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Majoritarianism is the antithesis of democracy, says Justice Gupta of SC | India News


NEW DELHI: Expressing serious concern over a “worrying” trend of brand dissidents such as anti-nationals or traitors, Supreme Court Judge Deepak Gupta said in a democracy The right to dissent is a precious right and the government has no right to repress a peaceful protest.
Speaking at a conference on “Democracy and dissent” organized by the Bar Association of the Supreme Court, Judge Deepak Gupta said that majorityism is an antithesis of democracy and that criticizing the government does not mean that one is “anti-national” or in Against the country. He said the government may not always be correct and that people should have the right and freedom to protest peacefully and express their opinion against the government.
When differentiating the government from the country, he said that the fact that one has an opinion contrary to the government does not mean that a lack of respect is being shown to the country. “Suppressing or discouraging dissent” has a chilling effect on democracy, he said.
“Criticism of the executive, the judiciary, the bureaucracy or the Armed Forces cannot be described as” anti-national. “In case we repress criticism of the institutions, be it the legislature, the executive or judicial power or other state agencies , we will become a police state instead of a democracy and this the founding fathers never expected this country to be, “he said. while he agrees with the recent speech of judge DY Chandrachud in the same line.
“Dissidence is essential in a democracy. If a country has to grow holistically where not only the economic rights, but also the civil rights of the citizen must be protected, dissent and disagreement should be allowed, and in fact, they should be encouraged. Only if there is discussion, disagreement and dialogue can we get better ways to manage the country, ”he said.
He said that the right to dissent, disagree and have another point of view is not only a constitutional right but also part of human rights and no one should be deprived of that right in a democracy. Judge Gupta said that the recent resolution passed by several bar associations for not appearing before a supposed anti-national person is worrisome, since it is against the norm and ethics.
“The majority government is an integral part of democracy, but majorityism is the antithesis of democracy. In a democracy like ours, where we have elections based on the principle of the last post, the Government in most cases does not represent the majority of the population, and often not even the electorate with the right to vote. Therefore, when those in power claim that they represent the will of all people, most of the time it is a totally unfounded claim. They may be the elected government voted in the first past by the postal system by a large number of voters, but it cannot be said that they represent all the will of the people, “he said.
“Even assuming that they represent more than 50% of the electorate, can it be said that the remaining 49% of the population has no voice in the operation of the country? Can you insist that the remaining 49% cannot speak for the next 5 years until the next elections are held? Should this 49% be totally ignored if it opposes what the Government says? In my opinion, the answer has to be a big “NO,” Judge Gupta said.
He said simply because certain groups that oppose those in power cannot take away the right to oppose what the Government proposes or to oppose any government action while the protest is peaceful. “The Government has no right to stifle or stifle protests while the protests are peaceful. Protest also means expressing dissent that is part of the legacy left by the father of the country in the form of the Civil Disobedience Movement, following the path of Ahimsa, “he said.
“Questioning, questioning, verifying, asking the government for responsibility is a right of all citizens under the Constitution. These rights should never be removed, otherwise we will become an unquestionable dying society, which cannot be further developed, ”he said.
“A free country is one in which there is freedom of expression and governance according to the rule of law. When power is not shared, there is no rule of law, there is no accountability, here there is abuse, corruption, subjugation and indignation. When the rule of law disappears, we are governed by the idiosyncrasy and whims of a few, “he said at the end of his speech reciting the poem by Rabindranath Tagore” Where the mind is without fear and the head is raised. ”

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