Skip to main content
Sabrang
Sabrang
Politics Rule of Law

Emergence of ‘Super States’ in India

What happens when we allow our elected representatives to violate human rights in the name of “national security”?

Mubashir VP 13 Apr 2022

Anti CAA
Representation Image | PTI

Political scientists have critically analyzed that how States turned dictatorial and expeditiously abridged rule of law in the name of War of Terror. The corollary of West’s neo civilizational mission after September 11 was increased State’s power turning concept of Welfare State in democracy to Police State. Studies suggest that States abuses constitutional contours in pursuit of crusade against ‘projected vices’ under the veneer of sovereign security and maintenance of law and order.

Across the globe, the new political trend is the popular ascension of right-wing governments and populist polity at the exorbitant expense of democracy and integrity. Bogus concerns of national security are generously cited to trample upon civil liberties and procedure of Constitution is often circumvented to suit State’s ulterior motives. Abu Ghraib prison of America thus took birth to hunt down ‘perceived threats to State’. Gross Human rights violations are passed off as minor ‘adjustments’ in weeding out ‘fifth columns’.

Too much arbitrary power at the disposal of State does not augur well for a vibrant democracy. State is in fact minor indispensable evil vis-à-vis civil liberties and it assumes ghastly paternal figure when endowed with unbridled power without adequate checks and brakes. To execute summary justice with crass disdain to procedural fairness by a State is a guarantee to the emergence of powerful State.

‘Super States’ in India

Recent few incidences arouse the graver suspicion of whether India is in race to join the league of ‘Super States’. Populism got its crowning moment with Modi forming government in 2014. Aversion to ‘institutions’ and rush of the State to become both judge and executioner are the signature identities of populism. Incessant onslaughts on federalism and legislation without caring due process of law are pertinent pointers of this alarming trend.

But some states have shown advanced ill omens of ‘Super State’. Uttar Pradesh government’s vindictive crusades against ‘accused mafia gangs’ and anti-CAA protests exhumed the dormant abuse of the Constitution and procedures of natural justice. Police were conceded with sweeping immunity to use violence against the ‘accused’ without following the statutes of the book. The State became aggressive and executed summary execution.

UP government dismissed the anti-CAA protests as foul conspiracy hatched by ‘fringe elements’ to instigate revulsion against the government. Government was erroneously equated with State. Name-Shaming, compulsory forfeiting of property of ‘alleged miscreants’ and slapping of hefty fines were cheered by as bold steps. But the fact that State was wandering into extra-judicial territory with callous contempt of laws was conveniently ignored.

BJP government in Karnataka barring non-Hindu vendors from temple premises is also an example of State’s aggression of constitutional boundaries. Recent abrupt and arbitrary actions of Madhya Pradesh government to demolish illegal structures of ‘alleged accomplices’ in communal clashes following Ram Navami to ‘strike fear’ in the minds of perpetrators cannot be dismissed easily. Recurrence of such events begs serious discussion around the increasing trend of States infringing rights of people for judicial justice.

Extra-Constitutionalism is alien to Indian justice system

According to Indian laws, one is perceived as innocent until proved guilty. Only Judiciary can pronounce someone as guilty and award punishment. State can never replace the holy institution of Judiciary. Judicial trial is fundamental right and no State can contravene this sacrosanct right. Supreme Court has rebuked UP government for arbitrarily punishing anti-CAA protesters. Article 21 that stipulated ‘procedure established by law’ also includes ‘due process of law’. This has been reiterated by various courts. ‘Due Process of Law’ is a doctrine that not only checks if there is a law to deprive the life and personal liberty of a person but also ensures that the law is made fair and just.

These arbitrary actions are justified as ‘necessary tools’ to shield the peace in state. In the jostle to placate core voter base, civil liberties and human rights of minorities and marginalised sections are being trampled upon. Civil societies and judiciary have enormous onus not to fall prey to increasing authoritarian tendencies of States.

