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

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Truth of Protest


The current protests that are happening at several places in India against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act seem to have added after a long time, if not for the first time, a new meaning that makes the understanding of public protests quite expansive. These protests offer us expansive meanings in two distinct senses. First, the normative thrust of these protests is to bring to the centre of public attention what could be seen as the Gandhian notion of nation, which is based on the twin values of peace and social harmony. Second, these protests also invoke B R Ambedkar who, among other things, is known for producing the constitutional moment. The constitutional moment involves his concept of constitutional democracy as well as democratic nationalism.

Constitutional democracy makes it legally mandatory for the ruling authority to protect the rights of individuals and minorities. In Ambedkar, there is a unique conception of democratic nationalism, which makes the meaning of nationalism complete on account of the latter being infused with the democratic value of equal respect for human beings. Both M K Gandhi and Ambedkar, therefore, offer access to the universal truth that entails within it the normative conception of the nation based on peace, and of a nation that draws its essence from democratic values such as freedom. Arguably, since both these thinkers are an embodiment of the universal truth, both are universalizable.

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Published On : 20th Jan, 2024

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