Stifling Democracy Sans Emergency – By Adovate Prashant Bhushan

We frequently say that the Emergency of 1975-1977 was the worst period for India’s democracy.… However,… The last six years have been a watershed in the functioning of our democracy, the protection of fundamental rights as well as the health of institutions. These years have witnessed an unprecedented assault on various elements of democracy, on rights and institutions.

During these years we have seen an unprecedented assault on the freedom of speech and the right to dissent.…False information or fake news which is designed to generate hate against Muslims in particular, is being generated and spread on a mammoth scale by the social media organisation affiliated with the BJP and its assorted lapdog media. This has created a feeling of hopelessness and helplessness among large sections of minorities in particular, as well as dalits, especially when they see the administration including the judicial administration being reduced to bystanders. The use of draconian laws like UAPA and NSA particularly on hapless sections of minorities including dalits have accentuated the injustice and the climate of fear among them.…

Thus, taking an overview of the present situation, it cannot be safely maintained that democracy and its institutions today are better and more robust than they were during the Emergency. The gains made in the 40 years after the emergency have been rapidly eroded by the assault on institutions and rights that we have seen, particularly, in the last six years.

https://www.livelaw.in/columns/stifling-democracy-sans-emergency-159041

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