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Focus on fundamental rights makes India stronger, not weaker

Yielding to rights-based politics makes democracy more stable. It furthers its legitimisation with the masses and situates its actions in the context of constitutionality.

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Bharat Bhushan
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s assertion that a focus on “rights” has made India weak and everyone must walk the path of “duties” for the next 25 years as penance (tapsya) is puzzling and perhaps alarming. Rights-based interventions neither shrink Indian democracy nor weaken it. They have actually helped expand it by correcting the exclusionary practices and structural inequities of Indian society.

Drawing a link between performances of duties to earn the conferment of rights is a proposition with no constitutional legitimacy. Fundamental rights such as right to equality and non-discrimination, the right to life, freedom of speech and religion, are
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First Published: Jan 24 2022 | 9:35 AM IST

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