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Letter to BS: Test of governance lies in the capacity of regimes to listen

The ongoing violence in parts of Delhi pales before the fracas at the Jawaharlal Nehru University earlier

Business Standard 

Delhi violence
A security official stands in front of a burning shop following clashes over the new citizenship law, in Gokulpuri. PTI

Even in regimented autocracies, dissent is present in some form or the other. It has never been known to disappear and it simply simmers till it finds the right outlet. In avowed democracies, the test of governance lies in the capacity of the regimes to listen, respond to then channel disagreements to a greater purpose. The definition of the sedition from the Macaulay era has kept us stuck in a socio-political quagmire in this day and age of digital evolution.

The ongoing violence in parts of Delhi pales before the fracas at the Jawaharlal Nehru University earlier. If the latter was due to an ideological divide, the former has willy-nilly been reminiscent of darker periods in our history. In both the cases, policing ought to have been more proactive, professional and emancipated which wasn’t the case. Today, the Supreme Court too has underscored this in its observations on the report of the interlocutors on the Shaheen Bagh sit-in protests.

R Narayanan Navi Mumbai

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First Published: Wed, February 26 2020. 21:14 IST
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