The anti-democratic measures of a democracy

M.S. PRABHAKARA has a piece in The Hindu today on, among other things, the near-unanimous demand by the so-called progressive forces, seeking a ban on those inciting communal tension in Baba Budangiri from entering Chikamagalur district, and an “externment” of all those already engaged in such communal mobilisation.

Concepts like preventive arrests, banning entry of citizens, and banishing trouble-makers, he says, are vestiges of colonial rule devised by colonial rulers to stop people from fighting their legitimate, even necessary, political battles. That democratic India has seamlessly appropriate such oppressive features is sad.

“Assuming that the State concedes such a demand, would communal mobilisation be all right if it takes place outside Baba Budangiri or outside Chikmagalur district? This ‘Not In My Backyard’ mindset, with its open invitation to the State to use anti-democratic measures, poses grave dangers to the very democratic values that those protesting communal mobilisation seek to advance. Indeed, measures like externment or political detention are, of their nature, double-edged swords that make no distinction between democrats and fascists.”

Read the full article: Avaunt, thee wretch!