Sunday, October 31, 2010

Courts invoking the occult

Even in an elementary liberal sense, shouldn’t the right to dissent or even rebel and secede be granted to citizens as both individuals and groups? What else do we have our liberal constitution and its florid, archaic prose for?
… if there is no right to secede, then we are all prisoners of the present nation-state, including its territorial boundaries. At least I do not interpret our “liberal” constitution in that way. “To uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India” might well involve redrawing the boundaries (secession) and/or renegotiating sovereignty within existing boundaries (rebellion). The constitution did not say the “unity of India as of 15.8.1947″ (or any such date). By Uday on October 30, 2010 at 8:23 AM Reply]

[The Telegraph - Calcutta (Kolkata) | Opinion | The Ayodhya judgment - Any retreat to pre-modernity is dangerous for democracy 12 Oct 2010 Prabhat Patnaik 
There are three obvious problems with the Allahabad High Court judgment on the Babri Masjid issue. Each of them in isolation is potentially damaging for the constitutional fabric of the country; together they can cause irreparable harm. …
Secondly, issues like this leave behind wounds that fester and can cause damage later even if there is no immediate cause for concern. Justice needs to be done, in a manner that is in conformity with the blindness of the maiden. That is the only firm basis on which a modern State can be built; and the resolution of even specific issues like this lies ultimately in the building of such a modern State. Hopefully, the Supreme Court to which the matter will be referred will be mindful of the pitfalls of quick fixes and will uphold scrupulously the cause of law. The author is professor, Centre for Economic Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi]

All these years the Constitution of India had seemed to be a very secure and mature shelter. No longer. It looks like there are one thousand and one misgivings about it by various quarters. Courts invoking the occult and anarchists marshalling their dubious polemics can prove too costly for the health of the nation and its reliance on parliamentary democracy. [TNM]   

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