of torture and concluded that "such a body of evidence from credible, and nearly all European, eyewitnesses, is to our minds conclusive" MADRAS, , p. The report then dealt with the evidence collected by the Commission from the various complainants.
As already noted, there were totally 1, complaints. It concluded,. The report lastly goes through the records of the previous seven years of cases of torture, which had been investigated by the Courts or the magistracy. The Commissioners note the rarity of successful convictions in these cases on account of a lack of adequate evidence and the extreme leniency of punishment even in these rare cases.
However, to set the record straight, they quote with approval Mr Daniel, the agent of the Government at Kurnool, who says, "I have no hesitation in saying, that neither ryots nor any other class of persons entertain any idea that acts of violence in the collection of revenue are tacitly tolerated by the Government or its European officers[…]" MADRAS, , p. The Report then tried to explain the comparatively fewer complaints about the use of torture to extract confessions compared to revenue cases.
Its reasoning makes interesting reading. It expresses the belief based on testimonies about "the habits of the people" that. It excites no abhorrence, no astonishment, no repugnance, in their minds. The Report further elucidates under the heading, "Habits of the people", that. Servants are thus treated by their masters and fellow servants; children by their parents and schoolmasters, for the most trifling offences; the very plays of the populace and the point of a rude people's drama is its satire excite the laughter of many a rural audience by the exhibition of revenue squeezed out of a defaulter coin by coin, through the appliance of familiar "provocatives," under the superintendence of a caricatured tehsildar; 3 it seems a "time-honoured" institution, and we cannot be astonished if the practice is still widely prevalent among the ignorant uneducated class of native public servants.
The Report, however, immediately clarified that the intensity of the practice had declined with European intervention. It also noted as a disincentive to the practice the fact that an uncorroborated confession was highly unlikely to result in conviction. It says, "[t]here is not a native public servant, from the highest to the lowest, who does not well know that these practices are held in abhorrence by his European superiors" MADRAS, , p.
The Commissioners then express their anguish at the difficulty that the torture victims face in obtaining redress. But the very first statement in the Report on this subject is to clarify that the Government or its European officers are completely free from blame in this regard and grants them the fullest credit for their efforts MADRAS, , p. The Report reiterates the awareness among the native officials of their European superiors' disapproval of the practice. Moving from the native officials to the rest of the native population, they further go on the defensive:.
On the contrary, all they seem to desire is, that the Europeans in their respective districts should themselves take up and investigate complaints brought before them. The Report then seeks to explain the contradiction between the natives seeing the European officials as their saviours and the rarity of complaints from them about the native officials.
The Report does consider the high rate of acquittals in prosecutions for torture and the mildness of punishments awarded in such cases as factors MADRAS, , p. However, it continues to harp on the character of the natives as the primary reason for this and does not seem to consider the European authorities who adjudicated upon these cases and, in effect, condoned the practice of torture, as responsible.
This is in spite of the fact that the aforesaid letter from the Company's Court of Directors in , as well as the Commission's own analysis of the previous seven years of cases of torture, clearly showed the extreme leniency adopted in such cases.
Finally, the Report pushes the blame further away from the European officers by talking about the enormity of the tasks they perform, the huge size of their areas they administer and the minuscule numbers of Europeans in the administration MADRAS, , p.
The Commissioners noted that although the practice of torture was being powerfully impacted by the reform of the native character through "the spread of education, the opening of communications" and "the increased intercourse of mind and mind," these were only "gradual" and "general remedies" MADRAS, , p.
Instead they suggested a solution to the problem that they thought was specific to the Indian case. The Report states the proposition thus:. It cannot be denied that a greater strength of European government servants in a province must tend to its more perfect administration, and the question is how and in what direction such additional force could be most beneficially employed and rendered serviceable in putting down the native practice of resorting to such illegal personal violence as we have been engaged in commenting on.
The Report further elaborated on its views regarding the respective characters of the natives and the Europeans.
