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

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Farmers’ Protest and State Power

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Who has the discursive power and political context to not only assign but also stabilise the meaning of state power? Who has the political stamina to confirm the character of the state? These questions have a relevance in the context of the current farmers’ protest. There have been multiple readings of the nature of state power, depending on the nature of relationship that different sociopolitical groups have with the state. For example, the state’s passive response to violence and, sometimes, active involvement in such violence against women leads women to rightly characterise the state as patriarchal. Gender violence, particularly against Dalit women, leads to relative expansive characterisation of the state, which, for Dalit women, is not only patriarchal but also Brahminical. For Adivasis, the state is both coercive and callous. For minorities, the state, led by a right-wing party, is necessarily communal. For the liberals, the state becomes authoritarian on account of its attempts to suppress a set of rights and democratic ideals. However, the character of the state gets defined in terms of the critical and confrontationalist relation between the state and various embattled social groups. It is shaped by what is immediate and empirically visible. In such a confrontation, the victim and the tormentor are face to face.

In this regard, it is interesting to note that the right-wing ruling party at the centre has chosen to attack the leftist and liberal understanding of the state. It sought, therefore, to discount the leftist materialist understanding of the right-wing concept of the state and, on the other hand, it made a constant attempt to ridicule the efforts made by the leaders from the Congress party, which continues to associate the ruling party with corporate interests.

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Updated On : 16th Jan, 2021

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