ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Futility of Fighting the Police

When the police violently crush protesters to shield those in power, the right to dissent stands defeated.

The over-the-top police violence inflicted on the students and teachers of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) who were peacefully conducting a protest march to Parliament on 23 March 2018, had elicited shocked reactions. I was equally shocked, but hardly surprised. In fact, I am surprised that so many people were so surprised about the police action.

I think the police’s response to agitations of this sort has been quite uniform and predictable over time and space. By this, I don’t mean to justify their mindlessly brutal, even sadistic, methods of quelling protests. But, once the whistles are blown and the order given to disperse the crowd, you can only expect brutality from the police personnel towards protesters, be they students, members of North East tribal organisations, ex-servicemen, Maruti Suzuki workers, or Aam Aadmi Party activists. The differences, if any, are of degree and not of kind.

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Updated On : 27th Jan, 2021

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