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

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Indian Democracy at Aesthetic Disadvantage

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The Indian democracy has been put at an aesthetic disadvantage, which has caused two interrelated problems: the increasing use of morally offensive language in the speeches made by politicians in every round of general and midterm elections, and the inability of public institutions to curb these problems. The electoral campaigns in Assam and West Bengal have witnessed a spate of communally divisive and morally offensive language that does not bring any decency to democratic ethos. We, in fact, require no interpretation to show that such expressions are against the basic norms of civility that are enshrined in the Indian Constitution. It is needless to mention that the Constitution provides for civility norms such as tolerance of dissenting voices and issue-based debates couched in an argumentative language.

Those who are in the business of electoral politics are expected to follow constitutional norms of civility and, hence, are supposed to follow the argument in order to communicate the significance of their political position. Constitutionalism ensures a certain degree of civility among people, political leaders and heads of institutions. It guides people to develop the moral capacity to restrain from ridiculing political opponents, tolerate dissent and refrain from causing verbal violence based on gender and caste. This would, in fact, cultivate among the voters a sense of critical acceptance and appreciation of a particular position. Put differently, the political leaders are supposed to take their guidance from the Constitution and refrain from using words that would wound somebody’s ethically integrated personality as well as cause greater moral damage to healthy democratic culture.

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Updated On : 24th Apr, 2021

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