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Communal Clashes in Delhi

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Continuous protests throughout the country and provocative hate spee­ches by the political class, time and again, have questioned the basic bedrock of our democratic credentials. Our democracy seems to be under immense threat in the present circumstances. This threat reached its zenith when the nation witnessed horrendous street clashes in the north-eastern region of Delhi. One could not expect what we saw in the name of “Hindu–Muslim.” The misuse of the state machinery against its own citizens is a proven case of lawlessness in the society. Its unjustifiable nature is an attack on the rule of law and criminal law, which are construed as cardinal stones of free democracies.

The foremost duty of any state is to protect its citizens. However, the ideological differences between political parties have resulted in creating an unsafe space in which the common person lives. The violation of laws is a cause of concern in the present scenario. It needs immediate attention and scrutiny, instead of being shunned as the “politics of the day.” We have to understand that a dissenter is not an “anti-national,” as rightly observed by Supreme Court judge Justice Deepak Gupta while giving a lecture on “demo­cracy and dissent.” Justice Gupta has critically stated that a ­democracy is for 100% of the people. The government is for everyone. Everyone plays a role in demo­cracy. Peaceful protest and dissent are the rights of every individual, as mandated by the Constitution.

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