Editorial

Muffling democracy

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 9/1/2018 12:32:06 PM IST

 There is a growing debate about the arrest of five leading human rights activists and intellectuals for alleged Maoist links and for their purported role in the Koregaon Bhima violence, near Pune, in December, 2017. The five are people who are considered as leading human rights activists and intellectuals and who are accused of allegedly having Maoist links and for their purported role in the Koregaon Bhima violence, near Pune, in December, 2017. Whether it is the extreme left or any political, social, economic thought and action even slightly left of centre, it is viewed with a hostility bordering on hatred by the middle class. The debate itself is polarized under the existing ventilation of divisiveness. Therefore, without malice to any, the issue is whether the five activists were guilty or not of treason. This is a matter that will have to be ascertained but the very nature of the charges based on some specious evidences is a sad reflection of the manner in which today, such actions sadly reflect a democratically elected government that has the untrammeled right to crush dissent by fair means or foul. Disillusioned with the corruption and messiness of politics, the Indian middle class was looking for quick-fix solutions in the guise of a messiah, which they found in Narendra Modi. Having elected him PM in 2014, the citizenry has been particularly lazy by promptly suspending the last vestiges of independent thinking and prefers to let him formulate and articulate what and who is ‘national’ or ‘anti-national’ - the ultimate litmus test of the country’s welfare and interest. The state law and order machinery, be it at the Centre of states- are following a path of ‘targeting’ cadres holding divergent or opposing ideologies from the RSS/BJP ideology. It does not pay for any organization that believes in freedom of speech and action that are anathema to the ruling dispensation. Be it in politics or in ideological or religious field, the Modi government has been utilizing the serviced of either the state law and order or enforcement agencies to track and crack down on critics ,those who dissent from their views or those considered as ‘enemies’ (a.k.a. anti-nationals). In the above case of arrest of the five activists, the police had two descriptions of the accused- first they were dubbed as ultra rightists and then they were dubbed as naxals. What this points is that the government would go to any lengths to get at those at the other side by following the classic maxim ‘call a dog mad and then shoot it’. On the one hand, the entire political opposition has been systematically vilified and discredited, while on the other hand, all kinds of dissenters, protestors, individuals and institutions that decry, criticize or agitate against the government, central or state, have been branded as leftists, liberals, ‘sickulars’, anti-nationals, ‘tukde-tukde gang’, Maoists or Naxals and bunched together as enemies of the state. A government in power need not hold an unflattering view of itself as having the mandate of the people. This mandate is not based on popularity but on the number of seats won and also obtaining majority through alliances. In addition, the mandate is restricted to five years and that too for issues that were promised in the election manifesto. However, the writ of the constitution overrides any ideology or mandate. But this is where the problem lies today.

 

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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