Why Torture is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them
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The accounts of torture victims are horrifying enough but at least these victims survived: Primo Levi reminded us in The Drowned and the Saved that the public record is denuded of the accounts of the drowned. However, the ordinary citizen does not regard torture as repugnant because it may have medical consequences, but because its use typically by the state against its own citizens seems so extreme a violation of the collective values and morality that hold a social fabric together. Since 11 September public advocacy of torture no longer seems taboo. The Washington Times recently published a method for the efficient interrogation of Al Qaeda suspect Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, suggested by the president of the Freedom Research Foundation. This involved ventilation by nasal mask of a paralysed subject, with the ventilator turned off to provide transient suffocation whenever the interrogator was dissatisfied. These included deprivation of food, water, sleep, and light; covering subjects' heads with black hoods for hours at a time; forcing them to stand or kneel in unnatural positions in extreme cold or heat; keeping them naked; prolonged chaining or shackling; hooking them up to sensors during serial interrogations; and denial of medical attention.
Why Torture is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them review – a comedic critique on violence
If the title sounds like a more straightforwardly lefty answer to a Stephen Colbert think-piece, that's pretty much what the play devolves into after an exhilarating start. By David Rooney. Providing the closest thing to a voice of reason in an ensemble of folks flirting with insanity, Laura Benanti brings a charming light touch and dauntless determination to Felicity, who finds herself in an awkward spot.
While it is often argued that police torture is institutionalised in India, the only authoritative government-backed study of the practice in the history of modern India is the Madras Torture Commission Report of In the context of the silence that surrounds present-day police violence in India, the rather curious phenomenon of an investigative Commission, instituted by a colonial state, over a hundred and fifty years ago, is particularly interesting. In this article, I attempt a textual analysis of this Report, and an investigation of its ideological and historical context I argue that the Report primarily served to discursively "manage" the issue of torture, by erasing the complicity of the colonial state in its practice, and that the reforms it suggested resulted in the institutionalisation of a specifically colonial model in the restructuring of the Indian police, a structure that substantially survives to this day. Alec Mellor, in his landmark book on the history of torture, La Torture , first published in in the aftermath of the Second World War, tries to explain the reasons for the supposed reappearance of torture in the twentieth century. He suggests three fundamental causes for this resurgence: the rise of the totalitarian state culminating in the USSR; the importance of "intelligence" gathering and "special methods of interrogation" as a result of modern warfare; and finally, the influence of "Asianism" PETERS, , p.
New Theatre, Sydney Australian production of Christopher Durang's incredibly American play is an satirical take on the 'war on terror'. C hristopher Durang has been writing plays for decades but seems to be finally getting the recognition he deserves. It begins with Felicity Ainslie McGlynn waking up after a drunken night, beside a man she quickly learns she has married. Felicity tries unsuccessfully for an annulment and instead, following threats and other terrifying techniques, Zamir convinces her to introduce him to her parents.
Ibanez and Strictland Photo by Joe Williams. Be forewarned if you are easily offended by foul language, racial slurs, alcohol, guns, violence, or a porno filmmaker Reverend.
Косые лучи утреннего солнца падали в башню сквозь прорези в стенах. Беккер посмотрел. Человек в очках в тонкой металлической оправе стоял внизу, спиной к Беккеру, и смотрел в направлении площади. Беккер прижал лицо к прорези, чтобы лучше видеть. Иди на площадь, взмолился он мысленно. Тень Гиральды падала на площадь, как срубленная гигантская секвойя. Халохот внимательно проследил взглядом всю ее длину.
А у Росио. Капельки Росы. Лицо мужчины из мертвенно-бледного стало красным. - Вы знаете Капельку Росы? - Вытерев пот со лба рукавом халата, он собирался что-то сказать, но тут отворилась дверь в ванную. Мужчины оглянулись. В дверях стояла Росио Ева Гранада. Это было впечатляющее зрелище.
Идиот! - в сердцах воскликнула. - Ты только посмотри. Сквозь строй дважды отверг этот файл.
К счастью, ножки стола были снабжены роликами. Упираясь ногами в толстый ковер, Сьюзан начала изо всех сил толкать стол в направлении стеклянной двери. Ролики хорошо крутились, и стол набирал скорость. Уже на середине комнаты она основательно разогналась. За полтора метра до стеклянной двери Сьюзан отпрянула в сторону и зажмурилась.
Вот тут-то вы и рассмотрели его кольцо. Глаза Клушара расширились. - Так полицейский сказал вам, что это я взял кольцо.
Выходит, мне придется встать. Он жестом предложил старику перешагнуть через него, но тот пришел в негодование и еле сдержался. Подавшись назад, он указал на целую очередь людей, выстроившихся в проходе. Беккер посмотрел в другую сторону и увидел, что женщина, сидевшая рядом, уже ушла и весь ряд вплоть до центрального прохода пуст.