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

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Violence as Parenthesis


The response of the central government and its supporters to the protests that were organised against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) has brought into focus the complex nature of violence. In the current context of the protests, there seems to be a few points that we need to take into consideration. The government, in its attempts to underscore the social importance of peace, seeks to condemn the act of violence. Thus, it is its overdetermining concern for peace that results in the incorporation of illegitimacy in the meaning of violence. That is to say, violence is invariably undesirable and needs to be rejected in totality. One may find some merit in such desire for complete non-violent protest. But, it would be unfair to define violence in singular relation to the recent student protests, which were, by and large, non-violent in nature.

Arguably, the protest is based on certain guiding posts. For the protestors, the guiding post in the negative sense consists of both reality as well as promise. What does it promise? Anxiety, uncertainty, and insecurity? What is real is the police brutality and police violence against the students. Guiding posts in the positive sense would include the question: What should the state promise? Plurality, stability and, confidence to the people? Arguably, guiding posts are aimed at legally assessing the constitutional validity of the act passed by Parliament. And the protests were also aimed at alerting the people about the possible consequences such an act has for diversity and perhaps secularism.

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Updated On : 30th Dec, 2019
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