Book review: Sudhanshu Ranjan, Justice vs. Judiciary: Justice Enthroned or Entangled in India?

Date01 March 2021
Published date01 March 2021
Subject MatterBook Reviews
138 Book Reviews
The penultimate chapters, ‘Emerging Abyss’ and ‘Deeper Waters’ explore the
rise of the insurgency in Kashmir and the influence of militant and terrorist organ-
isations in the region. Malhorta and Raza explain that today a lot of Kashmiris
‘appear to be sympathetic—either by choice or coercion—to the more fundamen-
tal ways of Islam’ (p. 146). As the distinction between choice and coercion is not
explored here, this would be a good trajectory for future research.
Chapter 10, ‘Rising Tsunami’ discusses China’s desire for hydropower and the
production of microchips. This seemed rather off topic in comparison to the rest
of the book, but it highlights the impact that each stakeholder has on the situation.
Also, this is an aspect of Kashmir’s present scenario that is not well discussed,
and the authors stress the importance of protecting Kashmir’s ‘natural resources,
its territory and, by extension, the sovereignty of the Indian nation’ (p. 168) before
China increases its influence.
The fact that the book details so much of Kashmir’s history is both a strength
and a weakness. It is a strength because it provides a whistle-stop tour of Kashmir’s
history that can appeal to wide readership. It is a weakness because some of the
key events of Kashmir’s history such as the discussion of the Tashkent Agreement
(1965) (page 121) is brief and could be more detailed. Perhaps the reason for this
is to shed light on the less well-known events that have contributed to today’s
situation such as China’s quest for water in Kashmir’s glaciers. This is a difficult
balance for any author, trying to include as much information as possible, without
reducing the importance of such information. Nonetheless, the range of topics
covered in the book does not match the length of it.
While the book may answer several questions, but to claim that it reveals,
‘declassified’ information, could be an overstatement. The book contributes
well to the existing literature on Kashmir, particularly British influence, and the
authors are correct to note that ‘fresh winds of change’ (p. 171) are ushering in a
new chapter in Kashmir. Whether this new chapter will be a turning point and a
positive step forward remains to be seen.
Leoni Connah
Politics, Philosophy, and Religion (PPR) Department
Lancaster University, UK
Sudhanshu Ranjan, Justice vs. Judiciary: Justice Enthroned or Entangled in
India? New Delhi, India: Oxford University Press, 2019, xiv + 384 pp.,
`995 (Hardcover). ISBN: 978-0-19-949049-3, 0-19-949049-X.
DOI: 10.1177/0019556121998537
Governments, specifically democratic ones, are more often than not under a strict
scrutiny of political scientists, media, economists and the opposition. Out of the
three organs of the Indian government, a colossal share of the limelight has been on
the judiciary. The reasons are many but the most important among them is the judi-
ciary’s power to protect the citizens and the rights granted to them by the Constitution.

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