Guest post by ARVIND NARRAIN, based on a talk given at the Kannada book release of Inner Voice of Another India: The Writings of Balagopal, at National College Basavangudi, Bangalore, 30 October, 2010
Remembering Balagopal: Thought, Action and the Moral Imagination of Human Rights [i]
One year after Balagopal’s death, what remains with us are memories of the number of times he spoke with such eloquence on human rights issues on his numerous visits to Bangalore. We also go back to his writings in the EPW which show the clarity of his thought. Be it his speeches or his writings , it was clear that for Balagopal words were tools he used to express thought. Language for him was not something which served to obfsucate meaning and muddy concepts, but rather a tool which had to be used to clarify difficult ideas and cut through conceptual confusions. In George Orwell’s striking phrase, both his writing and his speeches had the clarity of a windowpane.
Balagopal writing on the second anniversary of the massacre of Dalits in Karamchedu noted:
One way of marking history is by the anniversaries of events of injustice; of suppression, of pillage and of loot. It is certainly more moral than marking history by the anniversaries of coronations; and more rational than marking it by the birth, death, revelation or flight of a prophet, July 17 this year was the second anniversary of an event that has done much to shape political awareness in Andhra Pradesh in recent times: the Karamchedu killing of 1985. [ii]
Balagopal asks us to move beyond an elite history, and recognize brutalities inflicted upon ordinary people as part of a people’s history. I would add one more way of marking a people’s history to what Balagopal has narrated, namely remembering those who have struggled for a more humane world and who are no more with us. Marking history should include not only remembering the sadness and pain of a life lived in the shadows of injustice but should also be about remembering integrity and courage, humility and passion and how these nobler aspects of human nature find their expression in some truely extraordinary human beings. We are gathered here to remember one such extraordinary human being -Balagopal whose memory serves to inspire human rights activism around the country.
I would like to analyze four dimensions of Balagopal’s truely multifaceted contribution to human rights:
1) Fact Finding Reports: Historical insights through collective authorship
2) Critiquing the Supreme Court : Reason, ethics and passion
3) Narrating the inner life of the oppressed: Balagopal’s literary imagination
4) A philosophical approach to human rights: The unfinished project ?
Fact Finding Reports: Historical insights through collective authorship
Balagopal went on Fact Finding missions throughout the length and breadth of India. He travelled in Kashmir, the North East of India, Chattisgarh, Orissa, Karnataka and of course Andhra Pradesh and produced incisive reports on numerous contexts of human rights violations. The Reports themselves are authored by human rights organizations and do not bear individual names. This format itself is a tribute to a form of collective working and collective authorship in which Balagopal choose to subsume a lot of his writing.
A Report by a team in which Balagopal was present was something which had to be read. What a good human rights report does, is bring an incident of a human rights violation which has been either minimally reported by the press, or not reported at all to the wider public attention. An excellent fact finding report is able to go beyond the narration of what has happened and explore the deeper socio-economic reasons for the incident. The best fact finding reports in fact give the reader an insight into why the incident happened which goes beyond mere rhetoric and newspaper reportage. I would contend that the human rights reports in which Balagopal participated, always had the insight which raised the value of the report beyond the immediate context and raised deeper historical and philosophical questions. They deserve close reading as an expression of collective writing which tries to understand a contemporary violation and is able to give a sense of history to an ‘event’. These Reports also raise questions which are ultimately about the relationship between human rights and human nature. In this context I would like to refer to the Report on the Chunduru massacre as well as the report on communal violence in Karnataka and Orissa in 2008.