It is relevant to produce Supreme Court’s verdict rescinding Salwa Judum in 2011. “This case represents a yawning gap between the promise of principled exercise of power in a constitutional democracy and the reality of the situation in Chhattisgarh, where the state of Chhattisgarh, claims that it has a constitutional sanction to perpetrate, indefinitely, a regime of gross violation of human rights in a manner, and by adopting the same modes, as done by Maoist/Naxalite extremists,” said the apex court.

*The author is a journalism student at Indian Institute of Mass Communication, Delhi currently on internship with SabrangIndia.

Related:

Hashtags of Hate flood social media as Islamophobia grows

Madhya Pradesh’s Home Minister blames Muslims for Ram Navami day violence, justifies mass demolitions

Communal confrontations mar Ram Navami celebrations in five states

 

Emergence of ‘Super States’ in India

What happens when we allow our elected representatives to violate human rights in the name of “national security”?

Anti CAA
Representation Image | PTI

Political scientists have critically analyzed that how States turned dictatorial and expeditiously abridged rule of law in the name of War of Terror. The corollary of West’s neo civilizational mission after September 11 was increased State’s power turning concept of Welfare State in democracy to Police State. Studies suggest that States abuses constitutional contours in pursuit of crusade against ‘projected vices’ under the veneer of sovereign security and maintenance of law and order.

Across the globe, the new political trend is the popular ascension of right-wing governments and populist polity at the exorbitant expense of democracy and integrity. Bogus concerns of national security are generously cited to trample upon civil liberties and procedure of Constitution is often circumvented to suit State’s ulterior motives. Abu Ghraib prison of America thus took birth to hunt down ‘perceived threats to State’. Gross Human rights violations are passed off as minor ‘adjustments’ in weeding out ‘fifth columns’.

Too much arbitrary power at the disposal of State does not augur well for a vibrant democracy. State is in fact minor indispensable evil vis-à-vis civil liberties and it assumes ghastly paternal figure when endowed with unbridled power without adequate checks and brakes. To execute summary justice with crass disdain to procedural fairness by a State is a guarantee to the emergence of powerful State.

‘Super States’ in India

Recent few incidences arouse the graver suspicion of whether India is in race to join the league of ‘Super States’. Populism got its crowning moment with Modi forming government in 2014. Aversion to ‘institutions’ and rush of the State to become both judge and executioner are the signature identities of populism. Incessant onslaughts on federalism and legislation without caring due process of law are pertinent pointers of this alarming trend.

But some states have shown advanced ill omens of ‘Super State’. Uttar Pradesh government’s vindictive crusades against ‘accused mafia gangs’ and anti-CAA protests exhumed the dormant abuse of the Constitution and procedures of natural justice. Police were conceded with sweeping immunity to use violence against the ‘accused’ without following the statutes of the book. The State became aggressive and executed summary execution.

UP government dismissed the anti-CAA protests as foul conspiracy hatched by ‘fringe elements’ to instigate revulsion against the government. Government was erroneously equated with State. Name-Shaming, compulsory forfeiting of property of ‘alleged miscreants’ and slapping of hefty fines were cheered by as bold steps. But the fact that State was wandering into extra-judicial territory with callous contempt of laws was conveniently ignored.

BJP government in Karnataka barring non-Hindu vendors from temple premises is also an example of State’s aggression of constitutional boundaries. Recent abrupt and arbitrary actions of Madhya Pradesh government to demolish illegal structures of ‘alleged accomplices’ in communal clashes following Ram Navami to ‘strike fear’ in the minds of perpetrators cannot be dismissed easily. Recurrence of such events begs serious discussion around the increasing trend of States infringing rights of people for judicial justice.

Extra-Constitutionalism is alien to Indian justice system

According to Indian laws, one is perceived as innocent until proved guilty. Only Judiciary can pronounce someone as guilty and award punishment. State can never replace the holy institution of Judiciary. Judicial trial is fundamental right and no State can contravene this sacrosanct right. Supreme Court has rebuked UP government for arbitrarily punishing anti-CAA protesters. Article 21 that stipulated ‘procedure established by law’ also includes ‘due process of law’. This has been reiterated by various courts. ‘Due Process of Law’ is a doctrine that not only checks if there is a law to deprive the life and personal liberty of a person but also ensures that the law is made fair and just.

