Even as I hear the Supreme Court calling sedition, a ‘colonial’ law, I also hear that a hundred farmers have been slapped with the same ‘colonial’ law for protesting!
I agree, nobody likes his car stopped on a highway, especially a Speaker!
But that’s democracy!
Just as a government is allowed to pass laws, a democratic constitution gives citizens the right to protest against those same laws. Trying to put a protestor in jail is not democracy! Let me explain: How often we have seen our children or some other child throwing a tantrum. They shout and yell and scream a lot of nonsense. You can do two things, slap the child hard or reason with the child.
When you slap the child you never get to know the reason for the tantrum. It could be a bullying elder brother, it could be some injustice or it could also just be a spoiled brat. But in getting to know by questioning, you get to the root of the problem and a good parent, searches for a solution. Otherwise that child who has suppressed such feelings of anger will show it in some other way.
That ‘other way’ which comes out later is quite often what we call terrorism. I am not saying, all terrorism stems from not being heard, but a lot of supporters of terrorism, can be turned away from supporting terrorist activities by giving them a patient ear.
Instead we put them in jail for sedition and when you do this and a group of people realise they cannot legitimately protest they react by creating destruction! They use destruction to be heard, and think terrorism is a way of making people listen!
Such thoughts and solutions must have rankled the minds of the drafters of our Constitution when they defined the concept of Indian democracy! They gave a voice to the people, even if some were raised in anger!
Many years ago, slums in the city were horrible and filthy. But after many protests, many morchas, much inconvenience to many of us, today, when I walk into those same slums, what a dramatic change there is; clean, hygienic, and a smile on the faces of the same people who once protested on the streets, demanding cleaner living conditions!
People heard their protests and did something. If they had not listened those same slum people could have forcibly taken over our homes or gone on to destructive ways of robberies, looting and terror!
Yes, I agree, nobody likes protests, especially we who are inconvenienced. But accept protests as part of a healthy concept and stop using sedition as a convenient tool. It will only break our fragile democracy, we have fought so hard to retain in our country..!
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