If one refers to the Fact Finding on the Chunduru massacre in 1991 in which nine Dalits were killed and six persons went ‘missing’, and Dalit women were raped, the Fact Finding Report by APCLC makes the point that ,
Unlike in other villages, the dalits of Chundur are better educated, some of them had gained political positions and a good number of them are employed. On the other hand, members of the upper castes particularly the Reddy’s and Telegas are less educated and most of the youth do odd jobs like tractor drivers or are engaged in farming.’ [iii]
Over a period of time, there has been a change in the lifestyle of the Scheduled Castes. People, who were virtual serfs till a few decades ago have now become tenant cultivators while the younger generation has acquired decent jobs. This transformation among the dalits was seen as a threat to their authority by the upper castes. They could no longer address the dalits in the customary rude manner. Public places like tea shops and cinema halls have come into common use by the upper castes and the dalits. ‘[iv]
The Report after documenting these changes in the socio- political situation of the Dalits, makes the point that:
This is precisely the reason why a small incident like an educated dalit youth stretching his leg on a seat occupied by an upper caste boy in a theatre led to a social boycott of the dalits and culminated in the August 6 carnage.’[v]
By doing so, the APCLC Report gives a historical context to a horrendous atrocity and helped us to understand violation not as an unchanging reality of Indian society but rather as the particular expression of caste outrage when the Dalit community attempts to break out of the ritual confines of the caste hierarchy. In effect its precisely becuase Dalits are breaking out a ‘slave like situation’ that these forms of brutal violation dog independent India. This understanding of the caste atrocity as anchored in an analysis of the changing nature of caste applies with equal force to the other major caste atrocities be it Kambalapalli in Karnataka ( 2000) or Khairlanji in Maharasthra. (2006)[vi].
What we in Karnataka remember with particular poignance is one of the last Fact Finding Reports published with Balagopal as a member of the team. The Report was titled, From Kandhamal to Karavali: The Ugly Face of the Sangh Parivar.
Taking the example of Kandmahal , the Fact Finding Team locates the reason for the brutal atttack on the Christian tribal community by the Dalit community in the historical cleavages between the two communities and their cynical exploitation by the Sangh Parivar. The Report is unsparing in its detailed analysis of the role played by the Sangh Parivar in inciting hatred against the Christain community. In its description of the brutality with which the Christian community was set upon by elements of the Sangh Parivar it is unrelenting. Where the Report is able to make the leap from a description of an undoubtedly horrible situation is in its understanding of human beings as living not a mere animal existence, but as motivated by a spark which makes them human and hence imbued with rights.
As the Fact Finding Report of the nine Human Rights Organizations noted:
Each batch of persons who finally ended up in a relief camp spent days on end without food, water and shelter in the forests before smuggling themselves into the camp. They could easily have said ‘Jai bajrang bali’, ‘Jai shri ram’ and stayed back and may be even feted by Lambodar Kanhar. It was a strong sense of dignity that drove them to undergo the trauma. Some have gone quite far away, to Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh, where they do not know the language and where the Government gives no assistance because it is not seen as its problem.’[vii]
What this insightful passage communicates is the human will which gives flesh and blood to the right to freedom of conscience and an understanding that this right is indeed an inalienable right of all human beings. The simple act of renouncing Christianity would have enabled the violated to go back to their villages as the condition imposed by the Bajrang Dal for re-entry to the village was re-conversion. The remarkable dignity of those who have lost everything choosing to hold on to their faith, when re-conversion would have enabled them to return to their homes speaks to that undefinable aspect of human nature which lifts human existence above mere animal existence. In doing so, the Report reminds us of how human rights are really a form of legal protection to ways in which human beings express themselves. These expressions are defining aspects of what we mean by the word ‘human’.
The Fact Finding Reports in which Balagopal participated are not just reports but rather in A.R. Desai’s words:
documents which are forged in the fires of struggles and are therefore symbols of heroic battles carried on by the people in different parts of the country.’[viii]
Equally it is important to remember that the Reports are not just a history of the violation but also a history of the heroic struggle against violation and one man’s determination to bear witness and bring justice to the violated in different and far flung parts of the country. The unifying theme underlying his work is the idea of protecting and defending the idea of an inclusive and humane India with a deep commitment to justice.
Balagopal articulated his worldview in the context of the struggle against Hindu fundamentalism:
The fight against the Sangh Parivar, whether on the political terrain or in civil society, whether in the realm of power or that of values, is a fight over the idea and the reality of the India we want. A humane society committed to political, social and economic justice, freedom from fear and want, liberty of thought, belief and practice, inalienable dignity of person, opportunities of equitable growth, peace in its relations with other societies and nature( all of which add up to the foundational value of equality) or an aggressive power mongering polity based on a hierarchical and monolithic society?’[ix]
Critiquing the Supreme Court : Reason, ethics and passion
Another task which Balagopal took on with great relish was that of critiquing the decesions of the Supreme Court. His critiques combine the language of irony and passion, reason and feeling, becoming an all together uniquely grounded voice speaking out on behalf of a moral or just order. His stinging critique of the decesion of the Supreme Court which upheld the constitutional validity of TADA in particular stands repeated reading. Balagopal took apart the reasoning and logic on which the decesion was based and decried the Courts inability to understand the right of political expression which he saw as being the heart of democracy. This piece is a tour de force of impassioned writing which is not only a critique of TADA but also a vivid description of a more humane India.
