[Assam] Only in Desi-demokrasy!
assamrs at gmail.com
Wed Feb 4 04:16:26 IST 2009
Just my 2 cents...
This is an interesting situation.
A protest is definitely within the ambit of a democracy. There is no
argument there. But when it comes to a Bandh, I too think the SC was way
off. BAndhs ought to be banned outright.
But there are issues:
Gandhi used Bandhs as a non-violent tool frequently to lodge protests.
So, are such peaceful methods within the rules of a democracy (we will have
to ignore not all bandhs by Gandhi were peaceful - but I think they
generally were)? Were Gandhian methods undemocratic in that sense?
What happens when say a group of villagers protest against a dam
construction or are against some logging - and try and stop those. Will that
action be considered undemocratic?
In this kind of thing, some people will be affected (say those who make a
living in the logging industry). Are those people's rights impinged upon?
Is this somewhat similar to a bandh that affects other people's lives and
impinging upon their rights to movement and earn a living, and basically
confining large masses of people by threats.
I'm not sure, but there seems to be a fine line where democratic rights end
and goondaism, threats, and coercions begin. The SC ought to know to protect
one and ban the other.
On Tue, Feb 3, 2009 at 4:02 PM, Dilip and Dil Deka <dilipdeka at yahoo.com>wrote:
> Protest by a group in a peaceful manner is a democratic right but a
> "Bandh" that forces everyone to shut down to show sympathy for a cause is
> not. A Bandh by nature causes one group to inconvenience another or more
> groups. That cannot be democratic.
> There are protest marches in USA too but the organizers have to notify the
> authority who provides police surveillance and control in the area of the
> protest so that it does not get out of hand. The area surrounding the
> protest does not shut down.I have not seen Bandh like activity in the cities
> I have lived in.
> I think the Indian SC ruling in 1997 was in the right direction.
> From: Chan Mahanta <cmahanta at charter.net>
> To: assam at assamnet.org
> Sent: Tuesday, February 3, 2009 3:40:16 PM
> Subject: [Assam] Only in Desi-demokrasy!
> This is a pretty bizarre interpretation of 'democratic rights".
> Obviously their lordships are acutely aware of the fact that ordinary
> conflict resolution systems are dysfunctional, thus allowing what should
> be the last resort , the first resort in desi-demokrasy.
> It will be a lot of fun watching this now!
> >From ToI:
> SC does a U-turn, says bandhs OK in democracy
> 4 Feb 2009, 0220 hrs IST, Dhananjay Mahapatra, TNN
> NEW DELHI: Supreme Court on Tuesday termed bandhs as legitimate means of
> expressing people's feelings in a democracy, reversing a trend judiciary
> has followed since 1997 when it had come down hard upon political parties
> for causing inconvenience to the public by forcing shutdowns.
> The volte face, which will be celebrated by a political class which had
> chaffed at judiciary's opposition to chakka jams, came when the court
> refused to ban the Chennai bandh called for Wednesday to protest against the
> killings of civilians in Sri Lanka's military campaign against LTTE.
> The stark change of stand looked even more so because of the fact that the
> fresh position was outlined by a Bench headed by Chief Justice of India K G
> Balakrishnan. In 1997, the CJI was part of the Kerala High Court Bench which
> gave the landmark anti-bandh judgment. The judgment was upheld by the
> Supreme Court, setting the stage for similar rulings from other HCs.
> The court scheduled a hearing on the petition against the bandh only for
> February 16.
> On Tuesday, the Bench headed by CJI and comprising Justices P Sathasivam
> and J M Panchal observed that in a democratic country, everyone had the
> right to express their feelings: a remark that would be lapped up by
> political parties who never acquiesced to judiciary's stand against bandhs.
> The Bench was unmoved when Ajit Puduserry, appearing for petitioner J
> Satish Kumar, invoked the 1997 verdict of the Supreme Court.
> Pudussery argued that the bandh call given by an umbrella organisation of
> political parties -- Sri Lankan Tamils' Protection Movement -- was a
> violation of the order that the apex court gave upholding the Kerala HC's
> slamming of bandhs.
> The line did not work. "What has this court to do with stopping strikes?
> India is a democratic state where everyone has a right to express their
> feelings," retorted the Bench.
> The clock, clearly, has come full circle. In the 1997 judgment, the HC had
> said, "No political party or organisation can claim that it is entitled to
> paralyse industry and commerce in the entire state or nation and is entitled
> to prevent the citizens not in sympathy with its viewpoint from exercising
> their fundamental right or from performing their duties for their own
> benefits or for the benefit of the state or the nation."
> It added, "Such a claim would be unreasonable and could not be accepted as
> a legitimate exercise of a fundamental right by a political party or those
> comprising it." The order had met with thunderous applause from millions
> across the country.
> assam mailing list
> assam at assamnet.org
> assam mailing list
> assam at assamnet.org
More information about the assam