India – Authoritarian State or Democracy?


Courtesy Google

For those firmly believe in the idea of India, the morning of 3 January was nothing less than that of  a shocker. Triple blows punched the balloon of the myth of Indian democracy into non existence. The State yet again tried to over step its powers and dictate terms of living to the citizens.

The day began with the raging debate surrounding comments by Minister in charge of Women and Child Welfare, in the state of Karnataka, where he advised women to keep “skin show” in check to avoid being raped by men. To add fuel to the fire, the head of the “committee against harassment of women” in Bangalore University, endorsed the minister. She claimed, nothing short of a saree worn with full sleeved blouses qualify as modest outfit for women.

As people recovered from the “saree fatwa”, a new bomb exploded. News trickled in that the government of Madhya Pradesh has passed a law making eating beef a punishable offence with jail term of 7 years. Imagine, eating cow on the same pulpit as rape in the hierarchy of crimes!


Courtesy understandingsociety dot blogspot dot com

These two events are surpassed in gravity by the tragic killing of a teenage student in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, a day before. Another example of high handedness of the state – an innocent life lost simply because he was a by stander at a protest against power crisis. The state has virtually become a graveyard for human rights, innocents sandwiched between the state and the militants.

These unrelated events that unfolded within a span on twenty four hours, expose the journey of India from a democracy towards authoritarianism. This ploy to gain complete control over public life, including their thought process, grimly transports me to “Hirak Rajar Deshe”, how uncanny is the resemblance of the present with the world depicted on celluloid!

Questions of morality and modesty of woman’s dressing have been answered by yours truly in various previous posts, which you can read if interested here and here. On the question of banning a particular meat because of religious connotations, i am completely baffled. Religion is a personal prejudice of an individual. The State has no business forcing its own notions on everyone, especially when many do not want to subscribe to the view adopted by the State.

I have always supported the repeal of draconian AFSPA and any law which gives absolute powers to institutions. From what i have heard from people residing in the state of Kashmir, it is clear that Army treats Kashmir like its Zamindari, for the “favour” it is doing India by fighting against militancy. Just like rich Zamindars have fanned the rise of Maoism in rural tribal Indian belt, the arrogance and indifference of State forces in Kashmir have fanned anti military sentiments across the province.

Until 2 July 2009, the State even wanted to control the private sex lives of citizens with draconian article 377 of IPC. Thanks to Justice A P Shah, has no legal sanctity anymore. But the continued efforts on part of Indian State to monitor the social life of citizens only evokes fears in my heart. Is India soon going to join the league of nations like China?

Long Live Democracy

Courtesy The Hindu

About Agnivo Niyogi

Typical Aantel, reader, blogger, news addict, opinionated. Digital media enthusiast. Didi fanboi. Joy Bangla!

Posted on January 4, 2012, in Politics, Social Issues and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. aditya nandode

    The law r just a way to grab votes in UP. And other things r just idiotic blabber.


  2. India is too anarchic to ever turn authoritarian.. but the events you’ve mentioned are worrisome indeed.


  3. If you back a political group with authoritarian personality an authoritarian state will result. And now you are unhappy with your own creation! such is your misery.


  4. At my age I can only smile at your zeal. Some people of my salad days had tried to do something about the jokers in parliament and assemblies. I too had joined them in zest but succeeded in shaking no one but our hapless parents and, at extreme moments, mourning the missing friends. Had to give up in disgust!
    I still believe, Agni, that the b******s need a good shake up in the most unparliamentary manner, though the agni inside me no longer burns as it once did. And, much to my own consternation, I have come to see that democracy is the best form of people’s representation, though I don’t see eye to eye with the electoral process.
    They are thieving b******s, most of them barring a handful, and will continue to be so till we find out how to assert our rights. Lokpal/lokayukt/janlokpal are useless bakwas, as you can see. What’s the point of your blog when so many in this country do not have two square meals a day, or access to medical aid, or the assurance of an impartial juridical system?


