ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Living beyond Disagreement

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An enduring conflict between the right to expression and its suppression in different forms and to different degrees by various forces, including the state and its apparatus, has become a chronic problem for democracy. It is quite unfortunate that the state and its different arms, particularly the police aided by a section of “motivated” media, both print and visual, have been providing the stimuli that, by implication, invokes the resultant res­ponse from those who feel increasingly pushed into a corner. Arguably, the disagreement with the structure and institutions that are accused of suppressing such disagreement is not arbitrary. In fact, it is the result of the arbitrariness on the part of these institutions.

The expression of constitutionally defensible thought and the sets of individual rights become a possibility only when they are accompanied by an act of agreement as well as disagreement. But the present dispensation does not seem to respect or appreciate such a possibility. On the contrary, the act of disagreement has been seen as a threat to the political system and social order. However, it would be unfair to prejudge the act of disagreement or dissent as objectionable, especially when the political activists themselves have been claiming that their public expressions are supportive of peace and harmony in society. And yet, such a commitment to democratic values has been seen by the police as possible grounds for the arrest of some of the political activists. The police are further accused of acting selectively, thus leaving others’ “explosive expression” untouched.

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Updated On : 5th Oct, 2020

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