This is a compilation of papers presented at various conferences. In the first article Prem Mahadevan wants the principles applied for removal of terrorism from Punjab to be applied as a model in 21st-century to counterterrorist activities. He says terrorism disappeared from Punjab so swiftly because ?no political compromises were made, no ?root causes? were addressed.? The defeat of politico-religious terrorism in the Punjab state represented a spectacular success for counterterrorism. For the first time in history, the security forces of a democracy were able to comprehensively defeat a terrorist movement, instead of just containing it.
Terrorism in Punjab was an imported phenomenon from the Sikh diaspora in the West. K.P.S. Gill from the Indian Police Service was deputed to Punjab where ?through a series of innovations, Gill moulded the Punjab Police into India'smost effective counterterrorist force.?
The counter-terrorist offensive of 1992 was effective because of three ?possibles? which provided the perfect mix of conditions to crush terrorism. The first was the strengthening of the police intelligence and response capabilities, which had hitherto been allowed to atrophy. The second factor was massive deployment of the Army which provided manpower to supplement police operation. The third was the police existence of a political consensus that the police would be allowed to get on with its job without interference.
In this article Prem Mahadevan raises an important point for thought. He says the presence of central forces allows the state governments to shift the financial burden of responsibility for counterterrorism on New Delhi. ?Indian policy makers need to overcome this last obstacle,? he stresses.
Thomas A. Mark talks of the ascendancy of Marxism in Nepal by the Maoists, in his paper. He says the entire thrust of the Maoists? success in Nepal is to engage in mass mobilisation to form a counter state that could challenge the state. The most frightening aspect of Nepal is the breakdown of law and order in the country.
In her paper, Monisha Sobhrajani says that the women'srole in the post-1989 insurgency in Kashmir was their lack of education which helped outside forces to mould the women'sthinking and influence them greatly. Instead of organised groups fighting for gender justice, fundamentalist militant groups are influencing the women to return to the burqa.
Suneel Kumar, in his paper, explains the reasons for the Sikh diaspora'ssupport to the Khalistan movement in India and criticises the ?repressive policies? of the Indian state against the Sikhs.
G.H. Peiris talks of youth unrest in Sri Lanka in his paper where he says that it is due to the period of ?youth? being the transitional phase of life between childhood through adolescence to adulthood and the extravagant and wasteful lifestyles of a small segment of the society in Sri Lanka.
The book contains interesting articles on the political situation in the sub-continent and must be read.
(Bulwark Books, The Institute of Conflict Management, 11 Talkatora Road, New Delhi-110 001.)