  5. So many issues..well for a while leave dresses for woman,let’s take beef issue.It starts with the very basic question of wat is crime.The standard answer is Crime is an act which society rejects & attaches penalty to it.Add with it the issue of wat to i would like to add the issue of wat you eat.okay well I ask the author whether she eats beef?if yes than she must be aware of how sensitive this issue is.It can trigger riots is some parts of india.& if people die over cow slaughter issue the author will simply write an article on inefficiency of police & if to prevent/control riots police use force author will raise the question of human rights. Both ways it’s a win win situatation for the author who has all the rights to raise questions & absolutely no responsibilty……

    Arvind Lomsh


    • agnidattagupta

      1. Dear Arvind, i presume you can read. So i am curious to know how you missed my Display Pic and description where it is clearly evident, i am a boy.

      2. The whole point of writing this post was to hit out the main reason of the “it can cause riots” theory – religion. Religion has no business deciding what a person can eat or wear. Society is formed by people and people must decide what is right or wrong, not take whatever has been in practice thousands of years ago as right. Society evolves and must continue to do so…..

      3. As for my personal food habits, yes. I eat everything that is edible and which my physiology permits.


      • Agni and Agni’s utopian ideas. In India, society and religion are inseparable. May be religion should not have any business deciding one’s fooding, clothing and lodging habits…but in reality it does dictate. Society evolves…but I hope not to witness India’s deliverance…


  6. Dear Author ,

    The day i wrote my post the dp was of a kid.Normally women use the pic of babies,& I am a punjabi…the name has two surmaes…datta & gupta..gals again use this.Anyways post was written at the moment i read it.Is gender really that important?..Now sir let’s come to issue again..What you eat it’s your choice you do it.I tell you one of my friends goes to china frequently..& chinese eat everything..He eats mutton/chicken/fish here but ask waiter every time what are the ingredients of a dish he is askin for.I myself an ova lacto vegetarian check the green sign on packing wen i go fr pizza or anything like that.

    I am sure even if govt.allow the beef no resaurant will serve it.Majority of indian ppl will oppose beef as an acceptable item in our kitchen like muslims too are against a particular animal.
    Dear sir i again request you to not to make a legal rights issue.Can’t we people stop eating/selling beef just to respect the emotions/religion of other Indians.Like we friends never order anything non veg if a jain friend is with us.

    Will continue to write to you on other issues like human rights/police atrocities from perspective which is different from you.

    Arvind Lomsh


    • agnidattagupta

      Just like you are saying respect other people’s sentiments and dont eat animals which they respect, same can be said by me. Respect other people’s sentiments and let them eat what they want to. A government has no business deciding what one can eat and what one cannot. It should be left to the choice of the person who is eating


  7. hi,
    Important question is cow slaughter.& cow slaughter is banned.Dear author is alright when he says it should be left alone to the choice of person.Now lawmakers have to look at law from different angles.I give you some examples.
    1.Smoking marijuana is legal but to buy/sell same is crime.
    2. Prostitution is legal but organised prostitution is a crime.
    3.playing cards is legal but providing people place for the same is crime.
    4.Drinking whisky/smoking is legal but crime if we do it at a public place.

    Dear sir i am not a lawyer .Legal experts interpret same law in different ways.Let it be their business.I am no body to raise question on a law.You have your opinion.I have mine…we are entitled to our opinion in a democracy… offence intended in any of my replies.Normally i comment on the post of a person if i feel he is wiser than me.I learn from it.



  8. In Bangladesh muslims don’t eat pork.But its allowed to sell pork in certain areas here.Chritians and some tribal people eat pork.Its never a political issue with any political parties here.That includes Jamat-e-Islami!! All 5 star hotels serve pork,ham sausages.I know atleast 2 shopsin Dhaka where porks are sold. I don’t eat pork knowingly.But don’t mind eating suasages while travelling abroad.Yes I support the view that state has no business whatsoever in deciding who eats what!In BD we have Hindu hotels where no beef is served.It never created problems for Hindu and muslim Bangali living side by side.Why should it be such a big issue in a democratic and secular India? It seems the author is right.India is gradually losing democratic and secular character!!


    • Hmmm…..i am not eligible to talk about Bangladesh since i do not live there. But i can say that the present govt has tried its best not to let Islamists hijack the Constitution of Bangladesh, unlike a few states in India which are playing according to the whims of Hindu organisations


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