In his words:
A court that does not possess a social, understanding of the ugly thing called
terrorism cannot possibly look critically at the provisions of T A D A . A court that understands terrorism the same way as the union home ministry (as Justice Pandian and his brotherhood unabashedly do) cannot look at T A D A in the spirit of the best values expressed by the Indian Supreme Court in the past. A court that does not begin to make of the striking fact that the terrorists and extremists of India—Sikhs in Punjab,Muslims in Kashmir, tribal people in the north-east, the wretched of rural Bharat in Bihar and Andhra Pradesh, expatriate Jaffna’ Tamils in Tamil Nadu, and in recent days disillusioned Muslim youth in various urban centres—are all from the political, social, ethnic and economic periphery of Indian society, cannot begin to see what it means if suspects in ‘terrorist’ crimes are denied rights that mainstream criminals possess.Democracy in the best sense hat always meant justice for the dissident, the abnormal, the peripheral, notwithstanding that ‘their proclivities may be held morally unjustifiable and p o l i t i c a l l y unsupportable by the mainstream, or even a majority of the periphery too. Only a court that values such a justice can look properly at T A D A . A court that thinks justice is another name for the securing of public order cannot.[x]
In his very last piece in the EPW , entitled ‘Ideology and Adjudication:The Supreme Court and OBC Reservations, he severely criticised the decesion of the Supreme Court in Ashok Kumar Thakur’s case wherein, the Court sought to use the concept of creamy layer to further curtail the benefit OBC’s could get from reservation. While being a critique rooted in legal doctrine, Balagopal goes one step further and locates the very decesion in ideology.
Adjudication of public issues is an ideological act. Courts say they do
their job within the four corners of the law, but the four corners are only corners.The space enclosed may be quite wide, and can permit divergent tendencies, all of them passing for interpretations of the law or the Constitution. It is idle to pretend that this divergence is the result of a pure difference of a juridical character. There is considerable politics in these divergent tendencies, when social issues of significance are involved.[xi]
Just taking these two examples, what emerges is that the voice of Balagopal provides an engaged critique of the decesions of the Supreme Court. Supremely well versed in the culture of legal reasoning, Balagopal parses the decesions carefully exploring what each judge had to say and comments caustically whenever he feels that judges have not understood the Constitution. Of course the unique element which Balagopal’s articles add is the fact that they are rooted in a social and political understanding. The two together, a close reading using the tool of legal reasoning combined with a contextual understanding of the law makes a powerful argument which is able to transcend the limitations of both these forms of argumentation.
Narrating the inner life of the oppressed: Balagopal’s literary imagination
While Balagopal was a experienced practitioner of the forms of human rights activism which demanded a close attention to facts, the ability to organize information and to get to the root of the conflict at hand, what is not much known in human rights circles is his equal felicity with literary expression. Here I would like to draw attention to Balagopal’s nuanced descriptions of the interior life of those who were the objects of state brutality and societal indifference.
Two particular articles of his in the EPW which come to mind are Excerpts from the Memoirs of Death[xii] and Drought and TADA in Adilabad[xiii]. Both these pieces narrate the subjectivity of those the state persecutes. I will direct your attention to some extracts from, ‘Excerpts from the Memoirs of Death’, which shows a fine literary sensibility evoking the memory of masters like Kafka and Dostoevsky.
In a moving piece called, Excerpts from the Memoirs of Death, Balagopal writes from the perspective of a youth who is picked up by the police and brutally tortured. The unnamed youth sees his life as a flash back and reflects upon the range of actions he has engaged in , from picketing liquor shops to joining the Naxalite movement and gaining an awareness of the injustice of the world. He reflects back upon what he now perceives as his ‘own inexcusable innocence’. I will cite three extracts which communicate the subaltern life not merely as the object of state violence but really as a conscious human subject, making meaning of the injustice around him and finding strategies to cope with unbearable violence.
