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I am for truth, no matter who tells it. I am for justice, no matter who it is for or against. I am a human being, first and foremost, and as such I am for whoever and whatever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.
- Malcolm X
The words by Malcolm X mark the spirit of activism in us. This activism gives rise to what we call as protests. We have been granted a right to protest in India as a fundamental right under article 19.But what if this fundamental right is proving detrimental to our economy? Yes you read it right. Protests no doubt are the sign of change. But nowadays this sign of change is destroying national harmony and peace in the economy.
India has a long history of protests since and before independence. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, popularly known as Mahatma Gandhi was considered to be the power of protest. But whatever protest he led, his motive was always to lead a peaceful movement. Whenever he thought that his protest is going violent he withdrew that movement. He had led a lot of movements like Non-cooperation movement, civil disobedience movement etc. And no doubt these movements proved to be a sign of change. Today we, the way we are living is somewhere because of this movements.
But do you think that the way in which today protests are held, will prove goodwill to our economy. The answer is definitely not in affirmative. Some examples that will prove that protests are harmful for economy are CAA protests, Farms bill protests that are recently going on against government.
I don’t say that doing protests is wrong. It is your right and you should enjoy it. But just that I want to say is that they should be done in the right manner. When the right protests end up in creating violence then the main purpose of protests remains unfulfilled. Some unwanted people come in the protest for their own personal benefit or to attack the government and the protest turns to be violent. This not only hampers the national growth but also affects the other social factors.
Like in farm protests we saw that they called for Bharat Bandh. Now a lot of people fearing of these protests may not have gone on their work since streets were jammed, roads blocked by the protests. A lot of corporate work suffers due to these protests. Economy faces a deep slump in economic activity. Also opposition when uses its own tool to criticize government by putting farmer’s interest at the tip of their own interest.
Article 51 of Indian constitution makes it a fundamental duty for every person to safeguard public property and to avoid violence during protests and resorting to violence during public protests results in infringement of key fundamental duty of every citizen.
A protest not only harms the economic interest but it also harms the public property. A lot of destruction of properties was seen in CAA protests. Is it justified in the name of applying your fundamental right?
In Ramlila Maidan incident v. Home secretary, Union of India and others (2012), the Supreme Court ruled that, “Citizens have fundamental right to assembly and peaceful protest that cannot be taken away by an arbitrary executive or legislative action”. I agree with the Supreme Court ruling. But why Honorable Supreme Court failed to include the area of what if protests are meant to be provocative in nature. Should it still need to be considered as a fundamental right?
Obviously when we are talking about violence, destruction of property etc. then in no case there can be peace and harmony in our nation owing to these protests. Hoping that you might have got n idea how much these protests area bane for our economy. Not only economy but also it disturbs the social and personal lives of others. Various families’ lives come to a halt because of these protests. Awake public, awake for the nation’s interest.
CONCLUSION To keep your point you don’t need to owe to violence. Someone rightly pointed that, “Say what you want but you never say it with violence”. Your violence will not change the situation. Don’t let the world look you down because of your foolish words. Sometimes lack of knowledge of something also takes the right protest in the wrong direction.
1. Kakoli Nath, Right to Protest in India: Is it a Fundamental Right? , FINOLOGY BLOG (October 8, 2020), https://blog.finology.in/constitutional-developments/right-to-protest-India-fundamental-rights
2.Mounica Kasturi, In Re Ramlila Maidan Incident: Case Analysis, LAWCTOPUS (January 12, 2015), https://www.lawctopus.com/academike/in-re-ramlila-maidan-incident-case-analysis/#:~:text=At%20about%2011.15%20p.m.%2C%20it,abroad%20as%20a%20national%20asset.&text=A%20scuffle%20between%20the%20security,of%20teargas%20shells%20were%20fired