Next, Kill All the Lawyers
This chapter examines how the protagonists accepted personal risk as a part of their chosen mission, but without a desire for martyrdom; how, having witnessed Punjab rebuild itself painfully after its 1947 Partition, they honored self-preservation and survival.
The chapter details how in 1992 retired High Court Justice Ajit Singh Bains was kidnapped from outside the elite Chandigarh Golf Club and joined the multitudes of Punjab’s “disappeared.” The abduction came immediately on the heels of the swearing-in of a new state government, which also oversaw a spike in killings. The reader will thus witness the throes of a critical pivot in Punjab conflict history: the mysterious boycott of the 1992 election, which followed the 1991 election that was postponed by the Indian government. We see how events that were even then shrouded in mystery are today peddled as history.
The earlier timeline returns to the newly partitioned Punjab of 1948, dizzied with resettlements and reunifications amidst titanic loss. Pre-Partition assurances to Sikh politicians immediately met new resistance by the postcolonial government, thus seeding the next decade-long civil disobedience movement in Punjab.