The innocence that believed that because what one did appeared self evidently just to oneself, as plain as two and two make four, it should appear equally just to everyone else. The innocence that believed that only the very unreasonable and the very wicked who are in a minority in the world could be against one. The innocence that just could not conceive of the possibility that a large number of otherwise perfectly normal people could oppose this evidently just struggle. Considering the facts as he perceived them of course- was he really to be blamed ? The earth belonged to no one, and yet a few people had parcelled out large chunks of it among themselves. Now the rest were demanding their share. Was that not plainly just ?[xiv]
This sense of innocence leads to the youth being arrested under TADA and the scene before the judge is described in a manner which can only be called Kafkaesque,
It was in a chastened and desolate mood that he had stood before the court. All the charges were under TADA and there was little likelihood of his getting bail within six months. As he stood gazing at the distant judge and playing nervously with the chains of his wrists, his heart continued to burn at the injustice of it , though he was already wise enough to know that there was little he could do about it. ………He had felt like shouting in the court, maybe make a speech the way wronged persons do in films. But he could not get himself to do that. It was not fear that deterred him, but the sheer absurdity of it, so preoccupied the court was with ridiculous bits of paper and pieces of gossip that there appeared to be no place there for the questions of justice and injustice that burnt his heart. So remote and indifferent were the faces of the judge and the lawyers who waited in boredom for their cases to be called, that instead he had fallen to gossiping with the constables who had brought him to court.’ [xv]
Finally to highlight a scene which communicates the fine sense of irony with which the young Naxalite perceives the psychology of the policeman’s brutality:
They pushed him into a smelly but mercifully empty cell and locked it up. He sate down and leaned against the wall, glancing watchfully at the policeman outside. He badly wanted to lie down and stretch out but it would not do to let them think he was relaxing. He knew enough about policeman by now. Let them think you are having a pleasant moment and they will trash you just to spoil it. So he sat back and allowed himself to look as sick as he felt.’[xvi]
These writings draw our attention to facets of human beings, going beyond dry facts and objective realities. By narrating the very subjectivity of the oppressed, Balagopal provides a literary lens with which the dry statistics such as a Naxalite death or being an accused under TADA is given new meaning. To narrate the inner life of the oppressed is a profound act of humanizing people that figure in the mainstream media as mere statistics of suffering.
A philosophical approach to human rights: The unfinished project ?
As noted above the range of contribution of Balagopal to human rights was immense. Right from unearthing and publicizing human rights violation, to critiquing the Supreme Court in its numerous decesions to writing passionately and with a humane intelligence from the perspective of the persecuted, Balagopal’s contribution to human rights was awe inspiring.
In one of his public talks in Bangalore, Balagopal lamented that,
We dont have a tradition of people writing philosophically about human rights. Amartya Sen is one of the few people who writes philosophically in defence of human rights.[xvii]
In another seminar in Bangalore he noted that,
Fortunately or unfortunately we belong to an ideological persuasion which devalues ideas and regards power alone as important. The state however knows the power of ideas and opinions which have a value in creating consciousness and political strength. [xviii]
The idea of a philosophy of human rights or a theory of human rights was thus deeply appealing to Balagopal. As one tribute to Balagopal by Kodandaram an activist who worked closely with Balagopal put it,
These essays ( all raised fundamental questions about how Marxism as we
knew it addressed (or did not address) the relationship between “being” and “consciousness”. His dissatisfaction with Marxism as we knew it then translated into the practice of human rights. It is perhaps due to the limits of history that the questions he raised through those essays had no immediate answers. It is unfortunate that at a time when his efforts were beginning to coalesce into a coherent body of critical praxis that Balagopal himself has left us.[xix]
Balagopal’s life and work is a testament to the fact that human rights movements have an independent existence from other social movements. From this theorisation flowed his nuanced position that the movement too could be criticised if they violated basic norms of human rights such as the right to fair trial or the freedom from arbitrary action. One should note that on the question of violence and non violence , Balagopal refused to take a dogmatic position, instead taking forward a critique of both the state as well as non state actors on the basis of the rights of the affected population. Balagopal’s deep concerns about the impacts of what he called, ‘destructive development’ strongly affirms the co-equal importance of both civil and politicial rights as well as socio-economic rights. He tbereby enjoins us to move beyond the image of the state as a nasty leviathan to also understand that the state has democratic and welfare responsibilites to its citizens. Thus on a range of complex issues of a human rights practice, Balagopal’s writing always provided a guide. While each of the points made above deserve greater analysis to provide an account of human rights in the Indian context, in this section I will explore Balagopal’s contribution to two philosophical questions concerning human rights, namely the question of where did human rights originate and the question of the implications of the universal language of human rights .
