Republic of unfreedom - IAMC
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Republic of unfreedom

 By Suhas Palshikar

It is customary to celebrate Republic Day with a display of state might. When the practice began, there must have been a benign hope that the state represents the people and also takes it upon itself to strengthen the essence of citizenship – personal liberties. The irony behind this is two-fold. One, it sidetracks the essence of democracy – the power of citizens. Two, the state often turns out to be the main threat to citizen power.

This irony gets grotesquely represented through current happenings within the republic. The new year began with the determination of the state to employ two different legal instruments to handle views the establishment abhors. Sedition law is invoked to implicate JNU students and action against activist-intellectual Anand Teltumbde advances on the basis of UAPA.…

Beyond the lament, a critical question stares us in the face. How do we reconcile the democratic enthusiasm of large sections of the citizenry with a pathetic acceptance of state power that jeopardises the democratic spirit?…