[Assam] Only in Desi-demokrasy!
cmahanta at charter.net
Wed Feb 4 22:10:23 IST 2009
*** I agree. I suspect that their lordships took a 'literal' and very
narrow interpretation of the Indian constitutional right of
But a 'bandh' is much more than peaceful assembly , because it
deprives OTHERS of their RIGHTS of
movement, of going to work to earn a living, of going to the
hospital , of performing a daughter's wedding, so on and so forth;
DEPRIVING them of THEIR liberties and even lives by depriving of
emergency medical care; by the application of coercive forces.
In the American constitution, there is a clause ( the IXth
Amendment) which clearly states that:
"The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be
construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."
One would have hoped that something similar exists in the Indian
constitution, and if not, then their lordships would have exercised
their wisdoms and discretions in NOT trampling on those with their
At 2:02 PM -0800 2/3/09, Dilip and Dil Deka 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
>It will be a lot of fun watching this now!
>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
>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.
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