The origins of human rights: Rights as a product of struggle.
In the theoretical literature on rights, Human rights have often been critiqued as being bourgeoisie or as being status quoist or in some cases as being a western imposition. In particular the charge that human rights are a product of a western society and hence are not relevant to the particular ethos of the developing world has a certain academic valence. [xx]
As Upendra Baxi puts it:
Even today Third World theory and action is thought to be mimetic, picking up cognitive bits and pieces from the smorgasbord of the critique of Enlightenment from Marx, Nietzsche, Freud, Hiedegger, Rawls, Foucault or Derrida. Overall, human rights discursivity was and still remains, according to the narrative of origins, the patrimony of the west.[xxi]
Balagopal defended the notion of human rights as being a product of struggle. In Balagopal’s understanding rights were to be defended because rights were not gifts granted by the state , but were rather wrested from the state by a range of struggles be it the labour movement, the women’s movement or the tribal movement. In his words :
On the whole, without some struggle or agitation, rights do not accrue. A right takes shape in some people’s minds, in their thoughts. Then it spreads into the social consciousness. It gets recognised in the political practice. At a particular phase it registers victory politically. That means the law, the constitution, the traditions, the culture -all these recognise it as a right. [xxii]
What Balagopal’s work cuts through is this false differentiation between the west and the east and instead insists on rights as values which emerge through struggle and form part of ‘the moral storehouse of the human species[xxiii] From this perspective, the work of the National Civil Liberties Union in Britain, the China League for Civil Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Indian Civil Liberties Union contributes to this human value called rights. Similarly the work of the Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights and the struggle of tribal communities contributes towards this value called human rights.
Cutting through this divisions which have bedevilled human rights theory, Balagopal insists that:
Nevertheless each such right expresses a value that is as much a lasting resource of human civilisation as the steam engine that Marx was immensely impressed by and each of the institutions evolved by bourgeois society for the implementation of the rights (a professional and independent judiciary, for instance) embodies principles that need to be carried forward while the structural and conceptual limitations of the institutions (such as the equation of total alienation from society with judicial impartiality) are criticised and overcome. Every contemporary civil liberties struggle must strive and does strive not only to protect a given right in a given context (the right of a prisoner against torture, or of slumdwellers against eviction) but also the democratic values and institutional principles relating to that right, while critically overcoming the bourgeois expression of the notions and forms in which the principles are embodied, and the institutions in which their realisation is enshrined.[xxiv]
For Balagopal it is a given that rights are not the patrimony of the west but are instead the product of the struggles of people around the world. However Balagopal also insists that the struggles could have resulted in rights which are limited by the institutional frameworks in which they are embedded and this needs to be criticised and overcome. The critique thus needs to be directed not towards the question of where did the notion of rights originate but rather towards how do we ensure that the rights are able to fulfil their full potential.
In fact drawing from Balagopal’s thoughts if we only study Fact Finding Reports produced by different human rights organizations, we will get a sense of the close link between grassroots struggles and the language of human rights. Balagopal’s work historizes the rights question and amplifies the voice which asserts that rights embody a lived reality of struggle in the Indian context.
Universality of human rights and its critics: The thinking of Balagopal
Particularly with the advent of post-modernist thinking in the academia, the language of universality has been subjected to intensive critique. These has been a resurgence of the idea of cultural relativism which is to mean that human rights cannot claim to be a universal language and is limited to being a specific language of the western world.
Balagopal’s defence of the idea of universality of rights, flows from the complex questions thrown up by struggle. The position on whether rights should be universal was arrived at through an intensive process which involved both practice and thought.
