Millennium Post

The British legacy

The British legacy

Sedition is categorically is any conduct or speech that incites people to rebel against the authority of a state or monarch. Having a law against sedition speaks of the authority that not governs but seeks to rule people. In a more fundamental sense, the notion of sedition runs counter to the constitutionally granted freedom for speech and expression. A Supreme Court judge has gone on record to say that criticism directed against the government, the army, judiciary cannot be construed as sedition. It is true that a democratically elected government reflects the will of the people and that in accordance with democratic values, respect for minority rights and their voice is sacroscant. Any reasonable voice of dissent against the government seeks to draw attention to a certain matter gone out of order. When dissent is quelled in stead of being resolved, the voice of the minority also gets muffled. At the end of it, squashing dissent is an undemocratic exercise. And as far as sedition goes, it is a tool to validate this undemocratic provision. The sedition law that India still upholds is a British legacy, a provision the British made to use against the Indian people. It is unwarrantable that this practice has not changed. Public institutions are meant to serve people and if there is something that puts the common people at unease, it is a matter to be duly addressed and resolved, not lablled as an illegal conduct. Sedition cannot be a welcome concept in a healthy democracy and the only alternative to it is to simply listen to what the rebelling voices say.

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