Distilled, a Firstpost podcast: Historian and philosopher Dilip Simeon on India's grim politics of crime and punishment

  • In 1979, Bihar Police officers blinded 33 Bhagalpur men alleged to have committed violent crimes

  • 40 years on, Indians have been cheering the alleged extra-judicial execution of four men suspected in the Hyderabad gangrape and murder

  • Historian and philosopher Dilip Simeon discusses the grim politics of crime and punishment in India

Distilled is a new podcast series from Firstpost, which introduces us to innovative, cutting-edge thinking about our world, and the issues it confronts, through conversations with some of the most highly-regarded experts in India and the world.

In each episode, Network18 Group Consulting Editor Praveen Swami will be discussing subjects ranging from geopolitics to culture and sport — trying to unpack the unpredictable, ever-changing forces that are shaping our times.

In 1979, Bihar Police officers blinded 33 Bhagalpur men alleged to have committed violent crimes, used needles to puncture their eyes and then poured in acid. Local judges ignored the parade of maimed prisoners, jail authorities looked the other way and the public mostly cheered.

Forty years on, Indians have been cheering the alleged extra-judicial execution of four men suspected of having gangraped and murdered a Hyderabad woman veterinarian. India’s culture of savage retribution clearly needs more than moral condemnation.

For millions of Indians, clearly, savagery provides at least the illusion of justice in a landscape where the institutions of criminal justice appear to have collapsed. But how did we end up in a place where there’s no longer any distinction between justice and vengeance: and where is this is savage tide going to carry us?

In the latest episode of the Distilled podcast, Swami discusses India’s grim politics of crime and punishment with historian and philosopher Dilip Simeon.

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Updated Date: Dec 11, 2019 20:07:15 IST