As Balagopal puts it
I don’t know whether any other stream of the civil rights movement can claim such an achievement, but for us being open to reality is the only thing that we can claim for ourselves. And we learnt from this, and I remember very well, the other stream of the civil rights movement in our State spent a long time theoretically discussing whether the assault is a civil rights incident, violation, and should they go for fact finding? We on the other hand didn’t even bother to theoretically discuss…… We went to the village the next day, talked to people. When we held a press conference we were forced to theorize. The moment you express values, you have to theorize.[xxv]
This theorisation evolves in the course of concrete dilemmas posed in the course of human rights activism. For example, Balagopal narrates the questions thrown up by the work aimed at preventing the torture of political prisoners in police lock up:
In the beginning police used to make fun of us. That look when you come to a police station asking for the release or somebody to be produced in court who happens to be a radical, he is in the lockup, there are ten more people in the lock up along with him, why don’t you talk about them? Police, of course were not interested that we should talk about them. They were interested in exposing our one sidedness. But we learnt a lesson from that. So we started saying that torture is wrong. And if torture is wrong, then you have to answer many more questions. Because you are saying torture not only of a political revolutionary, but also of a criminal is wrong.[xxvi]
From the concrete context of the policeman’s contempt for the so called ‘one sidedness’ of human rights activists evolves the theoretical position on universality of rights:
That’s the only way you can formulate a protest. The moment you do that ( in terms of principles not interests, ie not I am being oppressed but oppression is wrong) the principle becomes universal. Not universal in the sense of 100% universal, but it finds for itself a class which goes beyond you. Then what happens is that, you will have to speak for many more people, which again has its own further consequences. So a perpetual expansion of the principled concerns is unavoidable in the very fact that a protest has to be expressed in terms of universal values. So once we say that torture is wrong, it is impossible for civil rights movement to say torture of Naxalites (only) is wrong. You have to say torture (per se)is wrong. Once you say torture is wrong you have to look at who else is being tortured….[xxvii]
Thus two aspect of Balagopal’s philosophical perspective on human rights include an understanding that rights are a product of struggle and that the language of universality is at the core of human rights struggle. To arrive at these two positions on human rights, Balagopal was guided by his practice of human rights. Thus his work on doing Fact Findings and representing human rights issues in court constructed a worldview. The worldview was tested repeatedly on the anvil of struggle and evolved with the kinds of struggles that Balagopal participated in. In his senstivity to context and its ability to constantly broaden the moral imagination of human rights, Balagopal was unique. It is our tragedy that we dont anymore have the unique voice of Balagopal charting out principled paths of thought in action. Taking Balagopal’s work forward would mean that we aspire in our work to similarly fuse thought and action and chart out ethical and principled ways to constantly broaden the moral imagination of human rights.
 Talk at the Kannada book release of ‘ Inner voice of another India: The writings of Balagopal , at National College Basavangudi, Bangalore, 30th October, 2010
 Balagopal, Karamchedu: Second Anniversary, Economic and Political Weekly, August 15, 1987
 APCLC , The Chundur Carnage ,1991. pg 4.
 Ibid. pg. 6.
 See Anand Teltumde, Khirlanji: A strange and bitter crop, Navayana Publications , New Delhi, 2008, p. 14. Khairlanji represents the quintessence of caste India- that people have to observe their ascriptive statuss; stay put in their place. They cannot cross caste boudaries. If they do, they could be punished. Khairjani lays bare the self righteous arrogance of the caste Hindus and their assumptions about and demands from the suboridnated castes. Paradoxically, Khairlanji also represents their vulnerability. It reprsents resistance, defiance and struggle-however feeble- of the subaltern castes.
 From Kandhmahal to Karavali: The Ugly Face of Sangh Parivar , A Fact Finding Report of nine Human Rights Organizations that visited Orissa and Karnataka in Sep-Oct.2008 www.humanrightsforum.org
 A.R. Desai , Ed. , Violation of democratic rights in India, Popular Prakashan , Bombay, 1986 , p. xvi.
 From Kandhmahal to Karavali: The Ugly Face of Sangh Parivar , A Fact Finding Report of nine Human Rights Organizations that visited Orissa and Karnataka in Sep-Oct.2008 www.humanrightsforum.org
 Balagopal, In defence of India : Supreme Court and terrorism, Economic and Politcal Weekly, August 6, 1994
 K Balagopal, Ideology and Adjudication: The Supreme Court and OBC Reservations, Economic and Political Weekly, Oct 24, 2009.
 Balagopal, Excerpts from the Memoirs of Death, EPW Mar 21. 1992.
 Balagopal, Drought and TADA in Adilabad, EPW Nov 23, 1989.
 Balagopal, Excerpts from the Memoirs of Death, EPW Mar 21. 1992.
 Democracy, Political Dissent, and Repressive Laws, Proceedings of A PUCL-Karnataka Seminar Held on 1 July 2007 at Bangalore, http://www.altlawforum.org/grassroots-democracy/publications/seminar%20proceedings.doc/view accessed on 10.11.2010.
 PUCL-K, Violence, Civil Society and Democracy: A conultation , Keynote Address by K.Balagopal ,Bangalore , 22 March , 2005.
