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12 Mar, 2016

No freedom without dissent – The Hindu

There is an opinion that India has come into its natural inheritance only after the election of a majority government in May 2014. It is argued that the past 60-odd years of the Indian Republic were a mere epilogue to an empire and a Western era that had not fully died in 1947. The Nehruvian consensus, it is urged, was a hypocritical cloak of minority appeasement within India, and a subservient bowing to Western domination abroad.

The counter-narrative of the Left agrees that there has been a subservience to the West, but it says that appeasement, if any, has been of the rich and of religious majorities. The third tale told is by apologists of the ancien régime, who narrate a process of steady economic rise and containment of social tensions, which have now been interrupted by a cataclysmic lurch towards virulent nationalism.

Yet another story is told by those who lead people’s movements in various parts of India, as a tale of perpetual struggle against whoever is in power in Delhi. These and other voices have contributed to the medley and melody of the argumentative Indian life that surrounds alike its villages and cities, bazaars and malls, and is daily amplified for the nation in television studios.

Read the rest: No freedom without dissent – The Hindu