SEEKING JUSTICE AND REMEMBERING

Leki Thungon

The paper attempts to analyze how the 1984 anti-Sikh pogrom is represented and remembered in a legal discourse. This would involve an engagement with the idea of judicial memory and recovery juxtaposed with the idea of suffering in those who survived the massacre. The paper addresses the question of how justice and truth held by the survivors of the 1984 massacre can be appropriated into the legal language of compensation and damage. It should be noted that even though it is often seen that the judiciary fails in recovering loss or damage completely, the belief that law has the power to soothe wounds still persists among people. The judiciary represents an institution which is objectively involved in the workings of a state thereby it is believed to maintain a relative autonomy in the name of law compared to other institutions in this political set up. This relative independence and objectivity renders it with the power to rewrite history and produce collective knowledge. The legal quest for truth and justice is by no means insulated from the greater socio-historical and political context in which it takes place. The objective lens of law thereby comes under scrutiny. This paper is also a contemplation on the elusive nature of justice and the possibility of discerning the meaning of seeking justice in our times