VIOLENT PROTEST IN CONSTITUTIONAL DEMOCRACY


This article is written by Devnashi Vyas, a student at Banasthali University.




INTRODUCTION


We need to support any pole, neutrality succour the oppressor and not the victim. Tranquillity cheers the tormentor and never the tormented.


We should never be petrified to hoist our voice for uprightness, honesty, truth, and injustice. If mankind all over the globe would do this, it would refashion the globe.”


Protests are of prime importance in all civil societies, as they furnish individuals and groups with an efficacious chance to roar in public via any means, for example social media.


VIOLENT v. NON – VIOLENT PROTEST


Father of our nation preached non-violence. He termed it as the greatest force. Not only he had just said it but had also shown to the world at large its power by using it as a weapon to free India.

When the people protesting peacefully freaks out ( it may be due to many reasons) and use force protest convert into a violent one which is not legal. Studies have shown that peaceful protest is more fruitful than violent.


PROTEST AS THE WATCHDOG OF GOVERNMENT


The protests are done to raise voice against the wrong done of authorities.

This political right even works as a watchdog against government unwanted decisions.

Democracy is based on two important pillars first, to vote and elect our representative ie government and if it is not able to stand as per our expectation then to replace it out in the next election. This helps to maintain stability in the society, protest is an alarm to the present government that people are not happy, it’s a signal that either you fulfill their legitimate expectation and if not possible give them reasonable restrictions (as they have right to ask you question( to the government) and you ( government) are liable to answer,) or they will throw you out in the next election. The government just can't force its decision on the public, they have to consider us as we make our country and we have given them the power to run our country effectively so that our country can develop and not just its representatives and that too via illegal and unethical means.


INTERNATIONAL FRAMEWORK


The European Convention on Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966 in its Article 9 and 10 talks about various freedoms including the freedom of speech and expression but this is also limited by certain reasonable restrictions.


VIOLENT PROTEST UNDER CONSTITUTIONAL DEMOCRACY


The word democracy has its origin from the Greek word which means “Rule by the People.”

India is governed by its Constitution, it makes up the edifice of the government, it is outlined to keep a check on the government so that people can freely exercise their rights and liabilities. Here, will of people is the ultimate source of ability, this is made sure by our law of the land.


Under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution we have freedom of speech and expressions and Article 19(1)(b) provide us right to assemble peacefully without arms however these rights are not absolute and are restricted by Article 19 itself. Under Article 21, 25(1), 29(2), 30(1), 30(2) also linked with our right to protest freely.


Ramlila Maidan Incident v. Home Secretary, UOI

In this case, the Supreme Court stated that citizens have the right to under Article 19 to assemble and peaceful protest and this right cannot be taken away by an arbitrary executive and legislative machinery.


Maneka Gandhi v U.O.I


Justice Bhagwati, in this case, held that if the meaning of democracy is that the government is for the people, by the people then it is evident that it is the right of the citizens to take an active part in the democratic process and to do so he is authorized to discuss upon public matters.


The rights are given to the citizens under Article 19 (1) and 19(3) are not absolute in nature but are limited by certain reasonable restrictions that are mentioned in Article 19 of the Constitution and also under Indian Penal Code (Sections 107, 144, 145 ), 1860; Criminal Procedure Code,1908 (Sections 107, 144, 145 ) and the Police Act of 1861.


Though it is the duty of the state government to deal with the subject of police as per the Constitution central government can interfere in some emergent situations. The central government can send Central Armed Forces to aide the police authorities at the state level. The central and the state government should in a harmonious manner make effective strategies to maintain law and order.


Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan v UOI

In this case, SC held that the right to protest under Article 19 is restricted by certain limitations which are effective for the smooth working of the democracy.


CONCLUSION


Under the Constitution, every citizen has the fundamental right to protest peacefully and in case of violent protest state government with the help of central government which always turn up can take series of action against the unlawful assembly. The problem lies with the count of these authorities which are very less than required and to present officials adequate training should be given. Every state can have a special task force to deal with the violent protest which will be more fruitful as no outside authority would be needed. We have adequate laws all we need is effective enforcement of the same. We should protest peacefully and not violently as the violent protest does no good.


Disclaimer: This article is an original submission of the Author,

NLR does not hold any liability arising out of this article.




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