POLITICAL INTERFERENCE AND ANALYSIS OF PUBLIC PROTESTS IN CAA PROTESTS
Its fight for democracy, where the seeds of a public political realm and a democratic Constitution is sown, forms the past of the Indian Constitution. The Indians fought hard and long to publicly share their views on colonial policies and legislation, to disagree with them, to mould their minds and form public opinion against them, to speak to them and to contest them against the nation. In Gandhi’s satyagraha, for instance, citizens not only signed formal petitions but organized dharnas, arranged massive international gatherings, peaceful marches and protests, and also started civil disobedience movements.
A cornerstone of Indian democracy is the freedom of people to protest. However, marches and protests sometimes take a violent turn while citizens should be allowed to peacefully assemble; recent examples are the Citizenship act, Muslim Women Protection Act, Kashmir protest related to Article 370 and Ram Mandir Judgement. All These four issues have invited protests. There’s no denying the fact the people have the right to protest u/a 19(1)(a) and 19(1)(b). But there’s also reasonable restrictions imposes on the article u/a 19(2) i.e. “Such fair restrictions shall be enforced in the interests of India ‘s sovereignty and dignity, of the protection of the State, of friendly ties with foreign States, of public order, of decency or morality, or of disrespect, defamation or incitement of an offence.”
“In Ramlila Maidan Incident v. Home Secretary, Union Of India & Ors., case (2012), the Supreme Court had stated, “Citizens have a fundamental right to assembly and peaceful protest which cannot be taken away by an arbitrary executive or legislative action.”
In politics, the validity of violence has its origins. There appears to be an unwritten arrangement between political parties that allows for the venting of steam by encouraging the loss of government property such as buses or rails. There may be larger consequences, more demonstrations, and a warning that the government will not provide people with the first aspect of governance, law and order, if personal property is lost. The cost of government property loss, on the other hand, is intangible. But in a resource-hungry nation like India, all such devastation has a direct impact on the manner in which taxes must be used to recover economic wealth. With much of India not paying direct taxes, it seems like a right to the economic consequences of such devastation.
Parliament and the government (the police in particular), need to come up to task. Home Minister Amit Shah is on course. “When a protest becomes violent then it is the duty of the police to contain the violence, and they did so,” he said. “As India heads into the next decade, all democratic institutions need to work together and ensure a zero-violence political atmosphere. On the other side, as in every democracy from the US and the UK to France and Italy, protests will continue. But protests are a democratic right, violence a crime”.
India’s modern politics must recognise the new demands of quiet civilians for governance; the time to pander to the noisiest is over; the time to use gender, class , caste, status, faith to gloss over crimes is behind us; the time to use intimidation as a weapon to bend the state’s will has expired. “As India steps into the next decade, let us do so with this dictum for protestors: violence has consequences”.
It’s an important part of society to protest. And not all opposition would be limited to legislatures or to communities of discussion. On the lane, others will take place. That is the core of politics, the way that democratic democracy derives vitality and sustenance from the people’s direct interference. Yet there is no basis for the strength of resistance to resort to abuse against the police, bystanders or other residents, or to property damage. The cops must show discipline. It is condemnable to invade campuses without being called in by the university officials concerned: it helps only to strengthen the image of a State bent on using coercion to quench any opposition.
As a way of addressing conflicts of opinion, any representative government would like to be seen as offering space for opposition and inviting debate and informed discourse. Police intervention that leaves no space for such an impression of the state is a disservice to all. For their part, demonstrators would understand that their demonstration would be derailed by brutality and arson: instead of concentrating attention on the main issue, attention would turn to the action of the protest, the response to it, the response to the reaction, and the remainder of the sequence of events. It will do well to keep the new legislation from leading to the national schism of the ruling party, opposition and volunteer community activists.
In the context of a supposed group activity, it is civil; it is violent in the degree to which physical coercion is used; it is political violence in the manner it employs violence to enforce political agendas. The currency of protests has been to deface buildings, destroy them, from students of Jawaharlal Nehru University to those in Jamia Millia Islamia. As the ‘movement’ gains traction beyond these haloed educational establishments, and non-students enter the orgy of abuse, public infrastructure has been lost. Seelampur, New Delhi, became the centre of crime, injuring 21 people, including 12 police officers and six civilians.
While none of the 10 detained are Jamia students, if inquiries expose their presence, the police do not rule out their arrests; 80 students are awaiting medical care. Most of all, more than 30 police officers have been wounded, with their hands tied; damned if they uphold law and order, damned if they do not. Gone is the presumption that this brutality is just a 15-second social media video and does not specifically impact us: aside from a bus with people seated in it, a school bus transporting kids was targeted by demonstrators, the police had to intervene to help kids de-board so that they could be escorted to safety.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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