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

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State and the Future of Social Activism

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The death of Father Stan Swamy and several others as the tragic outcome of the arrest and detention without fair trial brings into critical focus the approach that the state has been adopting towards understanding social activism. In the ethics of democratic practice and constitutional morality, such an official approach would be evaluated as indiscrete, if not arbitrary, in comprehending the nature of social activism. Arguably, there is a spectrum on which social activism seems to operate. In this regard, it needs to be mentioned that the liberal orientation of the Indian Constitution does provide ground for a wide spectrum of social activism. Social activists adopt different methods of protest that are peaceful, non-violent, democratic and constitutional.

Most of the social activists find a rationale in the exercise of their democratic rights in the constitutional framework. These activists take sufficient care and caution while defending people’s rights against discrimination, displacement and exploitation. Such activism, thus, makes the Constitution a living document and democracy as the practice to enliven the document. Social activism that does not undermine democratic norms and respects the consensual core of the Constitution, and alerts the state towards its constitutional duty and commitment to democracy, needs to be duly recognised and perhaps respected by the state.

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Updated On : 31st Jul, 2021

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