 Kodandaram, To Remember Balagopal Is to Remember Our Own Humanness, EPW Jan 16, 2010 . The essays referred to are the essay in Telugu titled “History, Man and Marxism”, the one in EPW in 1995 addressing Sumanta Banerjee on communalism and democratic practice in the aftermath of the Babri Masjid demolition “Democracy and the Fight against Communalism” (7 January 1995) and then in the essay titled “The
Darker Side of the Naxalite Strategy” in Telugu.
 See Makua Matua, A noble cause wrapped in arrogance, Boston Globe, 29.04.2001. He notes, ‘There is no doubt that the current human rights corpus is well meaning. But that is beside the point. International human rights falls within the historical continuum of the European colonial view in which whites pose as the savior of a benighted and savage non –European world.’
 Upendra Baxi, The Future of Human Rights, Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2002. p. 24.
 Interview with Janan Saxi, www.balagopal.org
 K Balagopal, Democracy and the Fight against Communalism, EPW Jan 1995.
 K Balagopal, Democracy and the fight against communalism, Economic and Political Weekly, January 7, 1995.
 See the transcript of the interview of K. Balagopal with Deepa Dhanraj , www.balagopal.org accessed on 10.11.10
[i] Talk at the Kannada book release of ‘ Inner voice of another India: The writings of Balagopal , at National College Basavangudi, Bangalore, 30th October, 2010
[ii] Balagopal, Karamchedu: Second Anniversary, Economic and Political Weekly, August 15, 1987
[iii] APCLC , The Chundur Carnage ,1991. pg 4.
[iv] Ibid. pg. 6.
[vi] See Anand Teltumde, Khirlanji: A strange and bitter crop, Navayana Publications , New Delhi, 2008, p. 14. Khairlanji represents the quintessence of caste India- that people have to observe their ascriptive statuss; stay put in their place. They cannot cross caste boudaries. If they do, they could be punished. Khairjani lays bare the self righteous arrogance of the caste Hindus and their assumptions about and demands from the suboridnated castes. Paradoxically, Khairlanji also represents their vulnerability. It reprsents resistance, defiance and struggle-however feeble- of the subaltern castes.
[viii] A.R. Desai , Ed. , Violation of democratic rights in India, Popular Prakashan , Bombay, 1986 , p. xvi.
[x] Balagopal, In defence of India : Supreme Court and terrorism, Economic and Politcal Weekly, August 6, 1994
[xi] K Balagopal, Ideology and Adjudication: The Supreme Court and OBC Reservations, Economic and Political Weekly, Oct 24, 2009.
[xii] Balagopal, Excerpts from the Memoirs of Death, EPW Mar 21. 1992.
[xiii] Balagopal, Drought and TADA in Adilabad, EPW Nov 23, 1989.
[xiv] Balagopal, Excerpts from the Memoirs of Death, EPW Mar 21. 1992.
[xvii] Democracy, Political Dissent, and Repressive Laws, Proceedings of A PUCL-Karnataka Seminar Held on 1 July 2007 at Bangalore, http://www.altlawforum.org/grassroots-democracy/publications/seminar%20proceedings.doc/view accessed on 10.11.2010.
[xviii] PUCL-K, Violence, Civil Society and Democracy: A conultation , Keynote Address by K.Balagopal ,Bangalore , 22 March , 2005.
[xix] Kodandaram, To Remember Balagopal Is to Remember Our Own Humanness, EPW Jan 16, 2010 . The essays referred to are the essay in Telugu titled “History, Man and Marxism”, the one in EPW in 1995 addressing Sumanta Banerjee on communalism and democratic practice in the aftermath of the Babri Masjid demolition “Democracy and the Fight against Communalism” (7 January 1995) and then in the essay titled “The
Darker Side of the Naxalite Strategy” in Telugu.
[xx] See Makua Matua, A noble cause wrapped in arrogance, Boston Globe, 29.04.2001. He notes, ‘There is no doubt that the current human rights corpus is well meaning. But that is beside the point. International human rights falls within the historical continuum of the European colonial view in which whites pose as the savior of a benighted and savage non –European world.’
[xxi] Upendra Baxi, The Future of Human Rights, Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2002. p. 24.
[xxiii] K Balagopal, Democracy and the Fight against Communalism, EPW Jan 1995.
[xxiv] K Balagopal, Democracy and the fight against communalism, Economic and Political Weekly, January 7, 1995.