The recent resurgence of vigilantism in India connects both to the
neo-liberal project of outsourcing security, as well as to a longer history of porous
boundaries between states and powerful elements in society. When practiced by
subaltern groups, it also reflects the failure of the judicial system. This article
explores the moral plurality evoked by different forms of vigilantism and their
relationship to the state, as well as the different types of culpability they imply.
Keywords ■ India ■ Hindu Right ■ justice ■ Maoists ■ outsourcing ■ security
This article was published in Critique of Anthropology, 30 (1), March 2010, pp. 1-9. The full text is available at: