Business Standard

Why it's time to rethink protests

Far from being an annoyance, mass movements are the only legitimate way of engaging the government today

protests, democracy

Illustration: Binay Sinha

Aakar Patel
In one of his books V S Naipaul describes a protest in India. He is visiting during a general election and the protestors are in a village in Rajasthan. The population has a civic problem (if memory serves correctly, it is about a lack of water). The people have reached the end of their tether with the state apparatus and congregate to show their displeasure. They raise some slogans. The district magistrate appears and makes soothing noises. The crowd dissipates. The problem remains but, Naipaul writes, having put up a show, the crowd does not see it necessary to do
Disclaimer: These are personal views of the writer. They do not necessarily reflect the opinion of or the Business Standard newspaper

Don't miss the most important news and views of the day. Get them on our Telegram channel

First Published: Jan 21 2021 | 10:53 PM IST

Explore News

To read the full story, subscribe to BS Premium now, at just Rs 249/ month.

Key stories on are available only to BS Premium subscribers.

Register to