Political Violence and Justice Lab

The Riotous Republic is Polis Project’s data set that compiles mob based violence — riots, massacres and lynching. 

We are currently working on creating an extensive dataset of violence since 1947 in India, that map and analyse these events  in terms of actors (perpetrators and victims), command responsibility, questions of due process ( a look at investigations, arrests, judicial proceedings, commission reports and their outcomes ) and finally how the individual and communities who were affected by this violence view justice.

The research will be presented as a multi-platform project that along with the data set incorporates timelines, maps, articles, archival material and images. We are building a platform and a living archive made available to researchers, reporters and journalist — ideally in a multimedia format which allows others to run further experiments on this data set.

Acts of political violence are not isolated, a series independent events are linked to larger social, economic, and political forces. 

Currently, political violence data sets, judicial datasets exist independently. There exists no dataset that maps and analysis political violence and their legal outcomes extensively, along with an archive of secondary resources. 

While India is a secular republic, this year Pew Research Center’s social hostilities index ranked India as fourth worst in the world for religious intolerance followed by Syria, Nigeria and Iraq. India’s constitution provides for religious freedom, but often perpetrators of political violence are not prosecuted. At present, there is very little understanding of the rapidly transforming nature of political violence and how it affects democratic citizenship.

Making quality research available to reporters, journalists, writers and other scholars in a form that is easily searchable, and the ability to run regressions on the data to back arguments that explain the patterns of violence remains imperative. 

 Thanks, Suchitra Vijayan

Email: suchitra (at) thepolisproject (dot) com