These arbitrary actions are justified as ‘necessary tools’ to shield the peace in state. In the jostle to placate core voter base, civil liberties and human rights of minorities and marginalised sections are being trampled upon. Civil societies and judiciary have enormous onus not to fall prey to increasing authoritarian tendencies of States.

It is relevant to produce Supreme Court’s verdict rescinding Salwa Judum in 2011. “This case represents a yawning gap between the promise of principled exercise of power in a constitutional democracy and the reality of the situation in Chhattisgarh, where the state of Chhattisgarh, claims that it has a constitutional sanction to perpetrate, indefinitely, a regime of gross violation of human rights in a manner, and by adopting the same modes, as done by Maoist/Naxalite extremists,” said the apex court.

*The author is a journalism student at Indian Institute of Mass Communication, Delhi currently on internship with SabrangIndia.

Related:

Hashtags of Hate flood social media as Islamophobia grows

Madhya Pradesh’s Home Minister blames Muslims for Ram Navami day violence, justifies mass demolitions

Communal confrontations mar Ram Navami celebrations in five states

 

Related Articles

Sunday

03

Jan

Pan-India

Saturday

05

Dec

05 pm onwards

Rise in Rage!

North Gate, JNU campus

Thursday

26

Nov

10 am onwards

Delhi Chalo

Pan India

Theme

Stop Hate

Hate and Harmony in 2021

A recap of all that transpired across India in terms of hate speech and even outright hate crimes, as well as the persecution of those who dared to speak up against hate. This disturbing harvest of hate should now push us to do more to forge harmony.
Taliban 2021

Taliban in Afghanistan: A look back

Communalism Combat had taken a deep dive into the lives of people of Afghanistan under the Taliban regime. Here we reproduce some of our archives documenting the plight of hapless Afghanis, especially women, who suffered the most under the hardline regime.
2020

Milestones 2020

In the year devastated by the Covid 19 Pandemic, India witnessed apathy against some of its most marginalised people and vilification of dissenters by powerful state and non state actors. As 2020 draws to a close, and hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers continue their protest in the bitter North Indian cold. Read how Indians resisted all attempts to snatch away fundamental and constitutional freedoms.
Migrant Diaries

Migrant Diaries

The 2020 COVID pandemic brought to fore the dismal lives that our migrant workers lead. Read these heartbreaking stories of how they lived before the pandemic, how the lockdown changed their lives and what they’re doing now.

Campaigns

Sunday

03

Jan

Pan-India

Saturday

05

Dec

05 pm onwards

Rise in Rage!

North Gate, JNU campus

Thursday

26

Nov

10 am onwards

Delhi Chalo

Pan India

IN FACT

Analysis

Stop Hate

Hate and Harmony in 2021

A recap of all that transpired across India in terms of hate speech and even outright hate crimes, as well as the persecution of those who dared to speak up against hate. This disturbing harvest of hate should now push us to do more to forge harmony.
Taliban 2021

Taliban in Afghanistan: A look back

Communalism Combat had taken a deep dive into the lives of people of Afghanistan under the Taliban regime. Here we reproduce some of our archives documenting the plight of hapless Afghanis, especially women, who suffered the most under the hardline regime.
2020

Milestones 2020

In the year devastated by the Covid 19 Pandemic, India witnessed apathy against some of its most marginalised people and vilification of dissenters by powerful state and non state actors. As 2020 draws to a close, and hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers continue their protest in the bitter North Indian cold. Read how Indians resisted all attempts to snatch away fundamental and constitutional freedoms.
Migrant Diaries

Migrant Diaries

The 2020 COVID pandemic brought to fore the dismal lives that our migrant workers lead. Read these heartbreaking stories of how they lived before the pandemic, how the lockdown changed their lives and what they’re doing now.

Archives