Humane Approaches to Imprisonment, Invisibilizing Women Prisoners in India and More With Dr. Mahuya Bandyopadhyay

Feb 6, 2023


In this episode, anthropologist Dr. Mahuya Bandyopadhyay speaks with us about the idea of imprisonment, human rights, and the linkages between violence within the prison system and violence in society at large.

‘In Perspective’ is The Swaddle’s podcast series where academics reveal little-known facts about Indian history, society and culture. 


00:01:00:02- How has human rights law evolved to take a more humane approach towards imprisonment and punishment? 

00:09:19:13- Have we seen examples of a more humane approach towards law and order on the ground where we have been able to strike a balance between  questions of human rights and security?

00:13:26:07- What role did colonialism play in shaping the prison system in India – from the design of the prison system to the very idea of what constitutes the prison system? How heavily does this still weigh down on us today? Does it stand in the way of implementing a more humane approach?

00:18:05:20- What are the key problems with the societal perception of prisoners today? How does this perception stand in the way of securing human rights for  prisoners?

00:21:52:14  What unique challenges do women prisoners in India face? What kind of systemic reform could help in the betterment of conditions and access to justice within prisons? 

00:28:28:21- Is there a linkage between custodial violence and the centrality of violence to the prison system in India? How do we understand this linkage? How do we see the linkages between violence in the prison system in the practice of policing and the way violence is viewed in Indian society at large?

00:33:35:05- What needs to change for us to question some of the ideas about the conflict between the human rights approach and the concept of security? 


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