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11 Oct, 2015

In India, beefed-up curbs, feeble resistance – The Hindu

by Anup Surendranath

Invariably, there are times in a Constitution’s life when its very fundamentals are under threat, times when the technicality of laws made under the powers of that Constitution are the very weapons used to undermine its foundations. Rarely do foundational threats to Constitutions come as sudden events, they often build up as liberties and freedoms are incrementally compromised. We are now perilously close to a moment where this is true of the Constitution of India as well.

From the perspective of the rule of law enshrined in the Constitution, it would be naïve to think that Dadri happened overnight. It is important to confront the tame manner in which rights are protected in this country and the ease with which the state can trample upon liberties and freedoms. Worse, Dadri is also a stark reminder of the extent to which we have surrendered our rights to the state. At the heart of Mohammad Akhlaq’s lynching is a group that has violently asserted a claim not to be offended, a legal regime that, through anti-cow slaughter laws, has given legitimacy to this claim, and a society that has allowed the state to chip away at the liberty of its people over the decades.

Read the rest: Beefed-up curbs, feeble resistance – The Hindu